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Panel-beating, secretarial - and one circus juggler

Over 390 Tayside employers have signed up for the New Deal. Another 150 are said to be ready to sign in the next three months.

The region's employment service has conducted 1,782 gateway interviews with over 1,000 young unemployed clients. As a result 103 people have been placed with an employer, 22 are in full-time education and training, nine are with the voluntary sector and one the environmental task force.

Thirty applicants have sought and been granted early access to the programme. So far no one has suffered the sanction of losing benefit through refusing to become involved. The jobs range from panel beating and bricklaying to shop and secretarial work - and one circus juggler.

In the rest of Scotland an estimated 400 employers have indicated a willingness to take part in New Deal, offering 530 places. In the next week or so the number of employers is expected to rise to 1500 as the programme goes nationwide.

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