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New shirt, new tie, New Deal;FE Focus

The man was wearing jeans and a T-shirt when the interview became available so the Swansea JobCentre official had to think quickly. She nipped home and borrowed a shirt and tie from her husband's wardrobe. The man got the job.

This is the kind of enterprise being used by Employment Service staff to get New Deal clients into either jobs, education, training or voluntary work.

As the New Deal went nationwide this week, Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett praised such examples of its imaginative approach and urged employers and the unemployed to "put aside the British disease of cynicism" and to work together to create jobs.

Mr Blunkett met Alan Coughlan, a 19-year-old from South London who was jobless and homeless before a local garage owner gave him a New Deal job and a roof over his head. Then Mr Blunkett issued a warning to youngsters who refused the New Deal options of employment, voluntary work, environmental task force or full time training: "There won't be a fifth option of not being part of the programme."

TRAVELFEARS, page 24

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