But today the BBC's business news pages carry an article based on the experience of a 53-year-old unemployed man in Wolverhampton. And towards the end it mentions New Deal. "
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
New Deal on the BBC
The Radio 4 File on Four programme on 23 March (8.00 pm) will be dealing with unemployment. The website says: "The government is promising extra help for people out of work during the recession. But, as Britain braces itself for a rise in unemployment, Allan Urry reports from the communities already hardest hit and asks what redundant steelmakers, public sector workers and others joining the dole queue can really expect at the Jobcentre." Since they've been asking for people to tell them about recent experiences with New Deal and FND, we should expect that they will be focussing on that. Which will be a novelty. Until today it was never mentioned, either by the BBC or by politicians. Last night BBC1's Newsnight had a discussion about the latest unemployment figures. They are unexpectedly down in some places, up in others; but there has been a big rise in the number of people who are not working, for whatever reason, and a 10% rise in the number of long-term unemployed. Jim Knight MP was wheeled out, as usual, to defend the government's record, and said that they had to "keep up the investment", mentioning the Future Jobs Fund but not New Deal. What about the fact that there's a real shortage of skills in the new industries? Apparently new "skills academies" are being set up (who'll be running them, I wonder?). So why, one might ask, is so much money being spent on the privatised New Deal and FND if it's so irrelevant that it's never mentioned?