Tagged: employers

Unemployment: Local Government Association praises the work of North East councils

Councils are doing more to help unemployed people than the Government as data shows people are falling through the cracks.

The Local Government Association has made the claim as the North East shoulders the country’s highest unemployment rate (9.1%) and as its research shows there has been an alarming 28% increase in the number of unemployed not claiming benefits in the last 18 months.

> Is that because they’ve been sanctioned ? 

It means that while Government data does not reveal the full extent of the problem, the LGA says local authorities are being left to pick up the pieces.

The LGA has praised North East councils for working with employers, charities and voluntary groups, schools, colleges and housing associations, and says schemes are offering one-to-one mentoring, training, work placements and apprenticeships at a crucial time.

LGA chairman David Sparks said the capacity for councils to play this role, however, is under threat as all parties eye further cuts.

He said:

“Unemployment is falling, but the headlines hide the plight of our most vulnerable residents who are falling through the cracks. Too many are let down by national job schemes which are unable to identify or help them because they have not signed on at their local Jobcentre Plus.

“Councils across the country are desperate to ensure no-one is left behind and have sought to support those being forgotten by these national services by using their local knowledge, expertise and connections with local organisations and services to target their hardest to reach residents.”

Council leaders say national schemes aim to simply shift people from the benefits queue and that approach is damaging for some of the most vulnerable, such as young or disabled people.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said the news was more evidence that the Government must devolve more powers to the North East.

He said:

“The Government are more interested in getting people off benefits than getting them into work. The reality is the jobs that are being created are in most cases, part-time, low wage and zero contract hours.

“Local authorities are having much more success in helping people into jobs and training than Government because they have a better understanding of what is happening in their area.”

Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council said:

“The national approach is to move people off the benefits register as quickly as possible, but sometimes this can be to the detriment of more vulnerable residents and can exacerbate their situation if they take the first job that comes along and they are not ready to work.

“Our approach has been to offer residents constructive and comprehensive advice and support to help them back into work at the right time for them and the employer. In partnership with employers, we have designed initiatives to support jobs and apprenticeship creation this has created over 400 new jobs apprenticeships over the past three years.

“Although there have been national schemes offering wage subsidies, feedback from our employers showed that the schemes were too difficult to access due to a vast amount of eligibility criteria.

“We have taken the time to understand the barriers that our residents face when looking to go back into employment and then commissioned community learning programmes that will address those issues, such as literacy and numeracy programmes and support to help residents gain IT and money management skills.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 14 Jan 2015

Youth Unemployment & Mental Illness In North East

More than one in five young people in the North East have experienced symptoms of mental illness as a direct result of unemployment, a new report warns today.

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index paints a bleak picture of young people’s mental health and wellbeing in the region, with the report finding that young people who are long-term unemployed are more than twice as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.

The report comes at a time when Newcastle has seen a 279% increase in the number of young people claiming benefits for more than six months since the beginning of the recession.

Jonathan Townsend, Northern regional director of The Prince’s Trust, said: “Unemployment is proven to cause devastating, long-lasting mental health problems among young people. Thousands wake up every day believing that life isn’t worth living, after struggling for years in the dole queue.

“Here in Newcastle, 795 young people are facing long-term unemployment and there is a real danger that these young people will become hopeless, as well as jobless.

“Our research highlights that unemployed young people are significantly less likely to ask for help if they are struggling to cope. Our message to them is this: organisations like The Prince’s Trust are supporting young people like you every day, helping them back into work, education or training. You are not alone and you need not struggle alone.”

The Prince’s Trust, which works to help young people looking for work, last year worked with 426 disadvantaged young people across Newcastle. It also has a centre in Benwell, in the city’s West End. The charity’s survey found that nearly a third of young people from the city said they “always” or “often” feel down or depressed with the report showing that long-term unemployed people are significantly more likely to feel this way.

One in four young people locally admitted they feel like a “waste of space” – higher than the national average – with the report finding that the long-term unemployed are more than twice as likely to feel this way.

