Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/607/8697
Leeds City Council Future Jobs Fund is no solution
LEEDS CITY council recently announced that they had secured funding for 734 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund. A city councillor, Les Carter, said these are 'real jobs,' that they want to ensure they were sustainable and that those getting them do not end up claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).
But these jobs are all temporary, for only six months, and are spread out over a period of 18 months. Whilst the councillor's words sound sweet, the truth is much sourer. There is talk of 'support', 'help' and 'assistance' for young people but no guarantee of a permanent job and doubtless few, if any, will pay a living wage of £8 an hour or above.
In nearby Wakefield, a similar number of Future Jobs Fund jobs were announced a few months before. Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) campaign supporters there pointed out that even if they were real jobs, it is a splash in the ocean which wouldn't affect 80% of unemployed youth in Wakefield. In Leeds, with a much bigger population, a similar figure of jobs is barely a ripple.
And local councils plan massive job cuts - Kirklees and Leeds both plan to shed about 20% of their workforce. In Leeds this is a direct loss from the council of 3,000 jobs, and cutbacks at Leeds University could lead to 700 jobs being lost there too.
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Join the Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration in Leeds
Saturday 13 February
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Wages and conditions
Even when jobs remain, councils want to slash hard fought for wages and conditions as Leeds bin workers found out when they were forced into a 12 week strike to defend themselves. And whoever wins the 2010 General Election will make further swingeing cuts.
However, Leeds is actually below the national average in the percentage of young people (16-24) claiming JSA. In Yorkshire and Humberside region, Bradford has 6.01%, Huddersfield 6.39%, Sheffield 6.67%, Wakefield 7.05%, Barnsley 8.73%, Doncaster 8.93% as well as the two highest and fastest increasing in the country, Grimsby (9.86%) and Hull (10.55%).
Youth Fight for Jobs fights for a real future for young people, instead of the paltry handouts the main parties offer. They seem happy to throw young people on the scrapheap whilst their MPs fiddle their expenses and bankers get record breaking £40 billion bonuses.
Instead of those who caused the recession getting rewarded for it, the money should be spent on getting all young people secure jobs with decent pay, or training or education without leaving us with a heap of debt.
Click here to download leaflet for Youth Fight for Jobs Leeds demo
In The Socialist 13 January 2010:
Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party international feature
International socialist news and analysis