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Call for Labour to adopt Bradford Council's jobs scheme
Ed Miliband was urged to adopt a job-creation scheme pioneered in Bradford, to get Britain’s army of young jobless into work.
Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, was asked to explain its jobs programme, at a fringe meeting at Labour’s conference.
And she urged the Labour leader to make a manifesto pledge to provide national funding for such schemes, after the failure of private firms to get youngsters off the dole.
Coun Hinchcliffe also went further – suggesting town halls should be allowed to keep some of the savings made by getting people off benefits, as a direct reward.
Labour-run Bradford Council has gained attention after taking its own action to boost jobs and apprenticeships for young people through a £7.7m programme.
Meanwhile, the Government’s multi-million pound Work Programme – paying private-sector giants on a payment-by-results basis – has been described as “comprehensively failing”.
At the meeting, Coun Hinchcliffe said: “We have the highest proportion of young people outside London and it therefore remains a key priority for us – in spite of massive Government cuts.
“On its own, the Government’s Work programme is wholly inadequate to get people who are long-term unemployed into work.
“In Bradford, since the recession, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance for more than 12 months has increased five-fold.
“Inevitably, people who have been out of work a long time need more support to get a job – which is why, in Bradford, we designed our own local programme to fill in the gaps.”
The Employment Opportunities Fund gives the young jobless a paid 12-month work placement, to build their skills and confidence – and has placed 100 people, so far.
Turning to Labour’s 2015 manifesto, Coun Hinchcliffe added: “I'd like to see national funding for more job creation programmes such as the one we’ve designed in Bradford.
“It's been shown to work and, therefore, why not invest in something that works?