Them… & Us

Record breakers

A recent survey of recruitment consultants found that the number of vacancies, both temporary and permanent, had declined at the sharpest rate in three years. It is predicted that if present trends continue then unemployment will hit 3 million soon – a figure last seen in the 1980s.

The latest figures released last month revealed that at present there are 2.61 million people unemployed, around one million of them aged 18 to 25. You’d think that the government would be concerned about the situation. That perhaps they’d tackle the problem by creating jobs and training through socially useful public works. But what would their big business mates get out of that?

Paul Callanan

Stuck at home

54% of families are cutting back on day trips this summer because of the cost – an average of £80 a day. A study by charity Family Action showed that transport, food and entry costs mean that many families will be staying at home.

Probation privatisation

The government has awarded a £37 million contract to private company Serco to supervise offenders on probation on community ‘payback schemes’ in London.

A spokesperson for the probation officers union, Napo, rubbished the government’s decision, saying: “This marks the beginning of the privatisation and fragmentation of the probation service. The only way that Serco can achieve the savings they claim is by the reduction of the number of staff and their wages. This will mean that the level of supervision will deteriorate and the breach rate will escalate.”