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Flagship job schemes falter

The Government's flagship schemes for helping the long-term unemployed back to work have had only a marginal influence on their job prospects and virtually no impact on pay rates, research commissioned by the Department for Education and Employment shows.

Employment Training (ET), the bigger of the two schemes increased the chances of someone finding a job after a year's unemployment by just 3 per cent. And, though the chances of getting a job after three years' unemployment rose to 22 per cent, most of the work offered was very low paid.

The research by the Policy Studies Institute, showed that for those on the much smaller scheme, Employment Action (EA), the chances of getting a job were as bad as remaining on the dole.

Researchers Joan Payne, Stephen Lissenburgh and Michael White say in their report that ET was more effective because it was aimed at the commercial sector, whereas EA focused on voluntary groups. Also, three-quarters of those on ET had a period of off-the-job education and training.

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