'A fifth of Bradford district doesn't want to work' claims new survey (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
'A fifth of Bradford district doesn't want to work' claims new survey
A fifth of people in Bradford “do not want a job”, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
The Labour Force survey, a random sample of people aged 16 to 64, found that 20 per cent of people in the district stated that they did not wish to find work.
The survey also revealed that 26 per cent of those questioned were classed as ‘economically inactive.’ The ONS has also published further analysis of the last UK census, revealing that more than 32,000 people in the Bradford district have never been in any form of official employment, the second highest figure in the UK outside London, just behind Birmingham.
Scrutinising the period from July 2012 to June 2013, the Labour Force survey found that 65 per cent of people across Bradford were in some form of employment, but 20 per cent, or a fifth of those questioned, were classed as “economically inactive” and “not wanting a job”.
This group chose not to disclose a reason why they did not want to work, ignoring options such as being on long-term sickness, looking after a family home or being a student.
The remainder of people were classed as either unemployed but available for work, or economically inactive but wanting to find a job.
Meanwhile, the new census analysis showed that 8.8 per cent of residents across the district aged 16 to 74 had never been in any form of official employment.
This figure, well above the UK average of 3.8 per cent, takes into account people who survive on their own personal wealth, the combined income of a family or partner, or those who receive contributions from state benefits.
The total of those who have never worked included a high proportion of women, 13.3 per cent, or more than 24,000, again well in excess of the national average, which is just 5.1 per cent.
Councillor Glen Miller, leader of Bradford Council’s Conservative group, said the figures painted a very sad state of affairs for the district.
He said: “There is a section of people living here who have no intention of working and are quite happy to stay in bed or work on the black economy. Our benefits system should not allow people to do that and the faster they are caught out the better. Some sections of society are getting lazy and seem quite happy to survive on benefits.
“Why should they be allowed to stay at home when the vast majority of people are out at work?”
But Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, portfolio holder for Employment, Skills and Culture at the Labour-led Council, said: “The Government’s Work programme is wholly inadequate to get the long-term unemployed into work.
“That’s why here in Bradford we’re funding a programme which equips the long-term unemployed to better compete in the jobs market. Through Get Bradford Working we’re funding training, work placements and in some cases wage subsidies to incentivise employers to give people a chance at a job.
Coun Hinchcliffe said the “vast majority” of people who said they were not seeking work were either students, retired, sick or looking after someone in the home.
Bradford East MP David Ward said there were a high number of people in the most deprived communities of the city who lacked the confidence and skill levels to consider putting themselves forward for jobs.
He said: “I think the problem is a mixture of culture and employability. We have a high proportion of people who may not be applying for jobs because they do not have the basic skills.
“We do need more jobs without a doubt, but we also need a skilled workforce ready to take up those jobs.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Jeanette Sunderland said: “If people choose not to work and not claim any form of benefits, then that is their choice. Those who choose to stay at home to look after families or elderly relatives, for example, should not be used in these sort of calculations.
“Whilst it is difficult for some people to find work, there is no room for those who choose to live off others.”
George Galloway, MP for Bradford West, said: “Unemployment in the Bradford West constituency stood at 12.7 per cent according to latest figures, and I don’t accept that these people don’t want to work. Benefits are getting ever more sparse, and the idea you would want to live on them alone is a nonsense. If jobs are there and they are reasonably paid, it is far better than being on the dole.
“The problem is that we have an under-skilled and under-educated workforce in Bradford, linked to a dearth of jobs. Many people are working on or below the minimum wage, and still have to claim benefits to survive.”
Comments are closed on this article.