Pioneers Post

Future jobs scheme picks up pace after slow start

10 November 2009

A social enterprise which hopes to provide over 3,000 jobs as part of the government's Future Jobs Fund is praising a massive increase in efficiency of the programme after initial 'teething problems'.

The £1bn Future Jobs Fund provides funding for 150,000 six-month job placements, predominately for young, long-term unemployed people, and many social enterprises have taken advantage of the government funding to put in place plans for expansion.

The Grow Organisation, which provides employment to those furthest from the jobs market through a number of community enterprises, has taken on a £200,000 loan to support the massive expansion. It hopes to turn many of the job placements into permanent positions, but at the end of the first month of the programme in October, it told Social Enterprise it was worried about delays in getting jobseeker referrals from Jobcentre Plus.

However, Grow Organisation joint CEO Alex Cosgrove said there had been a massive 'leap in performance' in November.

She said: 'After the initial teething problems we are delighted to report the referral process has now sped up from 12 per cent in October to 70 per cent this month.'

Richard Litchfield, CEO of 3SC, which is working with 100 third sector organisations on the Future Jobs Fund, said he was 'delighted to see the referral of jobs pick up pace from job centres to our network'.