Industry: Obstacle for `welfare-to-work'

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The Independent Online
The Government's welfare-to-work plans will face a "key problem" of differing jobless rates, which vary from just 1.7 per cent in the south to 12.8 per cent in the north, a report warns today. Areas with the highest density of long-term unemployment include those which have suffered a huge decline in industries like coal, steel and shipbuilding, such as Merseyside, the North-East and South Yorkshire.

"It is in these areas that the Employment Service will face the most difficult tasks in finding job placements, because firms that exist may not be in a position to take on new labour," said the report. IDS suggested that the Employment Service might have to explore "reverse commuting" - people travelling out from London, rather than in to the capital.

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