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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2010

Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

The Future Jobs Scheme is the government's new initiative aimed at getting young people back into work. But it appears to be more about driving the young unemployed off benefits.

Vincent Leonard

Increasingly we are seeing claimants being forced to 'work for their benefits', which for those under 25, thanks to another scheme, will mean working 25 hours for your 50 a week, working out at 2 an hour.

Claims that young people will be given training, experience and skills and even the promise of a job at the end of it are normally warped pictures. The reality is effectively slave labour in such 'fun' places as call centres, care and hospitality and basic office admin.

To add insult to injury, refusal to take any of these jobs can be used as an excuse to sanction claimants, with threats to cut their benefits, their only source of income.

A qualified sound engineer, fresh out of university, has been struggling to find employment. After six months, the Jobcentre offered him six months' work experience in a call centre, claiming he would get "vital call centre experience". When he declined on the basis that he wasn't looking for a career in a call centre and had to focus on music, he was told he had no choice and would have to take it, or face sanctions.

Rather than be forced into such a future-less job, he signed off benefits. This helps explain the fall in the number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants and the record high number classed as "economically inactive".

Few new jobs

The real twist in the tale is that the government pays employers, not just the wages of the person they take on, but also additional administration fees!

"But aren't they making sure that young people get jobs? What's wrong with that?" people may ask. Well, for one, few new jobs have been created. And what benefit is there in keeping on the same young person after six months when they can just simply take on another youth for free under the same scheme?

Some of the biggest supporters of the scheme are local councils which are guaranteeing up to 100 positions at a time. Meanwhile they are laying off workers. 100 positions at 25 hours each could mean 50 full-time 16,000+ a year jobs going. This is part of the race to the bottom, playing workers off against young people on these appalling rates to undermine working conditions.

The Flexible New Deal has seen further privatisation of the services required by job seekers. In some areas 90% of claimants have been refused Employment and Support Allowance, New Labour's incapacity benefit.

Whichever of the main parties wins the next election we will no doubt see a continuation of these attacks on claimants and the unemployed.

Trade unions should intervene, not only to ensure that anyone brought in under the scheme is unionised, but to ensure they have a guaranteed job at the end. Youth Fight for Jobs aims to link up with both trade unions and the unemployed and claimants to reject these schemes in our workplaces and fight for real genuine investment into decent, well-paid jobs in our economy.

www.youthfightforjobs.com

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 31 March 2010:

We will not pay!

Help fund Socialist Party campaigns

Stop the cuts, build a socialist alternative


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PCS: Striking against government attacks

PCS budget day strike: Support grows across country


Transport strikes

BA cabin crew strike: 'We shall not be moved'

Fight the decimation of London tube jobs

Network Rail dispute: RMT signalworker speaks to The Socialist

Workplace news in brief


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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Standing against cuts and privatisation


Socialist Party news and analysis

Yorkshire on the campaign trail

Developing a strategy to defeat the far-right

Waltham Forest: on march against redundancies

Cameron shows Tories still anti-gay

Council cuts: Grim Reaper moving to Surrey

Lewisham councillors' record

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Terror returns to Moscow For workers' unity against terror, repression, racism and capitalism

Eurozone crisis: Hanging together or hanging separately


Youth

Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

Southampton University protest

May Day march in Hull: Rebuilding traditions of struggle


Socialist Party review

When We Were Miners


 

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Related links:

Unemployed:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Universal Credit - Universal Misery

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

trianglePCS protest

triangleFood banks and the real Daniel Blakes

Jobs:

triangleYoung people fighting back: Jobs and homes, not racism

triangleSouth Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

triangleP&O: defend every job - nationalise the ferries

triangleLifting the lockdown: workers must not pay the price

Claimants:

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

triangleFight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

trianglePCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Young people:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: The future for young people

triangleLeeds & York Socialist Party: The future for young people

Benefits:

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

Employment and Support Allowance:

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

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