Why cutting the Future Jobs Fund is a travesty


1:05 pm - May 24th 2010

by Richard Exell    


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The government’s list of £6.2 bn of ‘savings’ includes one item that breaks my heart: the abolition of the Future Jobs Fund. This has been the most positive and progressive jobs programme for a quarter of a century, creating temporary but real jobs for young unemployed people around the country.

For a generation employment schemes have been let down by the attempt to run them on the cheap. The history of work experience programmes is that, unless they are crafted to address specific problems faced by individuals in getting back into work, they are not much use.

Employers don’t rate them, so listing your time on one of these schemes on your CV gives you next to no advantage when you apply for a job.

The Future Jobs Fund has been an attempt to create something genuinely different – a ‘job guarantee’. Instead of offering unemployed people a future of benefits, a Job Guarantee says that, after a certain amount of time, the guarantee is a job.

The Future Jobs Fund has shown what a Job Guarantee for all unemployed people could be like – it pays the minimum wage (and in some cases a bit more) for work that has to be of benefit to the community to get funding. FJF jobs are real jobs: they may only be temporary, but workers have the same employment rights – and duties – as any other workers.

That is why, at the start of the year a coalition of economists came together to press the last government to make the FJF the model for a much bigger Job Guarantee.

Supporters included Paul Gregg plus the Work Foundation and the Open Left Project. It looks as though those hopes will now have to be shelved for some time.

The announcement talks about “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’.”

How do they know the Future Jobs Fund has been ineffective? Although I am a fan I wouldn’t dare to claim that it has shown itself to be a success because it’s simply too early to say one way or another. The programme only began recruiting in October and it’s been a bit slow to start up – it will be another six months before anyone can say whether the initial results are positive or not.

I have a bit less of a problem with the comment on the recruitment subsidy (also known as the ‘golden hello’). Just under 23,000 unemployed people used the subsidy to get jobs in the first 9 months it was running. This is rather more than I expected but not as many as the government hoped.

What I would say is that it is interesting that the government has decided that the recruitment subsidy is ‘ineffective’. It is a supply-side programme – bringing down the price of labour – that is precisely the approach to employment policy that underlies the new government’s employment policies.

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About the author
Richard is an regular contributor. He is the TUC’s Senior Policy Officer covering social security, tax credits and labour market issues.
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Reader comments


Do all FJF “jobs” give a wage? We have two interns at our organisation, coming from the FJF, who aren’t paid and will struggle to find a job after they’re through with us because their skills aren’t up to scratch, I’m afraid.

If they are unpaid internships, it isn’t Future Jobs Fund.

All FJF jobs are paid at least £5.80/hour, many are paid the Living Wage.

If your interns’ skills aren’t currently up to scratch, I would hope that your organisation is thinking about how to help them develop their skills while they are working (for free) for you.

@Don

I agree. We’re trying our best with them. Unfortunately neither have ever had office jobs before, and they’re not straight out of school, but have been unemployed for more than six months.

I don’t agree with the idea of unpaid internships at all. If someone has to go into an office, and do work, they should get a wage in return.

Shame about the FJF – wish Labour had introduced it much sooner, then perhaps it might have become ingrained in our national consciousness the same way other public services have.

