The Business Services Association is urging politicians to listen to employers, after both Labour and Conservative politicians announced plans to tackle long term unemployment yesterday.
According to BSA director-general Norman Rose, the problems that need to be addressed remain the same whether the scheme is the Government’s New Deal scheme or the Conservative party’s proposals Britain Works
Underlining that the crucial factor is not just about job placement, but sustainable long term employment, Rose said: ‘ The New Deal scheme has done much to support and encourage the young unemployed, but as the Government and Opposition alike recognise, more is now needed.
He continued: ‘The plans outlined by Shadow Employment Secretary Theresa May under the banner of ‘Britain Works’ show an encouraging focus on the partnership between employer and jobseeker. We in BSA have always recognised that this is the key.
‘Our companies are full of people who have moved from the most basic jobs into positions of responsibility. What we need from the Government is a clear focus on developing the structures which will enable the right candidates with the right attitudes to be given the opportunity to develop in this way.’
The ‘Britain Works’ scheme is the Conservative answer to Labour’s ‘New Deal’ which critics say has been a costly failure. The charge is that far more people return to unemployment after a period of training than find a job.
‘Britain Works’ – modelled on the ‘American Works’ programme – would get people ready for jobs and help keep them there by placing more emphasis on basic skills and common sense than qualifications.
Theresa May told conservatives.com yesterday: ‘Britain Works’ will address the failings of Labour’s New Deal by getting people ready for jobs; getting people into jobs and helping to keep them there and will cost £400 million less than the failing New Deal.
‘Under ‘Britain Works’ we would pay private contractors a fee where they find an unemployed person a job and a further success fee if they find them a job which is sustained.’
The focus of the new scheme will be on what employers say they want from new recruits, with the priority on having the right attitude, getting to work on time, being presentable and reliable, and understanding the responsibilities that go with work.
By Helen Gilbert