The New Deal can be counted a moderate success, an independent review has found, as political arguments raged last week about the cost of the programme.
While only 13 per cent of long-term employed found jobs that lasted for more than 13 weeks, and others would have found work anyway, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said New Dealers found the programme helpful.
A third of the 440,000 young people who had been on the scheme found jobs that lasted more than three months, the report said. But success rates tended to be lower for women and ethnic minorities.
Author Professor Jane Millar of Bath University said the New Deal schemes had a positive impact on employment for a range of people. “But the programmes have generally been better at serving those who need a bit of help, rather than a lot.”
The report followed a war of words between ministers and their Tory opponents over the cost of each job. The Government says a job costs about £4,000, based on the £611m spent. The Tories said it was nearer £11,000.
To date, 215,000 young people have been found work.