Last week Emma met with Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary to promote Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, a which will guarantee a minimum wage job for every young person who finds themselves in long term unemployment.
Under the plan, which would be introduced by a future Labour government, any young person out of work for twelve months will be offered a paid starter job, giving them the opportunity to earn their way while getting proper experience of the world of work.
Young jobseekers would be required to take on the job they were offered, and would lose their entitlement to Jobseekers Allowance if they refused.
The plan would be paid for by a tax on bankers’ bonuses, which are on the rise again under the Coalition. Bonuses are up 10% at Barclays this year, bringing their bonus total to £2.4bn alone. At the same time, the number of 18-24 year olds out of work for more than 12 months has doubled. In South Shields, it is thirteen times higher. South Shields’ young people are more than twice as likely to be out of work as the national average.
The Government’s scheme for helping young people into work, the wage incentive scheme, failed to hit even 10% of its target in its first year. The scheme was intended to get 53,000 young people into work in 2013, but the final number was just 4,690.
The Government’s Work Programme, meanwhile, has performed so badly in the North East that the Government’s own analysis suggests some providers actually made the situation worse for jobseekers.
“Youth unemployment is one of the greatest problems our region faces, but the Coalition’s flagship schemes are failing a generation. Only Labour is guaranteeing a job for every young person in long-term unemployment.
“Our system is firm but fair: those who do not want to work should not be given an easy ride, but young people who want to make their way in the world should be given the opportunity to do a decent job at a decent wage.”