Shocking news buried in the unemployment figures released earlier this week for workers in Chatham & Aylesford. This time last year there were 1361 claiming Jobseekers Allowance but now there are a massive 2681 Jobseekers and increase of 97%. But there are only 189 jobs available meaning that there are 14 applicants for every vacancy. As stock markets recover and bankers bonuses return many are predicting an early end to the recession but it is clear that unemployment levels are still rising and that local workers are going to continue to find it very difficult to make ends meet.
Unreported from Conference, the Conservatives outlined detailed new plans, to simplify Labour’s numerous and piecemeal work programmes into a single back-to-work programme for everyone on out-of-work benefits. This would be backed up with new and additional work pairings, apprenticeships, further education college places and vocational education for young people. There would also be programmes to support self-employment, work clubs and volunteering opportunities to help people prepare for work and find jobs.
Unfortunately it is likely to be six months before Gordon Brown finally calls an election and with national debt rising quickly it looks like it is going to be a rough ride especially for those struggling without a job. The sooner we get rid of this failing Government, the better.