Back to the Future Jobs Fund

As England continues to sit on the borders of global finance like a disabled leper, Mr. Darling announces the government’s new budget proposal. And it has made for an interesting read, in parts at least.

Quite clearly the government is looking towards alcoholic bingers to see us slowly drag the country out of its colossal debts and into the Promised Land. As of this Sunday, wine, beer and spirit duties will rise by 2% with a further 2% rise planned for two years from 2013. But the government’s slam-dunk is the 10% above inflation rise on cider duty. You see they have caught on that cider is no longer the sole refuge of serious alcoholics and tramps. We now have “posh cider” available. How is it posh you ask? They pour it in a long glass over ice and voila, a tramp’s drink has become the new “mod drink”. Some genius came up with that idea and I reckon he is still deliriously confused at how it’s actually worked. He was probably drunk and on hallucinogens at the time, but now he’s just painfully rich and probably still drunk.

I guess the cider tax increase was the most surprising element in the budget report, other than Alistair Darling’s ludicrous eyebrows. It looks like two heavily tanned caterpillars chasing each other across his forehead. But I digress.

The thing that I’m more interested about is the so-called Future Jobs Fund (FJF). This is the government’s new scheme to help resolve the large number of unemployed 18-24 year olds that I currently find myself amongst.

I currently have to make weekly trips to the job centre so I can sign on. And I must say that it is a rather soul crushing experience. I find myself sitting amongst denim-clad skinheads with facial piercings that would raise havoc with airport security, and wonder, why the hell am I still unemployed? Not wanting to be massively judgmental about my unemployed “brethren”, but I have to assume that I am significantly more employable than at least some of the people I sit amongst.

People always say not to judge a book by its cover, but that’s a load of nonsense of galactic proportions. If you don’t look at the cover, how are you to know what the book is about? You may be searching for a romantic novel, but if you’re blindly picking your literature you may end up with a Sci-fi horror book or maybe a thesaurus. So do judge books by their covers for the sake of my sanity.

Back to my point at hand. Why am I still unemployed? I would have to say that the Job Centre and the government have done relatively little to assist me in actually finding a job. Sure they pay my benefits but how do they help me get into work? The short answer is they don’t. If you don’t want to do something like door-to-door sales, telesales or any other kind of sale, they really cannot help you. As a graduate, I would hope they have some kind of scheme to help me find suitable work. But as ever I find myself back in the Job Centre to sign a piece of paper and tell them my situation still hasn’t changed whilst trying not to make eye-contact with the denim monkey sitting opposite me.

So now they introduce the FJF. What this basically does is “guarantee” young people a job in a company on a six-month contract. Where this goes wrong is the fact that they only offer jobs on minimum wage for “up to” twenty-five hours a week. Sure you would get yourself some experience, but I have done my calculations. Should I go onto this scheme I would be considerably worse off financially and would very quickly find myself in debt. To me, this seems little more than a token gesture on the government’s part to show they’re “trying”. I think it’s time to get to the gym and try harder Gordon.

So I’m stuck with my ongoing dilemma. Now I have the choice of working for pittance, gaining experience but not being able to support myself or keep claiming benefits whilst searching for another job. I understand that the experience could well prove invaluable, but unless you are living at home with your parents and don’t have rent and bills to pay, the scheme does not seem workable.

In the end it all comes down to money, and the irony that I am more financially viable being unemployed is not lost on me.

4 responses to “Back to the Future Jobs Fund

  1. I find it frustrating that the Job Centre is not set up to help anyone with what I would consider a corporate career. I’m not belittling the people they do help that work in these valuable jobs. But, how can this service help our country and workforce get out of recession? With a new wave of graduates due to graduate in a few months it worries me that the situation might just get worse.I don’t know the details of this scheme, but it seems to presume that you’re living at home – what about the people that need to support themselves?

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I cannot foresee me taking up this scheme and still being able to survive. But I think that they MAKE you take one of these jobs after you’re been unemployed for so long. I hope not, but i’m sure I read it somewhere.

  2. i had an interview last monday and i cant work min wage and do 25 hours a week else im 150 pounds in the red every month they do seem to think every 18-24 years olds still live at home but some of us dont not to mention if if get made to take this job up i will have to support my 25 year old boyfriend who lives with me and he wont be offerd one of these jobs as his to old so i will have to support myself and him its not going to work im so worried i have an appointment at the jobcenter next week and im hoping they understand why i cant take the job but ive got this feeling they dont really care.

    • I actually spoke to a job centre worker about this jobs fund and put that exact point across. I asked her, if I took up the FJF offer, would I still receive benefit top ups. I pointed out that a 25 hour working week on minimum wage wasn’t a viable option for anyone unless they lived with her parents. This was her reply,

      “I suppose it wouldn’t really work then would it?”

      Good to see that she had a convincing response. They cannot possibly force one of these positions on people if we can prove that it wouldn’t work.

      It was just a token gesture on the governments part to show people they are trying to do something. Time for them to try something else I think.

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