After losing my job and spending six months unable to find work, the offer of a placement through the FJF seemed like the answer to all my prayers. A real job, paying a wage (albeit the minimum wage, which I was nevertheless grateful for). The reality was, alas, somewhat different. The scheme I had been placed in was supposedly working alongside the local PCT to improve health services for young people. In truth, it appeared the scheme was actually being run to encourage recruits to vote Labour. No real work was done the entire time I was there. Day after day, my group spent hours sitting around in our office messing around on Facebook waiting for our next ‘guest speaker’ from a local health organisation to come and tell us how much money Labour had spent on health projects in the last 13 years, and how it was *quote* ‘our duty’ not to allow the Tories to undo this work. A seminar supposedly meant to be a brainstorming session on which services needed targeting by us turned into a speech by the head of the local PCT talking of the ‘desperate’ situation re. youth unemployment heading into the election. She said that they had been banking on a recruitment drive to lesser those numbers, but as no one was taking staff on *quote* “we’re having one”. The main job we had was writing and performing a ‘drama performance’ showing the struggles young people have with health services. I do not consider this to be a good use of taxpayers money. The head of the project admitted to me that the scheme had been run before, to no effect – the only reason it was being run again was to provide job opportunities. Whilst I have no problem with the concept of this, would it not have been more use to have us performing a more useful service? Our contacts have now run out (the election’s over now), and none of us have anything useful to put on our CV’s. The FJF scheme is a great idea, but the one run in my area was nothing short of a joke. 9 people on minimum wage for six months (and our scheme took on another two groups), plus trhe cost of the staff running it, plus overheads – what was the true cost to the taxpayer of this farce?

Hi blanco,

Agree with you about all of that. Hopefully the FJF can be revised (including learning the lessons from the jobs that have been created so far) and reintroduced in the future.

@Daniel

Very troubling to hear that. If that is the true nature of the FJF, then I’ll be glad to see it go.

Hi Daniel,

Sorry to hear that was your experience – clearly totally unacceptable.

I don’t think it is representative of FJF jobs, though. It does reinforce the need for a proper evaluation of the programme to make sure that we keep the good bits and have stronger controls against the waste of time and money which you experienced.

Interesting to hear two lefties discussing job creation- if only I had realised it was so easy.

You just find something that needs done, employ someone to do it, then pay them with some of the magic money that falls down from the sky.

And if they’re no good, you blame yourself for not having sufficiently developed their skills. And even when they have been happy to work for nothing, you insist on paying them anyway with…… some more of the magic money.

Did you not hear what was being said this morning?

There is no more magic money. It has run out and it wasn’t actually magical at all.

All becomes clear. pagar – are you George Osborne in disguise?

Don @ 7 – “I don’t think it is representative of FJF jobs, though”

Based on what evidence? I don’t want to be snarky, and I’d like to believe that it’s possible to generate useful jobs for people in the way that the FJF might, in the best-case scenario, do successfully, but there’s no point in sidelining examples of its failure.

Sadly, Daniel’s story rings true. I’ve no direct experience of FJF, but when at college I had a ‘paid apprenticeship’, nominally as a software developer but practically as someone faffing around on the college’s light-speed (for the time) 2mbit internet connection. Now, I was certainly glad of the money and it did provide me with an incentive to turn up within the general vicinity of the time I was meant to start, and has left me with the ability to quote my NI number off the top of my head (as was required for filling in timesheets), but I learned very little about work – except, perhaps, how to look busy whilst faffing around on the internet, an admittedly useful skill which has enabled me to post this comment (so perhaps it was worth it after all?).

If it becomes widely known that the FJF provides non-jobs, employers will quickly cotton on to this and will disregard any time spent on FJF placements as being either unproductive or positively counter-productive (if people have spent 6 months learning that ‘work’ means ‘using Facebook’ then they might actually be viewed as worse candidates than someone who spent 6 months doggedly applying for jobs). The scheme might then be re-branded every so often, so as to catch unwary HR managers off-guard, but there can be no pretence that FJF jobs are anywhere near as valuable as real jobs, despite costing as much (and probably more, once admin costs are factored in).

After the OP described himself as being ‘heartbroken’ by the abolition of the FJF, writing this comment feels a bit like kicking a puppy, but I think it’s crucial to look at what’s actually happening on the ground, rather than what’s in the Powerpoint slides, glossy policy brochure or the theoretical pronouncements of economists. If the government can come up with a genuine purpose (contrast this word with ‘job’) for unemployed youths then they should waste no time in employing them. However, the mere fact of 2.5m unemployed people suggests that there is a shortage of purpose in the British economy, and if profit-making businesses can’t find a purpose for these people then I have to question whether mid-tier government officials are going to do a better job of it. I’m totally sympathetic to the aim of full employment, but employing people merely for the sake of it feels like a failure on every level.