> I wonder why that is ? Just a wild guess, but you dont think it might have something to do with the relentless “skivers not strivers” propaganda channelled through the media direct from the government ? 

Not to mention the treatment handed out by the DWP through its Jobcentres, Work Programme, etc ?

All the stupid hoops you have to jump through, with the possibility of a sanction if you slip up, however trivially ?

It’s enough to unhinge the sanest at the best of times.

The Prince’s Trust is now calling for urgent support from the Government, health agencies and employers to fund its work with long-term unemployed young people battling mental health issues.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “This research proves that unemployment is a public health issue. It is one that must be tackled urgently and it is essential that youth unemployment is added to the public health agenda.

“Unemployed young people are struggling in many aspects of their lives, from their mental health and wellbeing to their relationships and their qualifications and we must act quickly to end this.”

> Well, maybe they could take a lot of the pressure off by just acting in a humane way, and stop treating the unemployed (of any age) as an enemy that must be crushed at all costs. 

Stop sanctions, start admitting that we are an area of high unemployment and probably always will be…and most of all stop the vile media propaganda.

All easy to do and would cost very little.  But, conspiracy theories notwithstanding, I’m starting to think that the government actually want things the way they are. They have absolutely no interest in improving life for the poorer sections of society.

And they keep getting away with it, so why does anyone think they’ll stop ?

Source – Newcastle Journal, 02 Jan 2014

 

RIP Tim Salter and Denis Jones. Is This What You Wanted Iain Duncan Smith?

the void

Iain-Duncan-Smith415Ever since this Government weren’t elected the question has been raised whether Iain Duncan Smith really is a murderous tyrant, or whether he’s just a fucking idiot.

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter anymore.  The end result of his policies will be the same whichever is the case.  A result as tragic as it was predictable, as poverty not seen in generations returns to the UK.

The recent case of Tim Salter, who committed suicide after benefits were stopped due to the brutal Atos assessment regime, is far from the first death directly linked to welfare  reforms.  At the end of last month two suicides linked to Atos assessments were reported in just one week. Also reported just before Christmas was the death of Denis Jones, a disabled former soldier who died alone five weeks after his benefits were stopped.  Whilst his death was recorded as natural causes…

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Government website publishes prostitute recruitment advert

Feel you’ve been fucked over by the DWP ?  Now they’re offering you out for money too. Gives a whole new meaning to the term Poverty Pimp

An advert for a job as a ­prostitute has appeared on a Government website.

The bungling Department of Work and Pensions allowed the “no experience necessary” offer for a single girl willing to work as a hooker to be posted on Direct Gov.

The ad, offering £10 an hour, put up by an agency called Horny Escorts on a board popular with jobseekers, offers work on a “flexitime” basis with the only qualification needed listed as “must like sex”.

The description said: “Female worker wanted to go out with guys maybe for evening or have full on sex.”

In grammatically incorrect English it continues: “This would be better if you was single and be able to work at your own pace.

“Looks and race ­unimportant. You will need a mobile phone. No experience necessary.”

The advert was posted on the Universal Jobmatch area of the Direct Gov site last Monday by the boss of the agency.

It only has one man and woman working for it but boasts of having “the most gorgeous and ­sophisticated women and men in the UK.”

The manager said: “I put the advert up there because it’s a job site and it’s a job. I was a bit shocked they allowed it.

“I also do deliveries and I had posted an ad for a same-day delivery service and then I just put the escorting one underneath it.

“The advert says ‘must like sex’ because if a man pays for it obviously he’s going to want that. I thought the Department of Works and Pensions would admin it.

“I didn’t know it would go straight online.”

He said he decided to ­advertise after business slowed down, saying: “It’s not been that good.”

A DWP spokesman admitted the blunder but refused to say if ads were read before they went live.

He said: “The post was ­inappropriate and was taken down next day.

“When advertising jobs, employers have to agree to terms and conditions. Where an inappropriate job is ­identified it is quickly removed.”

Source – Daily mirror, 29 Dec 2013