Wednesday, 25 January 2012

An unemployment solution

I really feel sorry for people that lose their jobs. No, I really do. And I have an idea about how to make life a bit easier during that tough transition from economic activity to worklessness.

Firstly, the benefits system is a great safety net, but it's clearly not working because too many people fall through it. It's also expensive and inefficient. Think of the administrative costs of maintaining all those workless people in separate boroughs, towns, and cities. The system also fails as many people can't afford to pay their rent, if they're in rented accommodation, risking forced eviction.

Rather than risk people become homeless during this traumatic, confusing period of their lives, people can be supported into community accommodation units, where they can be part of a supportive community of others in the same situation.

The state will benefit too, as this centralises paperwork, and means it can benefit from economies of scale - buying food and goods in bulk, and distributing these amongst the residents to ensure all have access to a good, wholesome, basic nutritionally complete diet.

This is far more effective than expecting people to buy their own food and supplies, when they may make poor choices or be unable to partake in good value bulk bought discount goods. It brings good value for the country, and ensures nutrition for all.

Community Accommodation Units can also be linked in with local Jobcentres efficiently, with Jobpoints, and Advisers available to support the workless in their Jobsearch. Those that have inadequate work experience can take part in courses to improve their skills, or work experience schemes to help develop their employability.

The Workless would be expected to administer these schemes themselves, overseen by a trained member of staff, which both keeps costs for the country down, and improves the skills of these poor, unfortunate people.

Children can be looked after for parents in creches run outside of school hours. The negative influence of being raised in a Workless household can be mitigated by the influence of positive adult role models working in these creches.

Community Accommodation Units would need to be homely. They aren't to be seen as a punishment, but as a supportive environment to help the Workless become a productive part of society once again. Again, economy of scale means costs of beds, bedlinen, basic furnishings could be acquired at reasonable rates. Sponsorship from the private sector could be sought. However, they are also not to become luxurious - we don't want to encourage Worklessness in the population.

All in all, this really seems to me to be the kindest, best value option for the country. It really needs a catchy name. Community Accommodation Unit is a little clinical.

I know, why don't we call them "Workhouses."

(EDITED TO ADD: I feel the need to point out this is not a serious suggestion.)

No comments: