Jobless working scheme praised

Chris Dixon with business leaders from the Fylde. Pictured is Howard Lewis
Chris Dixon with business leaders from the Fylde. Pictured is Howard Lewis
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A SCHEME to get the jobless working again is being backed by Fylde coast business leaders.

The Government plans will see unemployed people work for free in companies for at least a month to allow them to receive benefits.

Steve Pye, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses on the Fylde coast, has backed the plans.

He said: “I’m 100 per cent behind the scheme as long as businesses don’t take advantage of the resources they are offered.

“These people are looking for a job and to improve their lives, however, I want to make sure it’s a two way thing and those on work placements and businesses benefit. I don’t want to see those on a placement given menial jobs like making tea or coffee, but anything that gets people back into work is great.”

Mr Pye also believes the project will provide a timely boost to the economy once people start getting the necessary experience required for paid work.

He added: “Anything that helps is excellent.

“It’s the first rung on the ladder for them which is giving them self esteem and it’s better than if they were to sit at home.

“Even though they aren’t going to get paid, they are going to get something out of it.

“If they aren’t going to get paid, they have to get something out of the scheme.

“Once they do a good job and the economy looks up, it might just give them confidence to move on and get a better job.”

Howard Lewis, chairman of Blackpool Business Leadership Group and general manager of Blackpool Hilton Hotel, says the move to help the country’s 887,000 long term unemployed should be effective.

He said: “Anything that gives people an opportunity to get back into work when they’ve been unemployed for a number of months is great.

“We’ve run a number of schemes like this locally and took someone on who came in for free for a month because they did a great job.

“The problem is there aren’t a lot of jobs around, but the person offered the work has to be committed and ready to do the work.”