11. Luis Enrique

Bloody Hell Daniel, that’s straight out of the Tim Worstall world view of how well intentioned State Attempts to Do Good descend into a money-burning, politician-serving, farce.

I hope, as somebody who thinks that some State Attempts to Do Good can do good, that your experiences are not representative of the scheme. This is a genuinely hard question to answer – formal attempts at evaluation can also descend into farcical box ticking exercises. Perhaps all schemes should come with anonymous web-based user feedback or something.

But the big point is that if your experience does in fact represent a good proportion of the reality of these schemes, this does mean that well intentioned lefties should not support State Attempts to Do Good, no matter how good they sound on paper.

Unfortunately, the left tends to leave shouting about how rubbish State Attempts to Do Good can be to the right.

Hi Rob,

Agree that it is important to look at what’s happening on the ground, and the FJF needs a proper evaluation. Part of the evaluation needs to be about how to make sure that these are proper jobs and, crucially, that they enable people to progress to getting other jobs once the 6 months is up.

I’m aware of c. 40 projects/organisations which have created FJF jobs, and the experience in those cases is not like Daniel’s. But there may well be a selection bias there (as in, I might be more likely to have seen the more productive jobs, or particular sectors might have been less likely to create meaningful jobs).

9 – pagar’s actually channelling Liam Byrne.

“There’s no money left”

having just start a FJF placement i believe it is benificial to those who take part; like most things what you put in you will get out!! Having just recently graduated from university i found it difficult to find job in the career i wanted. FJF enabled be to make straides into an Environmetal career. The quality of the placement is also very much dictated by the company you are employed by.

15. Watchman

It is rare to see something like this cut without a replacement proposed.

And lo and behold, with two minutes searching of the doument, I found this:

“£150m to fund 50,000 new apprenticeship places, focused on small and medium enterprises.”

I’m sure people have legitimate arguments against apprenticeships, but that is a matter of implementation. Certainly an apprenticeship looks a lot better on a CV than a FJF placement…

@ Don

are you George Osborne in disguise?

Can’t stand the man.

My comment above was not intended to come across as a Tory apologia and I understand you have a well intentioned personal/professional stake in the FJF scheme.

The policy of finding useful employment for young people to encourage them into work is a good one but it must be real work with a real purpose and the project was doomed when it was left to the dead hand of the state apparatus to administer and implement. As I said to you at the time, it did not help me fill the trainee position in my company and it remains unfilled. Meanwhile, recruits given the experience enjoyed by Daniel above are left yearning for the relative freedom and purpose of life on the dole.

It is clear that there will be no expansion of public sector jobs in the next few years and, if the private sector is to mop up some of the unemployment, it needs to have some of the barriers to entry removed.

“I’m sure people have legitimate arguments against apprenticeships, but that is a matter of implementation. Certainly an apprenticeship looks a lot better on a CV than a FJF placement…”

The main difference is that the FJF pays between £5.80 and £7.60/hour, whereas the apprenticeships pay £55 per week.

Assuming people are doing the same work in both, this is a pretty savage wage cut for low paid workers (not to mention a way of undermining the minimum wage).

The main difference is that the FJF pays between £5.80 and £7.60/hour, whereas the apprenticeships pay £55 per week.

But remember the £55 is real money, not magic money………….

I can’t say whether my experiences of the FJF are truly reflective of the scheme as a whole (and hadn’t claimed to) – I can only go off how the scheme I was in was run, which was dreadful. As Luis Enrique puts it, a State Attempt At Doing Good: well-intentioned, but badly run. And picking up from Rob’s point about what employers take from an ex-FJF scheme employee, those I have spoken to have been highly dubious about what experience I have obtained. In truth, I didn’t learn anything. I used to have a good job and learned all the basic skills I needed there. The unfortunate aspect is that the vast majority of the people in my scheme were 17-18, had never held a proper job before, and as such now believe that all jobs involve messing about on Facebook in the office. That most of us are back on JSA struggling to find work again isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. I’ve started to believe that the inclusion of my FJF job on my CV is more of a hindrance, as employers struggle to see any transferable skills. Indeed, I wonder whether the six months might have been better spent seeking work elsewhere. (I should also add that Tory plans to stop benefits for those who refuse work are no different to how the FJF was ran: when I was told about the scheme, the Job Centre said that if I got the job my JSA would be stopped if I refused to accept the offer).

