New Deal services cut to meet budget caps

Many of the government’s New Deal job training programmes have effectively shut down in London and the north-east following a series of budget cuts to services run by JobcentrePlus.

Training providers, which have complained to the government about the cuts, say thousands of unemployed young people will be refused places on courses over the coming months, reports The Guardian.

Language teaching, mentoring and business creation programmes for the self-employed have been suspended until next April after the chancellor, Gordon Brown, demanded the service stay within a two-year, £1.9bn budget.

JobcentrePlus overspent its £950m training budget last year by £108m and the Treasury told David Blunkett’s Department for Work and Pensions that it must claw back the overspend from this year’s budget.

A second review of spending in the summer found that areas such as London and the north-east had received disproportionate funding and must give up some of their budget in favour of other regions until the 2006-7 financial year.

A DWP spokeswoman said services that “no longer met priorities” had been cut, but denied the cuts disproportionately affected London and the north-east.

She also said the New Deal would continue to run “mandatory courses” and courses for people with English as a second language.

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