Scottish taskforoe forjoh
Labour's proposals on youth unemployment are influenced by Scottish success stories. But they also offer warnings for the new Government. Words: Stephen Naysmith
THE HEAD OF a pioneering Glasgow strategy for tackling unemployment has warned the new Labour Government not to force young people into work and training schemes.
The Glasgow Works project helped inspire Labour's policy to take 250,000 16—25 year olds off benefit and put them to work. However its programme manager Bob Marshall has highlighted pitfalls which must be avoided if the Government's plans are to succeed.
He claimed ’intermediate' work placements should be as close as possible to the real labour market, adding, 'This means no compulsion, no benefits sanctions and no mass environmental schemes which immediately stigmatise the unemployed.‘
The comments, published in Working Brief, the newsletter of the London-based Unemployment Unit, caused agitation within the Labour Party when they appeared just ahead of the election. They were seen as embarassing, given that Labour had praised the Glasgow Works model when launching its plans.
However Marshall said he did not mean to appear critical of Labour proposals. 'I‘m 100 per cent supportive of their objectives. I was talking about the need to make any programme of very good quality,’ he explained.
Glasgow Works offers up to a year of paid employment in real jobs, with training and suppOrt — trainees get the equivalent of the market rate of pay. All those who participate in the scheme have been unemployed for at least one year. It is behind the uniformed city centre 'reps' scheme which offers work to help the long-term unemployed bck into the jobs market.
Over 800 people have taken part in the programme, and 1996 figures found that 62 per cent found jobs after leavmg the scheme. Over 80 per cent of those jobs were full-time and permanent.
By comparison, the last Government's Training for Work Scheme had a success rate of only 20 per cent. Marshall said the success of Glasgow Works was down to credibility. 'You've got to take the young people with you.’
However the Government’s plans for an Environ-
mental Task Force are a risky prOpOSIIIOft according to Marshall, With a danger that such work could become a stigmatising 'last resort'
Another Scottish body, Forward Scotland, has strong ideas about making such a tas‘kforc‘e work, and could also provide a model for Labour According to Chief exeCUtive George Chalmers, the need is for genume work and wages alongside a ’sustainahle' development philosophy
He Cited one Forward Scotland project ‘.‘/ltt"f(" volunteers involved in forest management collect dead wood and Supply it to local pensioners as an extremely Cheap $0urce of fuel. 'This helps them cope ‘.‘v’llil VAT on fuel, uses a renewable energy source and has a posmve environmental effect,’ Chalmers explained
However SUCh schemes uSually cater for a small number of people, and would be expensive if workers
And ﬁnally. . . Murphy’s law says alw
WHAT IS IT with the big knobs down Hollywood way? They clearly enjoy living life on the edge of their car- seats. First we had Hugh Grant and Divine Brown making a meal of
Britain after all despite the Reds getting in. Perhaps Jim Davidson will ; go instead, after blaming his imminent bankruptcy on Tony Blair. Seems that his scheme to restore Wellington Pier cost him £30,000 in architects' fees, while his claim for
ays stop for red lights
things and now it's Eddie Murphy’s reputation which is set to be blown skyhigh. Twenty-year-old transsexual erotic dancer Atisone Seuili received a lift from Murphy in the early hours in the hottest of LA's red-light zones. The reason, according to Murphy spokesbloke Paul Block, is his samaritan-like tendencies. So, next time you're cruising in LA, remember it is your Christian duty to stop and offer a lift to the nearest sex-swap type in a
lottery cash was rejected. 'Someone can now have a hip replacement in Halifax but we won't have a pier in Great Yarmouth,’ said Jim, ever the wag.
TALKING OF UNCLE Tony, the new
PM is beginning a dismantling of the
monarchy, albeit in a rather roundabout way. Humphrey, the Downing Street cat stands accused of chomping on one of the Queen's ducks at the gates of Buck House. A
DON'T YOU JUST hate it when people fail to carry out their threats? Frank Bruno and Andrew Lloyd- Webber may not be deserting
witness to the slaughter quoth - 'I saw him swaggering into Downing Street with this fluffy duckling in his mouth. He looked like the cat that : got the cream.’ Are we still talking about Humphrey?
GRATUITOUS GO at the police time. - Going on a blurred photo of a speeding car which showed neither the driver nor the number plate, Grampian Police's inquiries led to disabled retired bus driver David
less generation inspires Labour
City centre 'reps‘: Glasgow cheme boasts a phenomenal success rate
are to receive a proper wage as Fort-yard Scotland
advocates. A spokesman for the Department of Education and EmpIOymeiit said there was no timetable yet for
the introduction of one of the Gowernmeiit's key
manifesto promises 'Over the first few days David Blunkett has been Out
and about looking at what Is lieing done Glasgow Works is the sort of programme that the Government 5
will be looking at,’ he said
However, benefits sanctions do seem likely to be part i of Labour's plans On the issue “ll 't',-llil)'tllS|()ll, he 5 insisted 'There will be four choites work With the
private sector, work with the voluntary sector, joming the environmental task force or taking up the option to study There will not he a fifth option of life on benefit '
Cosgrove. The chap's alibi appeared sound — he was asleep at the time and hadn't been on the road in question for five years. After pursuing all the angles, the rozzers
admitted their error. 'We boobed,’ a < police spokesperson confessed. Case solved.
. POOR OLD PAULA Yates. Having had 5 to endure years of sniping due to her naturally-challenged body parts and her children's fanciful names, she may have seen nothing yet. The latest scandal is her alleged bloodlink to the late Hughie ’Opportunity Knocks' Green. His lifelong pal and the gory tale's leaker, Noel Botham told of Hughie's anguish whenever Paula was in trouble. 'He'd say “I’d love to put her across my knee — bring her to her senses'," I’m actually starting to feel a bit sorry for her. And I mean that most sincerely, folks. (Brian Donaldson)
l6 ~29 ltlay l‘JQ/ THElISTS