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David Cameron signals intent to tackle the "jobs crisis" by "Getting Britain Working"

Scroll down for Sunday afternoon update!

David Cameron has written for both the Sunday Telegraph and News of the World tomorrow about how he would deal with unemployment.

The Tory leader's article is not yet on the Telegraph website, but elsewhere the paper reports:

"In a key sign that the Tories are ready to campaign on jobs and unemployment – seen as traditional Labour territory – the Tory leader says he will scrap the government's flagship New Deal, a costly programme dependent on state intervention which aims to bring down youth unemployment.

"Instead the Conservatives will this week unveil a new plan, called "Get Britain Working" – which will see sweeping changes to policy across whole swathes of Whitehall in an attempt to "unleash investment and entrepreneurial activity that helps create more jobs".

"Mr Cameron's article puts wholesale reform of Britain's welfare system at heart of his drive for jobs – masterminded by Lord (David) Freud, the welfare expert who "defected" from advising the government to become a Tory shadow minister earlier this year."

Meanwhile, writing in the News of the World, Mr Cameron writes about his desire to tackle what he calls "Labour’s jobs crisis":

"This year, unemployment rose at the fastest rate on record. One in five young people are out of work. And even before the recession almost five million people were claiming out-of-work benefits. It is vital that we get to grips with this problem. It’s not just that it comes with a price-tag of tens of billions a year.It’s that mass unemployment can lead to massive social problems — like family breakdown and crime — and that affects us all. A crisis of this scale, that runs so deep, cannot be solved with one policy or programme alone. It means ripping up the old way of doing things and bringing radical change across the whole of our economy."

Sunday 2pm update:

The party has now release details of what is calling The Work Programme, which is encapsulated as follows:

  • Simplifying Labour’s numerous and piecemeal programmes into one single back-to-work programme for everyone on out of work benefits;
  • Including support back into work for the 2.6 million people claiming Incapacity Benefits currently excluded by Labour;
  • Abolishing the Treasury’s rule that prevents the Government paying work providers using the benefits saved once someone has a job, which will allow support to be offered tothe 2.6 million people on Incapacity Benefit;
  • Offering greater support to the young unemployed by referring them on to the Work Programme after 6 months of unemployment compared to a year under the Flexible New Deal;
  • Paying providers by results with a focus on truly sustainable outcomes and bigger rewards for getting the hardest to help into a job.

In addition, four programmes will supplement the Work Programme:

Youth Action for Work. All those aged 18-24 who have been claiming JSA for six months will be referred to a Work Programme provider with a responsibility to help that young person into work, with the option of offering them training and job support within their own organisation, or making use of one of the following options:

  • Work Pairings – on average, 50,000 places a year for young people, who will be assigned to sole traders for six months of meaningful work experience and mentoring;
  • Apprenticeships – we will provide 100,000 additional apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships each year by offering SMEs incentives to take on apprentices and by simplifying the system;
  • FE College places – we will help FE colleges to provide 50,000 additional training places per year for young people who have been on JSA for six months or more;
  • Vocational education for 14-16 year olds – we will expand the government’s Young Apprenticeship (YA) scheme, which offers vocational training for 14-16 year olds, from the current 10,000 to over 30,000 a year.  

Work for Yourself. Helping move people into self-employment by building a network of business mentors and offering substantial loans to would-be entrepreneurs, supporting self-employment and franchising as a route back into work.

Work Together. Connecting people with volunteering opportunities in their area.

Work Clubs. Building on the success of voluntary job clubs – many of which are being led by Conservative candidates and MPs – to establish and offer some funding for a network of Work Clubs where people can gather to share experiences and offer support. These will be similar to job clubs, but will also provide an opportunity for people to offer and receive mentoring, skills training and to find local opportunities. 

Jonathan Isaby

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