Less Stick More Carrot: An Alternative Unemployment Strategy

As if anybody would listen… or at least read the rest of this article

A few home truths: nobody can live a life a luxury on Jobseekers’ Allowance, or on any other Social Security benefit; secondly, more money is spent by the Department of Work and Pensions on the State Pension than out-of-work benefits; thirdly, some out-of-work benefits and the State Pension is paid by our good selves through National Insurance contributions. Continue reading “Less Stick More Carrot: An Alternative Unemployment Strategy”

A Fare Deal for Thousands of Jobseekers

New scheme aims to help unemployed persons and newly employed people get to work

Transport for Greater Manchester’s plans aim to eliminate one significant barrier which unemployed and previously unemployed persons face when travelling to and from job interviews or workplaces. Seen here is Dennis Dart SLF WA56 OAO, loading at Oldham bus station on the 350 service to Ashton-under-Lyne via Saddleworth.

Following the success of a trial scheme, Greater Manchester’s jobseekers are set to get a fare deal. Thanks to government funding, 24,000 tickets will be made available for unemployed people attending job interviews or persons settling into their new job. This will be effective till March 2015. Continue reading “A Fare Deal for Thousands of Jobseekers”

Universal Credit: An Absolute Beginners’ Guide

Everything you need to know about the Department for Work and Pensions’ new benefit in Plain English

For several years, some sections of the general public have yearned for a more simplistic social security system. Some may argue that claiming three or more different social security benefits is a bit confusing. At one time, claiming Child Benefit meant queuing in a Post Office to claim their money. Unemployed citizens would at one time queue at a separate DHSS Office and visit their local Job Centre to seek employment. They would go to the former to claim their Unemployment Benefit (cash-in-hand from behind a glass or mesh screened counter). Continue reading “Universal Credit: An Absolute Beginners’ Guide”

‘Bus For Jobs’ Initiative Backed By Stagecoach, FirstGroup and Arriva

New initiative offers cheap bus fares for 800,000 jobseekers

  • Scheme to cover 70% of UK bus routes;
  • Young people in England, Wales and Scotland set to benefit.

Almost a couple of years ago, Iain Duncan-Smith reworked Norman Tebbit’s ‘Get on your bike’ quote and substituted the Chingford MP’s father’s bicycle for the bus. Shortly after suggesting this mode of transport to Merthyr Tydfil’s long term unemployed citizens, the journey time of Stagecoach Islwyn’s route to Cardiff made the left-of-centre newspapers, albeit in negative terms. Continue reading “‘Bus For Jobs’ Initiative Backed By Stagecoach, FirstGroup and Arriva”

Youth Unemployment in Greater Manchester: Is Anyone Listening?

Answers to youth unemployment problems may lie closer to home than the Eurozone

Clarendon Place, Hyde
Along with Manchester, Tameside was one of two Greater Manchester boroughs which saw a rise in unemployment figures over the last month. Picture of Hyde Jobcentre Plus office by Gene Hunt (Creative Commons Attribution License)

Not too long ago, the UK unemployment rate stood at one million. That was one million persons of all ages from throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. This was before the casino capitalism of Lehman Brothers and the City led us to a global financial crisis. Some of the worst excesses of this downturn were assuaged by growth and investment programmes by governments on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. By the start of 2010, the ship appeared to have steadied. Continue reading “Youth Unemployment in Greater Manchester: Is Anyone Listening?”