Government launches £1bn jobs fund as unemployment hits 2.2 million

The government’s £1bn Future Jobs Fund is launched today, following the announcement that unemployment has risen to 2.2 million.

Figures released yesterday (12 May) by the Office of National Statistics revealed the jobless total had increased by 244,000 between January and March 2009, with the unemployment rate having risen to 7.1% over the three months to February 2009.

But Tony McNulty, minister for employment, said the government remained committed to helping those who lost their jobs, and called on local authorities and other organisations to get involved with the new fund, which aimed to create 150,000 new jobs.

To access the £1bn funding, organisations must submit bids for jobs they believe will improve their local community.

McNulty said: “We understand that people are finding times tough, but we will not give up on them. From today, the fund is open for business and we are calling on local authorities, social enterprises and the wider third sector to bid for money to create real, meaningful, jobs to help kick-start careers.”

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