From the TUC

Cuts Watch #12: the Future Jobs Fund

24 May 2010, by in Cuts Watch

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.

4 Responses to Cuts Watch #12: the Future Jobs Fund

  1. Tweets that mention Cuts Watch #12: the Future Jobs Fund | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    May 24th 2010, 12:23 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ToUChstone blog, Andrew Curry. Andrew Curry said: Back to the 1980s: programmes which have a big impact on long-term social outcomes (Jobs Fund, Child Trust) are cut. […]

  2. Cuts Watch: a summary | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    May 24th 2010, 4:13 pm

    […] have been a number of cuts – including those in education and skills, tackling youth unemployment, green investment, scientific research and regional investment – which will reduce the money […]

  3. William Hughes (step to success nth wales)
    May 25th 2010, 9:17 am

    With ten years experience setting up and running employment programmes the Future Jobs Fund was a ray of sunshine in the world of scratch the surface welfare to work programmes. A string of programmes have proven beyond reasonable doubt ineffective in tackling unemployment. In North Wales there are up to 20 people on JSA for every vacancy in the job centres and no amount of programmes to force people off benefits will create the vacancies needed to tackle economic inactivity. Having worked with contractors in North Wales to set up the Future Jobs Fund it has been a great success taking 18-24 year olds desperate to get into work and creating quality 6 month jobs for them in public, voluntary and private sector organisations, vacancies that would not have existed without the Future Jobs Fund. The difference it makes to the young persons motivation, self esteem and general well being is well worth the £6,500 per person it costs and theirs a realistic chance that the people we have personally worked with can break the benefits dependency trap and use this to stay in work.
    We are a specialist company grounded in stimulating the local economy and were looking to work with authorities, housing associations, colleges and charities to use this investment in the local economy to stimulate community based social enterprises that can operate as Intermediary Labour Markets for the future delivering grass roots services to communities and leave a lasting legacy for the Future Jobs Fund.
    We will wait and see what the Lib Cons one programme fits all offering is but are not expecting this to be ground breaking or different to the usual. It was always thought that the Future Jobs Fund was too good to be true and guess we are back to square one again. We will still work to use these programmes to create employment and help the most vulnerable in society the chance to become economically active but this does feel like a step backwards.

  4. Oisin Bishenden
    Jun 4th 2010, 1:30 pm

    As a young person currently in employment through the FJF scheme (my grant was awarded before the cut) I can honestly say from my personal experience it has provided me with a brilliant opportunity for real experience working within a marketing environment. Previous roles of work experience have provided me with little more than performing repetitive low level task but currently I have been writing public procurement tenders, attending marketing events representing my company and putting together my ideas in marketing to form a marketing plan. This is exactly the nature of REAL experience young people require in order to market themselves competitvly in the future for normal employment. I was very dissapointed to hear this had been cut as I was in the process of helping friends of mine who had found themselves in a situation of unemployment due to the ever growing problems in the British Education System apply for positions through this scheme in order to gain experience and build a competitive CV so they would be able to in the future find conventional employment. I agree fully with the statement in this article “the most progressive employment programme for a generation” as from my experience no other programme has provided such a benefit.
    As a student of Economics (currently in a year gap from studies) I am shocked that the government would cut such a scheme that would surely in the long run provide reductions to the unemployment rate that would have balanced (if not far out weighed) any cost in the present.