Whitehall works for the jobless

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The Government will today launch the first phase in what it claims is a radical new approach to tackling unemployment.

Eight regions - Birmingham, Doncaster, Liverpool, Plymouth, south Teesside, Glasgow, north-west Wales and Wembley in London - are being invited to bid to create four or five Employment Zones, using the pounds 33m available for the scheme for 14 months from its February start-up. The idea of the zones is to encourage innovation and partnership in the search for new ways to support the jobless and help them into work.