Friday 13 May 2011

Facts and the DWP!

I was astonished to hear the interview with IDS on the Today programme when he was "" announcing " some yoof initiatives on Thursday. He said that the FJF had only created jobs in the private sector. . He went on to compound his error by claiming that young people crashed out of work after the scheme ended.

Unbelievable.. The third sector was closely involved in job creation for young people on this great scheme. And many remain in jobs now.

. The FJF had an independent evaluation built into the scheme from the start. The incoming government couldn't wait for this to inform their ill thought through decision to scrap the scheme. Then they scrapped the evaluation. A shame , as this would have established whether this was effective or not.

So let me reproduce the letter to IDS from ACEVO ' s acting CEO.

" Dear Secretary of State,

After listening to your appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, I thought it worth dropping you a quick note. I was concerned by the following comment:

“The Future Jobs Scheme created only jobs in the public sector and once the money ended those poor young people crashed out of work straight away”

I urge you in future when speaking about the Future Jobs Scheme to acknowledge the vital role of the voluntary sector and to avoid giving the impression that it was solely a scheme aimed at the public sector. This would be a great disservice to the hundreds of organisations who supported thousands of potentially vulnerable people via the scheme. I realise that your own commitment to voluntary action means that a diservice of this kind is the last thing you would want to perpetuate.

In truth, the Future Jobs Fund enabled the placement of long-term unemployed young people in both the voluntary and local government sector’s. I cannot comment on the effectiveness of placements into the public sector, but I can for the voluntary sector which responded with alacrity. The sector was involved in developing the policy, organised into consortia to ensure widespread distribution of placements, and relished the opportunity to use the initiative to offer a rich, challenging, and educative experience. And, of course, such placements into the voluntary sector not only tackled the challenge of youth unemployment and skills development, but also contributed towards positive social change as a result of the extra capacity enabled within voluntary organisations.

The scale of the voluntary sector response was also considerable. One consortia alone, 3SC, which was established from within the charitable sector in order to deliver placements, supported over 5,600 youngsters into work. As you know we do not have any comprehensive evaluation of just how many of the 6 month placements were either extended at no cost to the tax payer, or how many were converted into full-time jobs, but my members do have considerable anecdotal evidence that both occurred in abundance.

I realise that the Future Jobs Scheme is a political ‘hot potato’. However, I feel obliged to point out that within the voluntary sector it has been widely perceived as a success in delivering vital vocational skills to potentially vulnerable people whilst unlocking potential within non-governmental organisations. This does not mean that the scheme, or successor schemes, cannot be made more efficient or effective as patently with cooperation between government and the other sectors we could make improvements based on our experience."

A polite response in the circumstances frankly.

And as youth unemployment continues to rise they must be deeply regretting their decision to junk FJF because it was introduced by the last lot.

The suggestion that rising youth unemployment is the fault of the last government is ludicrous. They have been in power a year. And our economy is at a halt. Is there a connection between a stagnating economy and rising youth unemployment do you think? And I'm puzzled quite why the Government are going to rely on the private sector to create more jobs for yoof. Has anyone noticed that commercial companies are laying off staff, not hiring them.

Third sector shut out? What is going on in DWP ? Mind you , I feel sorry for IDS. He has a strong feeling and strong support for our sector. What on earth was in his briefing.

1 comment:

Allison Ogden-Newton said...

As you know from my piece in the Guardian Stephen I completely agree. The way in which FJF worked we were able to build a return to work programme with unprecedented success, our conversion rate at Social Enterprise London into permanent jobs was 65% for the 500 young people we worked with, that compares to an average of 25% from the big boys in the Return to work industry. DWP have voted for big business, lets hope it doesn't ignore his needs and serve itself, still where's the precedent for that ehh?