Government accused of failing to cut joblessness in deprived areas

Industrial Society has accused the Government of failing to cut joblessness in
deprived areas and warned that those on the margins of the labour market will
suffer most during the downturn.

Work, a new report by the Industrial Society, claims that the narrow notions of
work are limiting the chances of returning thousands of people to employment
and highlights nearly 70 areas of the UK where employment rates have remained
below 70 per cent.

areas include 19 in Wales, 14 in Scotland and nine in Northern Ireland which
are characterised by fewer affordable transport services, childcare places and
public services.

report also claims that people in these areas also endure poor housing, the
worst levels of healthcare and poor rates of economic activity.

Work calls for government initiatives like the New Deal to be modified to
enable a broader definition of work that would include volunteering and
community work. 

report also calls for changes to the welfare system that would allow jobseekers
to combine personal development with social volunteering or community
participation without damaging their benefits or prospects.

By Ross Wigham

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