Cuts Watch #12: the Future Jobs Fund
If you turn to page three of the Treasury press release that sets out the government’s list of cuts you’ll find that they plan to save
“£320m from ending ineffective elements of employment programmes, including ending further rollout of temporary jobs through the Young Person’s Guarantee (the ‘Future Jobs Fund’) and removing recruitment subsidies from the ‘Six-Month Offer’.”
As we’ve said before the Future Jobs Fund is the most progressive employment programme for a generation, offering young unemployed people the chance of a real job, paid at least the minimum wage. The TUC hoped that the FJF would become the model for a Job Guarantee offer to all unemployed people:
- what people who are desperate to get back to work want is a job;
- what impresses businesses recruiting new staff is evidence that someone has been doing a real job, not ‘work experience’.
It looks as though what is going to be on offer is just some form of workfare scheme – forcing unemployed people to work for much less than the national minimum wage. This will be unfair to unemployed people and threaten the jobs and terms and conditions of existing workers.
PS: I’ve just heard from DWP that what this announcement will mean for organisations that have put in bids to the Fund. Firstly, no further bids will be approved for funding – including those that are waiting for approval. Secondly, where grant letters are already in operation or have already been sent the FJF will continue as normal until March 2011. Thirdly, during election purdah no grant letters were published – these will be now.