Most likely the two individuals not getting paid are from Community Task Force otherwise the provider is BREAKING the rules which is exactly why progressive funding streams giving real heklp get scrapped.

21. Shatterface

If you took away the element of compulsion you might get more of us to mourn FJF’s passing.

No doubt the Tories will come up with something even more punitive in time but right now FJF is a reminder of New Labour’s authoritarian populism.

New Labour could never offer a carrot without beating you with a stick first.

Don, whatever the merits of the FJF, I think the model of the government essentially expanding public expenditure to pay for these jobs isn’t sustainable: the government pays for these jobs, hence they are government jobs, that is taxpayers’ money. I don’t have an ideological objection to taxpayers’ money being spent (within reason) in areas where it makes sense to have a state monopoly – health, defence, social security, transport, energy. I think taxes are far too low in this country – we could never get the level of public services we want (i.e. Scandinavian) without the taxes to pay for it.

But the jobs market? Yes, the government employs people to run its public services and administer itself. But why should the state pay companies and charities that aren’t part of the state to employ people?

The problem with pegging all of these “future jobs” to public expenditure is that when the government splurges too much (as even yourself could not argue that it has not, surely?) then the first thing to be cut in order to ensure debt does not cripple our economy is expenditure in areas that the government doesn’t have a natural monopoly in, such as jobs.

It would be one thing if, instead of this scheme, or instead of fully funding higher education as it used to, we could have a German-style vocational training scheme for 16-19 year olds. That would lead to jobs for a lot more people than sitting in a classroom doing A-Levels, then going to university and finding out none of the education you’ve had in the last 5-6 years has really prepared you for the world of work.

We need to build people up to survive in the modern job market, not hold their hands.

I hope this doesn’t sound too cutthroat, I am just thinking that we need to re-appraise what it is that the state does and how it does it, so when the next recession hits us we are already spending within our means on the things we need from the state.

As to what Pagar said about a life on the dole – as a low paid worker doing a shitty admin job, I can pretty much guarantee that the only thing stopping me from joining the dole queue is an ambition to get a much better job that I actually enjoy. That ambition comes from having gone to a decent school and then university. However, I can understand why people who don’t share that ambition would prefer being on the dole. You get, what, £60 a week for doing nothing: compared to £145 (based on a 25-hour working week @ £5.80 ph), which is more than twice as much, but you don’t have to do any of the menial crap most low paid workers have to deal with.

Having said that, if the FJF is purely about lounging around on Facebook and attending crappy seminars, I’m surprised not more young people opt for it. Magic money, as Pagar says!

Also, I’ve just read the link in the OP:

A coalition of labour market experts including the TUC, the Work Foundation and James Purnell MP

TUC – ok, trade unions might be experts in labour, but their expertise is obviously centred around speaking up for one half of the labour market – workers. Whilst this is essential, clearly they do not consider things from the perspective of those that create jobs for the workers – employers. Add to that an ideological bent towards getting the government to prop up failed industries, and you have a recipe for an unsustainable “jobs guarantee”.

The less said about James “Fuck the poor and unemployed, oops, I meant to say when I was in power, help the poor and unemployed” Purnell the better.

The idea that you should “guarantee” someone a job if they’ve been unemployed for six months or a year is one that misses the point. If they’ve been unable to find a job for that length of time, what they need is not to be simply given a job, but help in trying to find a job. Now, I know there is the old chestnut about requiring experience to get a job but not being able to get experience without a job: and unpaid internships are not the answer for a lot of people from poorer backgrounds.

