The Great Debate UK

The long term unemployed – an untapped workforce

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- Chris Melvin is Chief Executive of Reed in Partnership. Any views expressed are his own -

The latest employment figures from the Government today confirm analyst predictions that despite the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance beginning to level out, pay is down and the number of people recently out of work has increased.

In a climate such as this, with an ongoing influx of the newly unemployed into the market, it’s vital that we maintain help for the long-term unemployed to ensure they are not left behind, with an increased focus on getting them back into work.

There is a danger that people on benefits who have been out of work for some time, could end up being ‘parked’ in favour of those who are closer to the labour market and considered more ‘work ready’. We need to make a concerted effort to ensure that support services, such as re-skilling, confidence-building and training courses are widely available to the long-term unemployed so that when the economy does improve, this group of people will be in a good position to move into work.

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