How do you fancy being PUSHED into a jobs ‘bootcamp’ by Mel Stride?

Unemployed? How do you fancy being pushed into a jobs ‘bootcamp’ by Mel Stride?

The Work and Pensions Secretary reckons he’s going to plug gaps in the labour market left because overseas workers have been hit by new migration rules – with unemployed Britons who have been re-trained.

This would be a refinement of the ‘intensive training bootcamps‘ the government already runs in order to help people who are out of work retrain in other employment sectors.

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Some of you may remember a government jobs campaign suggesting that people in the creative industries should migrate to others – and the satirists had a field day making comic suggestions about alternative jobs for politicians (see the featured image).

But This Writer is not entirely opposed to the idea.

There may come a time when I don’t want to spend all day in front of a computer, writing about useless politicians. When that day comes, I probably wouldn’t mind a bit of help getting into something a little less mentally-demanding.

But there are conditions. Employment contracts are a two-way street, although Tory governments tend to forget that.

Before I would be interested in training for any job, I would want to be assured that it paid enough to cover all my bills, along with a little extra for luxuries – or that it would if combined with benefits offered by the government. Otherwise, it simply would not be an effective use of my time.

Governments tend to ignore that irritating detail in order to shoehorn people into jobs any way they can. That never works, because it is simply setting up both employer and employee to fail.

The reason is simple: if an employee can’t pay their bills with their income from work, then they’ll have no choice other than to quit.

The standard answer is to tell them to get another job, but then issues of health (and mental health) arise. People don’t work well if they are exhausted from working too many hours, and both tiredness and failure to work well prey on mental health.

NHS waiting lists are the highest they have ever been – and many of those awaiting treatment are doing so because of work-related maladies. I am sure the explosion of mental health diagnoses is predominantly due to employment as well.

I am therefore heartened to see the government has plans to deal with these issues:

These include drastically hiking the salary threshold for skilled workers to £38,700.

I look forward to finding out how many small businesses will willingly pay this much – especially in the hospitality and care industries (the others likely to get this treatment are construction and manufacturing).

If the conditions on offer are right, then my instinct is that people won’t have to be “pushed” into these ‘bootcamps’. If they aren’t, then they’ll be a waste of everybody’s time, and of public money.

Of course the proof of the proposal will come from satisfied workers. Considering employment ‘bootcamps’ have been running in other sectors for some years, I am concerned about the deafening silence coming from them.

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