Tackling Unemployment Problems Using Charities

Unemployment – especially for the young – is an exceptionally challenging issue; with many people out of work, there are massive social ramifications for the whole country and the economy. That’s why, in 2012, David Cameron released the Work Programme – a training scheme that aims to resolve the country’s unemployment issues. However, charities have been threatening to leave the scheme behind, after private firms have been calling the idea hugely profiteering.

Al Capone’s soup kitchen.

So What’s The Dealy-o?

The government has decided to pay a select few companies between £4,000 and £13,700 per employee they bring on board long term. Can anyone see an issue with this already?

When many firms unsurprisingly asked to be a part of this scheme, they all agreed to filter some of that money down to the charities that have been making the unemployed more employable. Yet, the voluntary sector isn’t seeing much of that money already. Many voluntary representatives believe that this scheme would ‘cherry-pick’ only the most employable of the unemployed, meaning that charities are still unable to help the most vulnerable and unemployed, due to a lack of funds.

The Panel on the Independenceof the Voluntary sector (a watchdog) also agreed with these concerns, envoking legal issues – this helpful charity law page offers some good insights for extra guidance on the matter. But overall, it offers credible questions such as, is this really a meaningful attempt to eradicate unemployment?

Charities Are Concerned

During the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the employment minister, Chris Grayling, accused private firms of using charities to attract more contracts. Many people suggested that more needed to be done to prevent private firms from massively profiteering from this programme, as they are effectively receiving thousands of pounds to create their workforce out of the unemployed.

Although more initiatives are needed to help the unemployed to get back to work, this perhaps isn’t the wisest choice. Maybe David Cameron should think about bolstering the support in job centres, rather than vilifying anyone who uses the welfare state?

Or maybe the money should go directly to charities, rather than businesses that aren’t currently employing members for a reason (see ‘the economy’). Anything else looks like bribery and is a system that can be exploited by private companies. Surely this money – which could reach as much as £5bn – would be better spent on providing welfare or supporting unemployment charities?

Meanwhile, the Unemployed…

Due to a lack in welfare support, many families find themselves in poverty due to unemployment. That anyone can’t afford a square meal in a developed country is an embarrassment, but charities (that have already had their state aid cut) seem to be filling in the gaps the government have left behind with their austerity measures. We can see this plainly through the food bank statistics. And new figures show that there are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK (that’s 27% of the population).

Unlike Mr Cameron, not everyone is born into a privileged life and now earns hundreds of thousands of pounds as Prime Minister. Many struggle just to get on the wage ladder, as there are no paid jobs to be had.