However, surely there must be an alternative to simply giving them a job, for which they obviously do not have the requisite skills to do (if they did, then what the state should do is help them to show potential employers they possess those skills) and for which the employer essentially has to train them up from scratch.

All of these people who are saying the FJF did nothing for them, that’s your fault that you sat there on Facebook the whole time. just because you have the oppertunity to be lazy doesnt mean you have to.

Im on FJF at the moment and i make sure im learning new skills. Im learning coding and server maintanance. I could sit on Facebook all day but i dont because what’s the point. May aswell do something useful

@Jack yeah, it’s about the attitude a person takes. The thing is that, in most situations, with an attitude like that you will be alright. The FJF is aimed at people who don’t have that attitude. This is why we have to find other ways of helping people who are long-term unemployed.

Having read most of the comments here I’m quite suprised, I’m currently working in a position funded by the FTF and I’m gaining valuable experience for tor the career I want to move into, when asked at the Job centre about what type of working I was looking for they are the positions I was put forward for not just any old job. It’s sad to hear about the other experiences on here, but I have to say for me the FTF threw me a lifeline when I needed it and without doubt is boosting my skills & knowledge within the industry. Just to clarify, I’m not a school leaver I was previously working as a freelancer but found myself unemployed for a long time and needed something more stable, for me the FTF has given me the boost that I very much needed and I’m continuing to look for permanent work for while still being in a paid position – as I am aware it’s not magic money!!

@pagar #8

You wrote: “You just find something that needs done, employ someone to do it, then pay them with some of the magic money that falls down from the sky.”

Um, yes, that’s exactly what Keynes said governments should do in recessions. But perhaps your macro-economics is a bit shaky?

I didn’t sit about on Facebook all day – if there was a report to read or a task to complete I would do it. Unfortunately, however, occasions when there was something to do were rare. If you’d read my post properly you’ll notice I said I was only commentating on how the FJF project that I was in was being run, not the project as a whole. Please do not call me lazy, nothing could be further from the truth. I was/am utterly desperate for work, and so badly wanted to be doing something productive. My attitude could not have been any better – unfortunately, when your day at work consists of spending literally hours with no active task to complete, or a day of writing ‘dramatic presentation’ of young person’s difficulties with health services at the taxpayers expense, it is very difficult to keep morale up.

@ Misha

Glad to hear a success story though, with your attitude, I’m sure success was always on the cards.

FJF can not create real jobs- what such schemes can do, as you have said, is boost self confidence and help young people by allowing them to adjust to patterns of work. But done properly, youth employment schemes can not only boost the prospects for young workers but can be a catalyst for new wealth creation and opportunity.

That won’t happen as long as they are administered by people atrophied by the cushion of public finance or by well intentioned ideology.

Andrew @ 28

Might be argued that, in a 21st century global economy. JMK’s macro-economics looks a bit shaky?

I didn’t sit about on Facebook all day – if there was a report to read or a task to complete I would do it. Unfortunately, however, occasions when there was something to do were rare. If you’d read my post properly you’ll notice I said I was only commentating on how the FJF project that I was in was being run, not the project as a whole. Please do not call me lazy, nothing could be further from the truth. I was/am utterly desperate for work, and so badly wanted to be doing something productive. My attitude could not have been any better – unfortunately, when your day at work consists of spending literally hours with no active task to complete, or a day of writing ‘dramatic presentation’ of young person’s difficulties with health services at the taxpayers expense, it is very difficult to keep morale up. Many congratulations to those who are enjoying their time on an FJF project though – being on well-run scheme, and having had some input on what area you work in, must make all the difference.

Im currently in a FJF position and while I am finding it worthwhile and valuable Im sure others arent. I was offered an admin based position in a college with the opportunity to complete NVQ level 2 and 3 in business admin during my 6 month placement. However some of the other people also posted to the college are filling up vending machines or stuffing envelopes- I was definately the lucky one! There is a bit too much backwards and forwards to the group providing the placement and the amount of paperwork is unreal and I do get the impression that most of it is pointless and just another way to make some more people look busy.

