A coalition of employment experts has called on the government to offer a guaranteed job to people who have received Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than a year.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC), the think tank the Work Foundation and former work and pensions secretary James Purnell have said that if the government does not offer a job guarantee unemployment will continue to rise for years after the recession finishes.
The coalition has warned the government of a repeat of the 1990s when it took six years after the end of the recession for long-term unemployment to return to pre-downturn levels, the Guardian has reported.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “There must not be a repeat of the last two recessions, when millions of people were stuck in semi-permanent unemployment long after the economy had recovered.
“Long periods out of work can have a devastating impact on people’s health and mass unemployment can crush communities. A Universal job guarantee would help prevent this.
“A job paying decent wages for at least six months provides the kind of experience employers want and gives an unemployed person the best possible chance of getting back to work.”
A Labour source said: “Ministers are looking at exactly this kind of approach. Their first priority is youth employment but they are considering help for the very long-term unemployed.”
The coalition said a job guarantee would need to pay the minimum wage and last for at least six months.
It would be based on the government’s Future Jobs Fund, which guarantees everyone in between the ages of 18 and 24 who has been looking for work for a year will get an offer of a job, work experience, or training lasting at least 6 months.