Wednesday, 13 May 2009
The two launches
If something is worth launching its worth doing it twice! And the Future Jobs Fund is certainly worth shouting about. The PM launched it this morning at No 10 (and you won't be surprised to hear that I managed a quick word about the Social Investment Bank with him too). Then it was launched at the ACEVO FJF conference at the Barbican by James Purnell MP.
Hazel Blears MP kindly pointed out that I was sitting on the official steering group for the new scheme and so please direct ideas and suggestions (and problems no doubt!)to me.
I feel a real sense of achievement for the sector. ACEVO argued for this scheme. Government listened and now we have a great chance to help prevent the real curse of mass youth unemployment. As the PM said this morning, we cannot stand by and watch the scarring effect of youth unemployment and not take action.
James really is one of the underused stars of this Government. This scheme is largely due to him and to achieve a £1billion fund to provide jobs for youth and long term unemployed is a real achievement. As I said when introducing James it is clear someone like him does not come into politics to fund his moat cleaning but because he wants to make a difference. And I have to say he was wearing a very cool suit and elegant tie. I'm afraid I was dowdy in comparison. (Note to self: sharpen up, you have third sector standards to maintain). He is clearly one of the Cabinet's best communicators and it is absurd he is not used more.
Before the launch we had the first meeting of the newly established taskforce which ACEVO is running with the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Community Alliance. We were able to feed back views directly to officials who came to the launch.
For more information on the new Fund click here
Bath plugs and moats, jaffa cakes and house flipping. It's all very entertaining I guess but, as Macauley said, there are few worse sights than the British Public in a fit of moral outrage. Of course all this expense stuff is bad but it should not cloud our belief in and support for democratic institutions and the basic integrity of most MPs.
And let us remember that the bankers and financiers largely responsible for our current economic malaise have far worst records. Huge salaries and bonuses and massive expenses too. It is distressing that there are signs that they have not learnt any lessons and that we may well return to business as a usual. This should be the time for insisting on root and branch reform of corporate governance. Boards must be made accountable. Recruitment processes opened up. A statutory duty to promote social responsibility and a Community Reinvestment Act.