While The FJF does not provide a permanent job the training and confidence it has given me, not to mention the decent pay, is much more valuable than another 6 months on the dole. I would never even entertain taking an apprenticeship £55 to work my end off all week, no thanks! It is defiantely the luck of the draw and and how much you choose to make of it, but to have the opportunity open to be taken is better than nothing.

I am currently On a FJF Placement with an IT Solutions company that basis their recruitment on the FJF. I was part of the first intake in February where 36 people were taken on, since that time the company has taken on approximatly 150 more people around the UK with another intake taking place yesterday/today.

the 6 month program has been strictly designed to maximize the learning and development of the “members”. the first 3 months is spent gaining the Microsoft Certification for office (MCAS), a month putting the skills to use in a simulated training session, in month 5 the “members” are given the opportunity to go to india for a month to gain Microsoft Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) and CompTia+ which can also be obtained in the UK then month 6 is spent refining CV’s and simulated Interviews with actors playing parts of the employers.

the organisation I work for really does seem to be a breath of fresh air. It truly is there to help people. Cutting the FJF would be a Disaster.

I agree that there are many very poor FJF operations however Elixir Foundations employes 100’s of people many of which are through the FJF route and I can honestly say that these people whilst in our employment embark on 6 months of worthwhile training and experience. Each member of staff gain certification in manual handling, health and safety, first aid, NVQ level 2 in plant operations and Manufacturing Operations including a fork lift truck licence and many more other courses. They work for 6 months in PVCU recycling where they gain self esteem and get back into a routined work ethic. Already in Doncaster where we employ 86 young people at our recycling depot we have every person enrolled on NVQ level 2’s and we now have 12 Fork Lift qualifiers soon to be 30. We are starting the first wave of first aid courses tomorrow and every person gets a personal development plan to ensure that they are much better equipped to get a “Future Job” at the end of the six months. At month six we engage with Bright Sparks who are here to help shape the interview and CV skills for the people coming through our program. There is no secret formula to success. We are a dynamic social enterprise that exists to break barriers to employment for those people faced with long term unemployment, learning difficulties or troubled backgrounds. People just need a chance to prove themselves and the FJF has enabled us as a social business to help hundreds of young people develop their skills and improve their chances of future employment. Those people who are quick to riddicule should first seek to understand before trying to be understood! Should anyone wish to contact me to discuss this model please feel free.

I am myself on a FJF appointment with my local council and it has been nothing but a postive experience. I should add that iam a young father with a family to support and this programe is allowing me to earn a livable wage as well as getting my foot in the door for further education teaching as part of the programme is training, which for me means the PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning Sector) this will allow me to be an assoicate teacher and eventually may lead me to become a full FE tutor/teacher. My point is that the cold hearted git who wrote on hear how the proposed replacement for the programe is apprentships which pay between £50-70 pwk i say to him how the hell do you feed a family and pay bills and rent and everything else on that, people like you really get under my skin, hell as long as your allright hey mate. I have every intention of hopefully when this placement finishes or before if I am lucky of getting into work cause I really don’t want to go back on the dole. but its people like you that slap anyone who has ever been unemployed in the face with that comment itsbn saying “Hey mate why get paid for doing 40 hrs work when you can go on this Apprentiship and watch your family starve struggle and eventually go back on the dole cause its the only way to survive” you show a real lack of understanding with people who hate being on the dole but are because they have no choice, and then to say its a good thing to cut a programe that not only gets people back into work but pays a decent wage and offers them the chance to get qualified as something (IE a FE Tutor, Youth worker etc). Please don’t comment on a programe you know little about or think that all 19-25 year olds (thats what the FJF targets) are living at home and have no dependents because some of us do. The FJF is by far the better programe next to these Aprentiships that undermine the basic living standard, you wouldn’t want it if you were unemployed you would the programe that pays the basic NMW so you could feed your family.

Wow that comment and your whole attiude has really got under my skin.

I have 2 FJF employees working for me at the moment. They are both graduates with very good qualifications but little or no experience within the workplace.

