Daily Telegraph, Jan. 24th 2011, p. 4
Official figures show that more than 250,000 children are growing up in homes where no-one has ever worked. There are also 600,000 young people who have never worked since leaving school or further education. A new initiative launched by the Coalition government to help young unemployed people offers them two months work experience anywhere in the country to bolster their CV.
Local Economy, vol.25, 2010, p. 382-389
This article suggests that employment policy under New Labour was driven by a desire to embed a new consensus in which it would be accepted that life should be shaped by work and that the unemployed have responsibility for tackling their own unemployment. An important aspect of this consensus is that it marginalises the voice of the unemployed, the trade union movement and those on low wages and makes it easier for employers to drive down wages and increase casualisation.
Works and Pensions Committee
London: TSO, 2010 (House of Commons papers, session 2010/11; HC472)
The Future Jobs Fund (FJF) was established by the previous Government in April 2009 as an emergency response to the rise in youth unemployment in 2008 and 2009. Its aim was the creation of job opportunities for young people on Jobseeker's Allowance and adults on any benefit who lived in areas with particularly high rates of unemployment. In May 2010, the Coalition Government cancelled the extension of the programme and claimed that similar results and job sustainability could be achieved through other interventions that represented better value for money, notably its new overarching welfare-to-work scheme, the Work Programme. This report finds that despite the relatively high cost, programmes such as the FJF may still be a cost-effective option for young unemployed people who are furthest from the labour market, and who are less likely to benefit from other less intensive approaches. It recommends that The Department for Work and Pensions should conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the Future Jobs Fund and publish the results. The Government needs to learn lessons from the FJF and ensure that the Work Programme includes sufficient levers and financial incentives to prevent providers ignoring young people who are more difficult to place in work. The Work Programme should also include mechanisms to ensure that providers build on the experience and skills of the local partnerships that delivered the FJF programme, as well as drawing on the experience of smaller local and specialised providers.