Great Leap Forward

The UK’s Future Jobs Fund Is Vindicated, provides some hope for a new Job Guarantee Program

Tanweer Ali has written a piece summarizing results from a new study on a partial Job Guarantee program in the UK that was scrapped and villified by the current government. As Tanweer explains,

“The Future Jobs Fund was introduced in 2009 to address the problem of long-term youth unemployment. About 100,000 people in the 18-24 age group out of work for a year or more were guaranteed a job for six months. Later the threshold was reduced to six months. An additional 50,000 guaranteed jobs were available for people of all ages in selected unemployment hotspots.”

The new report found that the program was successful in moving participants into regular employment:

“Last week the government finally published its impact report on Labour’s Future Jobs Fund. According to the report, two years after starting their jobs with the scheme, participants were 16 per cent less likely to be on benefits than if they had not taken part and 27 per cent more likely to be in unsubsidised employment. The net benefit to society of the scheme was £7,750 per participant, after accounting for a net cost of £3,100 to the Treasury . Not bad for a scheme condemned as a failure by the current government, and certainly better than anything that replaced it.”

Go here for the full report:


2 Responses to “The UK’s Future Jobs Fund Is Vindicated, provides some hope for a new Job Guarantee Program”

scotlandeconomywatchNovember 30th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Interesting and thanks for rescuing the report from relative obscurity and for reporting the figures.

I also question the notion of setting a threshold of 1 year or even 6 months for eligibility for such schemes. One reason for sure is to do with 'official' definitions of long-term unemployment. These are always sensitive figures for governments, particularly in relation to youth joblessness. So when funding for schemes is necessarily rationed, they tend to ask what would massage the figures best.

I would be interested to hear about research that addresses the question of how quickly any skills or motivation/work ethic might degrade on becoming unemployed, or when employers start to question what they will be getting.

Then we might be in a better position to decide not only what kind of intervention delivers the best bang for the buck but also when it should become available in the best interests of the youngsters and, by implication, employers.

Clearly, you would expect people to try their luck in the open market for a little while on becoming unemployed. But should a bright, eager 18-24 year old be left to wither on the vine for 6 months or a year before qualifying for a government scheme – or is the assumption that they must take their own chances in the labour market until the passage of time tends to suggest that they need help? With youth unemployment currently so high in many parts of the United Kingdom and the European Union, many surely face a losing fight from the very first day of unemployment.

These are general points rather than comments aimed at past or existing schemes. What time thresholds are in force in other countries for schemes aimed at youth unemployment.