Edmund Schluessel, Youth Fight for Jobs & Education
Government ministers were forced to shamefacedly admit today that their "Work Programme" has been a failure, as fewer than one participant in twenty-five actually obtains secure employment through it according to a parliamentary review.
Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, called for the scheme to be abandoned. Unite supports Youth Fight for Jobs, which wants a programme of direct state investment in job creation -- the only proven way to put people to work in socially useful jobs.
Labour MPs, meanwhile, lined up with the ConDems to endorse the programme in principle, with Barking MP Margaret Hodge calling the scheme "absolutely crucial". The Work Programme gives companies public money in order to take unemployed people on as unpaid workers. Under such a scheme there is no reason for a business to actually create a job.
Particularly hard hit by the Work Programme are disabled people, thousands of whom have been thrown off benefits by government cuts or thrown out of work by the shutting down of government-backed employer Remploy. The report found that the disabled were being "parked" -- a euphemism for "ignored" -- by employers, who favoured hiring only those Work Programme participants who were easiest to place.
The government still intend to spend billions of pounds on the Work Programme. For the same price as their ineffective scheme of handouts to business, they could create over 50,000 jobs on a living wage -- but with nearly three million, including one million young people, out of work in Britain and all main political parties committed to massive cuts, the problem is bigger than the Coalition or Labour are willing to handle.