Politics: On yer bike offer evokes Tebbit memories

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The Independent Online
Norman Tebbit's controversial advice for the jobless to get on their bikes, as his father had once done in the hunt for elusive employment, could become reality for hundreds of jobless people in Cornwall.

The Employment Service is reviewing the transport problems faced by long- term unemployed people living in remote areas, and a Commons committee was told by a senior official this week that bicycles could be made available where no public transport options were viable.

The Government's New Deal programme for unemployed people, aged 18 to 24 and out of work for more than six months, was launched in Cornwall on 5 January, with a target of helping 900 people into work. A further project, to help 2,950 people aged 25 or over, out of work for longer than 12 months, will be started in June as part of the pounds 3.5bn Welfare to Work programme.

An Employment Service spokeswoman said jobless people were being consulted on the problems they faced getting to and from potential workplaces, and a report was expected by next month.