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Warning of pitfalls in welfare policy

Training and enterprise councils have called for a 24-hour workshop between government and other agencies to discuss how to implement its Welfare to Work proposals, writes Ngaio Crequer.

The TEC National Council has presented ministers with a paper outlining the risks of scheme - aimed at taking 250,000 18- to 25-year-olds off benefit and putting them in work - and suggesting ways of putting them into practice.

TECs want to hold a workshop with government, local authorities, careers services, the employment service, the voluntary sector and employers to find a framework on which to proceed.

In early 1997, there were 457,945 unemployed 18- to 25-year-olds, of whom 222 per cent have been out of work for a year or more and 41 per cent have been without jobs for more than six months.

The council says the scheme must avoid the "revolving door" of people moving between low-paid, low-skilled jobs and unemployment.

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