I am devastated that they will be leaving. Not for me but for them. They have both settled so well into a new, small company.Their confidence in their own skills and abilities have grown so much. I have detailed training plans for them and they were working towards them. They were gaining qualifications and experiences in a variety of areas.

As we are a new company we are trying to get off the ground and the FJFs were a keen part of this. They knew that once we were up and running then they would be given jobs at the end of their FJF contract. They were investing into their own and the local community’s future. It’s such a shame

As someone who has worked in education and training for a long time I have to say that the FJF has been one of the better initiatives, at least in my borough.

Are the FJF employees allowed to complete their contract term or are they just to be cut loose…?

to Jane, i believe from what i have read and from the talks we have had is that we will be allowed to finish our contracts, but with the new goverment making swining cuts that more or less resemble a Tarintino movie, its certainly not a certainty, but hopefully I and the other FJF workers will get to finish the rest of our contracts but i believe this to be the tip of the iceberg.

@Jane,

From what I have heard the current funding is secure and the funding that was delayed by the prolonged election will be fine and payed out. NO new Funding contracts will be agreed from now on.

http://campaigns.dwp.gov.uk/campaigns/futurejobsfund/index.asp

Where the funding has already been placed current contracts will be aloud to run their course.

Rob & Francis – Thank you. I checked today and the girls are going to be staying until the end of their contract. It was a relief for them and me. I understand that Rochdale, my borough, will be continuing until March next year as the funding had already been paid.

@FrancisK

I wish i could say that all employers who where given funds are still honouring contracts but am afraid that is not the case. Even though the department for work and pensions states on thier website that this is the case. The employer in question by cancelling the FJF project due to start has effectively made some people unemployed who were due to work a project leaders/managers etc and wasted a monumental amount of cash already spent. Is this to be the furture, helping the economy by creating more unemployed??

42. Clarabell

Do you think David Laws wishes he hadn’t cut the FJF….looks like he might be needing it for himself! Although I am sure that some of our employers wouldn’t look to favourtably on someone who has taken £40,000 from the taxpayer…so he might not even get a shot at it!!!!!

We have employed young people under the FJF scheme, many have been involved in constructing new buildings for social enterprise projects to be used as part of the regeneration infrastructure within our town. While undertaking training in construction and a number of transferable skills each has contributed to the local economy. Of the first 6 we youths we employed just over six months ago, two have now gone into other construction jobs, one has started his own labouring company, another has gained employment with a cleaning company and one has signed up for a fulltime construction course. ALL of these had been unemployed for over 6 months with no real prospects and low confidence in gaining employment, they have left us with new CV’s, great references and more than 10 transferable and 4 construction recognised qualifications.
I am still shocked how a scheme like this can be scrapped???????
A REAL QUICK RETHINK IS REQUIRED BY THE NEW GOVERNMENT .

I was greatly angered but not surprised that the government scrapped FJF.

I was unemployed for six months. I was put onto the FJF. I applied and successfully got a job within a month. I am now getting high quailty training on CVs and Job Interviews plus other training through my current work.

I am no Labour voter or supporter but FJF was a real proactive attempt to actually do something about unemployment.

Cutting FJF is a miserly short sighted measure.

45. roadlesstraveller

@Dan 14. ‘apprentices earn £55 pw’ – I looked up FAQ at http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Be-An-Apprentice/Other-Questions.aspx#Question16

“All employed apprentices must receive a wage of £95 per week*. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week.
* Please note that wage rates for roles within the Agricultural sector may differ from the minimum wage stated above.”

apprentice contracts are for 16 hours a week minimum (£95/16=£5.93ph)

46. roadlesstraveller

sorry, @Don 17. ‘apprentices earn £55 pw’ – I looked up FAQ at http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Be-An-Apprentice/Other-Questions.aspx#Question16

“All employed apprentices must receive a wage of £95 per week*. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week.
* Please note that wage rates for roles within the Agricultural sector may differ from the minimum wage stated above.”

apprentice contracts are for 16 hours a week minimum (£95/16=£5.93ph)


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