While my idea wouldn't eradicate unemployment, it would make a massive, positive difference in recession-hit times such as these, helping millions of people and fast-tracking one area of recovery which will lag far behind the rest of the country's 'green shoots'.
For a six month period, anyone in full-time permanent employment, would not be able to apply for a new job.
It's as simple as that.
On average, there are 250,000 new job vacancies created each month in the UK. If all of these jobs went to unemployed citizens over a six month period, almost half of the projected unemployed (peaking at 3.25m) would be back in employment, earning, paying taxes, with a higher morale, and NOT receiving benefits.
Any future redundancies, made in these 6 months, would be a far less crippling blow then before, as new redundees(?) would have a far better chance of getting back too work.
The long-term unemployed would also be in a better position, with less excuses, to get back to work.
Some may argue that:
- It's not fair on businesses as they have a limited talent pool to choose from. I strongly believe that the majority of vacancies could be filled with a suitable candidate from those who are unemployed. If a company goes through the recruitment process and after interviewing the candidates, then they would then be allowed to advertise openly to all as they have a valid business case for it. If they do find a suitable candidate...then that's a big win for everyone!
- It's not fair on those currently in jobs who could miss out on opportunities. Sorry to sound socialist, but in the current climate, people should feel lucky they have a job. A six month hiatus will not cripple business or your career prospects, and this proposal, like tax rises, would be one of the effective sacrifices the country has to make to get back on it's feet.
- Those who hate their jobs would be stuck in a situation which is not good for them. I would argue that if it's that bad you would have quit before, so you can put up with it for the next 6 months. If you can't put up with it, if it is really that bad, then you would be quitting regardless, only now you would have a better chance of finding work than you would be without this policy.
- And although we would no doubt have to get it passed some European directive, I'm sure that this would be do-able, if we really put our minds to it!
In addition to this policy, businesses could be encouraged by getting paid some of the money that would otherwise have been spent on unemployment benefit, an incentive scheme.
Stopping those already in a job applying for a new one would be massively beneficial for this country, with very, very few negative consequences. The taxpayer would save money in paying less in benefits. The unemployed, those worst affected by the recession, would be given that helping hand that VAT cuts and mortgage approval schemes do not offer them.
We would be better off as a country, and am yet to find any arguments against this policy which outweigh the benefits, so please feel free to let me know if there are any. This is the type of "tough decision" our country willhave to make over the next few years.