DESPITE recent drops in unemployment, long term unemployment remains a significant problem.
The figures released for September 2012 revealed a 2% increase on the number of people unemployed longer than 12 months on the previous month – and a massive 128% increase on that time last year.
People cannot get jobs without opportunities and the longer they’re out of work the harder it is for them to get back into jobs. The Government’s ‘Work Programme’ is supposed to help long-term claimants get back into work. It is supposed to deliver tailored support for the long-term unemployed who need more help to undertake active and effective job seeking, supporting them to overcome barriers that prevent them from finding and staying in work.
But the increase in long-term unemployment proves that it is not working. And its failures have been well documented. The National Audit Office has raised doubts that the programme will achieve the Government’s target of getting 40% of the largest group of job seekers in the programme into employment.
The challenge for us is to identify where and why the work programme has gone wrong so that we can fix the mess that we are likely to inherit from this shambles of a government.
As a politician I want to hear real-life stories about people’s experiences of unemployment and the support that they have received.
So I have invited Liam Byrne, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to join with me at a public meeting so that we can learn from you. It’s on Friday, November 16 at 12.15pm at Bebington Civic Centre. It would be great to see you there.
More information is available on my website at www.alisonmcgovern.org.uk/unemployment