AT LAST, A WORK PROGRAMME THAT ACTUALLY WORKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
A report released today shows that the Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme, created by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations backed with Scottish Government funding and delivered in partnership with Social Enterprise Scotland, has comprehensively outperformed other employment initiatives.
Top-line results include:
- 40% of young people entered full-time employment after completing a Community Jobs Scotland contract
- 51% found a job, went into training or education, or took up volunteering opportunities on completion of a six-month paid contract with third sector organisations in every local authority in Scotland
- 71% of employers found Community Jobs Scotland employees to have a positive attitude to work and 83% were impressed by their willingness to learn
- 44% of Community Jobs Scotland employers developed a ‘much better’ or ‘better’ perception of young unemployed people
Community Jobs Scotland was based on the highly successful Future Jobs Fund programme, also delivered in Scotland by SCVO, which was set up by the Labour Government but scrapped by the current UK Government in 2010. Long-term unemployed young people are offered a job for six months with a voluntary organisation of at least 25 hours a week. Benefit payments forgone and tax and National Insurance contributions account for at least half of the total cost.
Figures published by DWP on the first group of Work Programme participants who started in June 2011 show that just 25% of them were off benefit after 36 weeks on the programme. Details on the number who have found jobs won’t be released by the UK Government until autumn.
“These results speak for themselves. Investing in young unemployed people through the third sector works – it works for the young people who go on to find sustainable full-time jobs and it works for the sector whose capacity to deliver is being stretched like never before.
“The UK Government can’t afford to continue investing in punitive schemes like the Work Programme, including mandatory unpaid work, that are failing young people. It’s time to focus spending on what we know works.
“The third sector in Scotland has proved that it can help young people find jobs. These results also dispel the myth that young unemployed people are workshy or lacking in skills. Young people want to work and if you give them the opportunity to they will grasp it with both hands.
“The UK Government must take note of the success of Community Jobs Scotland and find a way to expand and replicate this initiative across the country.”