…in brief

This week’s news in brief

New Deal disappoints

The Government’s flagship New Deal programme, which aimed to get 250,000
young people into work, has managed to help only 20,000 into jobs in its first
two years, according to a report from the National Audit Office.  The research also suggests candidates are
going on the £3bn scheme several times and that 33,000 have now become
long-term unemployed.  www.nao.gov.uk

EEF-UK Steel merger

The Engineering Employers’ Federation and UK Steel Association are to merge
in a bid to provide a more powerful voice for UK manufacturing. Staff from UK
Steel will move to the EEF office in Westminster in the next few months.  www.eef.org.uk

Fall in civil servants

The number of permanent Civil Service staff fell by about 2,700 in the six
months to the end of 2001, according to the latest Cabinet Office figures. The
number of full-time civil servants dropped to 480,000, but there was a rise in
the casual staff with numbers rising by 1,200.  www.cabinet-office.gov.uk

HSBC nature backing

HSBC is to train 200 scientists and send 2,000 staff on conservation
research projects as part of a £35m sponsorship deal called Investing in
Nature. The move will see three charities – the World Wildlife Fund, Botanic
Gardens Conservation International and Earthwatch – receive their largest ever
donations.  www.investinginnature.org

Barclays staff swell

Barclays staff numbers grew by 2,400 last year, despite the bank cutting
1,800 back-office jobs. A spokesperson for the bank, Chris Tucker, said new
technology has reduced the need for some back-office staff, but more
customer-relations positions have been created. The total number of staff at
the bank has risen to 78,600.  www.barclays.com

NVQ code of practice

The CBI has welcomed the new National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) Code
of Practice, published by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. The code
is designed to strengthen the value of NVQs and their link with national
standards of occupational competence.   www.qca.org.uk/nq/scripts/nvq_code_of_practice_2001.pdf

Jobs helpline success

A government helpline for jobseekers has put more than a quarter of a
million people back into work. Employment Service Direct, launched three years
ago, has received more than 8.8 million calls and on average places 2,500
people in jobs every week.  www.employmentservice.gov.uk

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