Coalition axes 44,000 "Big Society" jobs
The Future Jobs Fund helps charities by giving them money to hire young unemployed people to work on projects of benefit to the community. The young people get a job (paid at least the minimum wage), and the chance to develop their skills, and the charities get to hire workers which they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. A perfect example, you would have thought, of the "Big Society" which our new government is so keen on, and of tackling youth unemployment.
So naturally, the Tory/Lib Dem alliance have just decided to get rid of the Future Jobs Fund. By next March, 44,000 young people who could have been working with local charities will instead be out of work.
In place of the Future Jobs fund, the coalition is planning to create apprenticeships for young people. Amongst the differences between the Future Jobs Fund and apprenticeships is that instead of receiving a wage of between £145 and £200 per week for their work, apprenticeships will pay £55 per week. Instead of 110,000 Future Jobs Fund jobs created each year, there will be half that number of apprenticeships.
In other words, to reduce the deficit, the coalition are planning to take at least £90 per week from young workers, and to cut their pay from the minimum wage to £2.20/hour. And those will be the lucky ones who can find an apprenticeship.
The very first chance that they got, this coalition decided that young people working on Big Society jobs was not an "effective" use of money and that it would be better if they were on Jobseekers' Allowance or required to work for their benefits. It is a chilling and vindictive cut which will cost all of us many times more than it claims to save.