Sunday, 12 April 2009
How to solve unemployment
As I don't have any insider gossip on Draper, Guido, McBride, LabourList, RedRag or anything related to this "gasp" provoking scandal, I thought I'd write something about the more important stuff.
Today children...unemployment. It is not as sexy a topic as SmearGate, I'll grant you, but in the grand scheme of things I'm listing it as more important in the long run than telling some lies, and who told you to tell those lies.
As Political Dissuasion does from time to time, I have a wacky idea that I know has little hope of ever becoming part of an economic recovery plan (like my under-appreciated flat rate of income tax curveball).
Unemployment is soaring and is expected to hit 3million. If you speak to the large number of people you know who are currently job-hunting, they will tell you how difficult it is, how many people are applying for each job and how few jobs there are in the first place.
What if, for six months, only those unemployed or not in full-time permanent employment were allowed to apply for jobs? This would reduce the unemployment numbers, relieve jobseeker allowance expenditure, and solve a large part of the gloom surrounding this recession. I know it seems a bit of an odd suggestion, but I feel that the benefits of this would outweigh the negatives by a long way. And as it would only be for, say six months, this would create very little drawback for industry. Yes, some sectors would be allowed, for very specific posts, some exceptions, but only in very rare circumstances. And after going through a full recruitment process, if a company cannot find any candidates at all who are suitable, then, and only then, would they be allowed to 'openly recruit'.
When Gordon Brown highlights how many vacancies there are in the country, it doesn't make a difference to my experience (or hope) of still not being able to find employment. This system would find jobs for those who have suitable experience and skills which would suit the employer.
So employers would have two options, either:
- look at what's out there and if you find someone suitable, you've got an employee you approve of and if that fails then after that, you can open it up to anyone, or,
- hold off for six months and make the appointment then.
Those wanting to move jobs or who hate their jobs will have to make the sacrifice of 'sticking it out' for those six months, part of the national sacrifice we all have to make in these times (which will soon include - higher taxes, less public service expenditure, a return to 17.5% VAT, lower or no pay rises, lower or no bonuses, a crackdown on 'expenses', negative equity for more people, mortage difficulty etc etc etc). Those made redundant would have a much healthier chance of not becoming one of the long-term unemployed, getting back to work and generally creating a stronger, working economy.
The difference this policy would make to people's lives (potentially 3million people!), would be enormous.And all it would take is 6 months to make a huge dent, in a huge problem.