Who will win and who will lose out of the ‘Big Society’ agenda?

After there have been so many cut backs in the funding for youth and community projects all over the UK both within the public sector and within the voluntary sector it has come as a low blow to may organisations that the government may end up financing private sector projects instead…

Within funding available for working with young people as part of the big society agenda Serco and co have applied for  what may be £100m for two years. So where are youth and community services going now? Will private and voluntary projects work together in areas where public services have been taken? Or will voluntary and public services all buy into the private sector? One issue that cannot be ignored is that ‘One in 10 charities told researchers for a report by New Philanthropy Capital that they could close within the year due to cuts.’

All of the information above is a summary of issues within a Guardian article written by Daniel Boffey, the article can be found here http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/05/serco-bid-national-citizen-service.


Injustice and inequality I hear you cry? No it’s only young people’s wages

‘A very hard decision’ has been made to freeze under 21’s minimum wage in Britain.

Here are the new minimum wage brackets; minimum wage rate for those aged 21 years and above will increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour from October, the rate for 18- to 20-year-olds will remain at £4.98 an hour, and at £3.68 for 16- and 17-year-olds. The rate for apprentices will increase by 5p to £2.65 an hour.

Some individuals I know have stated that it is an outrage that young people were being paid so little in the first place, I can’t say that I disagree with this opinion having previously been a 17 year old minimum wage fully self sufficient worker.

But what does everyone else think?

I have taken the above information from a Guardian article which can be viewed here: https://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/society/2012/mar/19/minimum-wage-frozen-for-under-21s

Great news for the unpaid work scheme victims!

Well previously many people have blogged/reported about the unpaid work scheme that people have to partake in when on jobseekers allowance (JSA) in order to keep their benefits (see previous blog here https://pedagogyuk.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/how-the-british-government-deals-with-youth-unemployment/).

Now companies are starting to back out of the scheme and pressure is being put more companies to join in to see a full article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/10/unions-shops-unpaid-work-schemes.

Hopefully the government JSA scheme can be replaced by some other attempt to help people become employable, maybe a scheme were they do either get paid or have a choice in whether they participate.

Comments welcome


How the British government deals with youth unemployment…

Upon reading the Metro this morning I was slightly delighted to find people have been commenting on the government led unpaid work schemes.

The scheme is that if you are on JSA (job seekers allowance) which pays under 25’s £53.45 per week maximum than you will be asked to work  for a company (which you may have a choice in to a certain extent) for a period of time (maybe up to six months). The programme is open to those who are over 25 and also claiming JSA however they have a longer wait to be ‘asked’ to attend an interview on the topic and receive a higher rate of benefit at £67.50 per week.

Find out more on the ‘work programme’ here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/programmesandservices/DG_197781

If one is to refuse the work programme the job centre may stop your benefits, so when they ask you to go on the programme there is no choice, except the choice of work opportunities that they can arrange for you. For example; if they have a work placement at two shops you may get to choose which one you work at.

What does participation on the programme offer the enrolled individual? Work experience, building a relationship with a company that may choose to offer you a job and it could also build your confidence if you have been out of work.

There are however some downfalls to the scheme which may or may not have been overlooked by the government such as; people who are working full time for JSA are otherwise pre-occupied from looking for their own PAID job, people who work for these companies will not necessarily gain employment at the end of their work period and if companies know about this then they are more likely to employ free labour than advertise paid job vacancies.

So here is the story of a young woman who felt forced to go into work placement with the job centre and feels that she has lost out:


A summary of the comments in today’s Metro:

‘A job is a job if it’s fair.’

‘What benefit would it be to receive a fifth of the pay of an employee to work’?

In reference to a young female in the above linked article who worked in Poundland on the scheme ‘of course [name] didn’t get a job in Poundland [referring to the end of her work placement] -it [Poundland] would be mad to offer her a job when it has a consent supply of free labour’

Please comment below with any experiences, opinions or such on this topic!

Thank you!

I met a lovely young gentleman on the bus today…

…This young man was visiting due to having an interview with a University for an application in Mechanical Engineering. We both spoke about what we were studying/hoping to study or progress in. He had a small steam engine with him that he had brought as an example of the work he can do and his obvious commitment to engineering, I believe this is a wonderful way to express your dedication to a topic and to stand out among other applicants.

Tuition fees seemed to bother this gentleman in particular, he stated that if he had been able to apply to university one year earlier he would have paid around £3,000 instead of £9,000 a year.  When this young man finishes his degree he will have to pay £27000 back! And that is if he gains a job -which in the current climate he may find issues with. That may be an increase of around 17000 from what current students have to re-pay? Why is there such a big gap? And will this mean that our debts will be higher as a Nation due to tuition fees?

Another comment that the young man made was that our previous industries have become more popular in other countries and he felt that we cannot currently compete. I have heard other people talk about our lack of industry, what is the reason for this? And has this a connection to our current economic status? If we were more self-sufficient industrially would we be able to provide a boost to ourselves economically?

The connection here lies with this, as the young man stated ‘How can we boost our industry when university fees have risen to £9000’.

And I ask myself not for the first time ‘how does our education system support people to secure work and to be creative, is it by giving them the option too choose creative subjects at GCSE and A LEVEL to then be charged £27000 to gain a degree?’. Surely there is another way to harvest our Nations talents and encourage experimentation/expression in the hopes of supporting industry?


Please comment back to me any opinions, advice or information on this topic whether controversial or in some form of development.


Thank You