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2012 has been a challenging policy landscape for Foyers, throughout the year we’ve continued to inform our members of important policy changes, challenges and opportunities as well as listening to your views and lobbying policy makers on your behalf.

For members to discuss how policy changes are affecting your service & the Federation’s policy positions contact steve@foyer.net

Employment

The Government launched its ‘Youth Contract: Works for me’ campaign, challenging businesses to play their part in reducing youth unemployment in return for a possible payment of up to £2,275. Mark Hoban MP, Minister for Employment said: “With extra work experience places and wage incentives we’re giving young people the skills they need to find work…..urging businesses – whatever their size – to make a commitment to our young people and give them a chance to show what they can do”.

The campaign will continue to boost the decline in youth unemployment which has seen another fall by 49,000 according to the Official for National Statistics and the total of those claiming Jobseekers Allowance is still lower than the figures last year.

There is an increase in the number of voluntary sector organisations joining the Work Programme bringing the number to 368. Under the Work Programme, voluntary sector organisations have helped more than 240,000 people and recognising the invaluable role of the sector, Mark Hoban MP, Minister for Employment said: “Voluntary sector organisations have the specialist skills and expertise in helping the hardest to reach in our society. They are crucial partners in helping those at risk of long term unemployment find a sustainable job, and I applaud them for their work so far”.

The Jobcentre Plus in Derbyshire has launched the trailblazer in its efforts to tackle youth unemployment. The trailblazer is aimed to help up to 2,000 young people aged 18-24 who have been claiming JSA for over six months and have little or no work experience. The trailblazer will provide young JSA claimants with the necessary skills and experience required to find and sustain employment through its mandatory eight week programme that will entail thirty hours of work benefitting their community and six hours of intensive job seeking support. Refusal to participate without good reason will result in sanctions. Derbyshire’s Jobcentre Plus District Manager, Andrew Thomas emphasised the importance of the trailblazer in helping “people develop good working habits, such as turning up to work on time, as well as the right training and experience – something that employers have told us they’re crying out for”.

Housing

In working to prevent homeless new legislation will enable local authorities to help those at risk of homelessness through the private rented sector. Local authorities will no longer be required to put people on long waiting lists for social housing if there is suitable housing available within the private rented sector. This will also ensure a basic standard of quality with safeguards that include:

  • a current Gas Safety record
  • any appliances
  • furnishings and wiring conforming to standards on fire and electrical safety
  • the need for a valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • a written tenancy agreement
  • satisfaction that the landlord is a ‘fit and proper person’

Justice

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP has announced the next steps of the Government’s Rehabilitation Revolution with education being at the forefront in the review of the youth estate. Further measures include:

  • offenders to be met by a mentor at the gates on release
  • a review of the prison regime
  • reshape of the legal aid system
  • ensuring the criminal justice and court system puts the victims first
  • implementing the restorative justice action plan

For members to discuss how policy changes are affecting your service & the Federation’s policy positions contact steve@foyer.net

Original content by the Foyer Federation


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