Memorandum from Newcastle Young Peoples
Training and Employment Forum
18-24 YEAR OLDS
New Deals great strength is that it is about
individuals needs, and consulting people about what they want
and what the Employment Service can and can't provide.
Unlike the government training schemes by the
last Government or proposals by the present opposition party,
New Deal is not just a short term fix to hide the real unemployment
figures by forcing people into unsuitable and unsatisfactory schemes.
The Employment Service (ES) management and staff
are trying to treat claimants as individuals with skills and talents
as well as people needing help to find lasting sustainable work.
The Government should not demand the ES meet targets which are
not obtainable without pressure and compulsion, because trust
New Deal eligibility entitles the claimant to
a New Deal personal advisor, one of the great successes of the
The gateway period has shortfalls, large numbers
of claimants are encouraged to apply for jobs which are not New
Deal jobs. Unsubsidised jobs already advertised at the Job Centre
with up to 30 per cent not lasting 13 weeks compared to subsidised
jobs with only 8.5 per cent not lasting for 13 weeks.
These are not New Deal jobs but of the 216,000
jobs New Deal takes credit for, only 25,000 are new jobs directly
set up because of subsidies established by New Deal, 191,000 jobs
are unsubsidised and would be in the Job Centre without the subsidies
of New Deal.
We agree with the Government that people need
assistance to become more employable and in the South East of
England where unemployment is low this is all that is required,
but New Deal requires job creation as well as improved employability
in the Tyneside area.
There are not enough jobs for the newly employable
new dealers with their qualification on completing New Deal. 91.5
per cent of subsidised jobs on New Deal last 13 weeks or more,
so only 22,650 jobs were created from April 1998 to April 2000
directly by New Deal.
The Gateway needs to determine how many people
are job ready, how many need some assistance to get them job ready,
and how many could not hold onto a job if given one because of
personal problems? All those in the latter category should be
given extensive and wide ranging assistance and removed from any
benefit suspension regime as part of their status of having personal
The voluntary sector and environmental task
force options are not likely to lead to participants being retained
in paid work at the end of a six-month placement and those on
these options only receive £15.38 above their benefit. These
options are about improving employability, so why can't the Government
develop the Intermediate Labour Market System and use funds from
the European Social Fund, ESF and Single Regeneration Budgets,
SRB, Coalfield Regeneration funding, and New Deal for the communities,
to pay those on the increased employability programme £160
per week and make it like a real job, with real wages.
FOR FTET PARTICIPANTS
Full time education and training (FTET) option
needs re-organising so that any person doing a 12 month programme
has automatic and immediate access on completion of education
or training and after gaining a qualification to reach the industry
standard of qualification to get a job in the occupation they
have trained in. FTET involves 72,000 people aged 18 to 24 years
old on average at any one given time. It is a massively oversubscribed
option, with participants doing 30 hours study or training per
week. It is surely wrong that participants receive no income over
and above JSA payment, for being in a college or training environment
working, studying, constantly being available for 30 hours a week.
Our organisation interviewed 43 FTET students at Newcastle college
on 11 April 2000, 33 said they had suffered hunger themselves,
three others had not personally suffered hunger, but knew of people
on their course who had and 40 out of the 43 agreed they should
get parity with those on the other non-waged options ie £15.38
per week extra.
Those who suffer are those who don't have parents
who are earning enough to subsidise them while on FTET. Lack of
concentration or FTET participants not staying all day because
of hunger will lead to many FTET students failing their course
or becoming disillusioned and dropping out. FTET can be a good
option if hunger is eliminated for all participants and having
food as a right not a privilege is enshrined in the principle
The Government to be supportive of the Employment
Service who want to tailor the New Deal programme to meet the
needs of the individual participant.
The Government should resist setting impossible
demands on the Employment Service to meet job outcomes, that require
it to pressure participants to take options that they don't want
just so that targets set by Government can be met by the Employment
Job creation must be included in areas of high
unemployment, financed by the Government because employability
is not enough in their areas and employability without a job can
lead to disillusionment by participants who have completed the
option and gained a qualification on a New Deal option.
Compulsion and benefit suspension should never
happen to those who have personal problems, which make them ineligible
for taking a job. Those who can't get on the top option employment
option because too few employers came along and are herded onto
ETF or VSO should not have benefit suspended while denied access
to the employment option.
Parity of allowance with all those on non-waged
option for FTET. Those on JSA don't have to be at a training centre
or college for 30 hours a week and therefore extra payment is
required to keep up food intake and avoid dips in concentration
because of hunger, £15.38 to be given to all FTET participants
as soon as possible.
Newcastles Young Peoples Training and Employment