richardtock wrote:Physical labour does make up a large portion of our workforce already, do you feel sympathy for everyone who works in those roles already? Many respectable jobs are 'physical' in nature.
The problem is that physical labour won't give people the skills that they need. By necessity these will be no skill jobs that anyone can do, so people won't gain anything from them. It feels more like a punishment then anything else. All it's going to do is sap people's self esteem even more. Plus no one will put this work on a CV, and it's basically an admittance of laziness and I'm sure that the work won't benefit society in any meaningful way.
The real problem in this country is that adult education is so out of reach, expensive and inaccessible. If they put all jobseekers on courses (not rubbish "how to get a job courses" but ACADEMIC ones like Maths GCSE, stuff that means something) you would train people up and give them self esteem. They would be working towards something. Make the courses easily transitional to night courses, too so people are constantly learning.
Or, you know, just make them stuff envelopes for charity for 30 hours a week.
Plus it's not just about skills, sometimes the market for skilled professionals isn't there regardless of the training, so investing in that area could offer little benefit in reality. Also, I think the crux of the problem are those that *choose* not to work, not those who have been unable to find work for an extended period of time. I realise the unemployement has increased, but I still find it hard to believe that anyone who has been unemployed for over a year has been unable to find any job at all.
If these people could be offered the opportunity to give back to society rather than simply take then many perceptions would be changed. At work we have a large register of community projects which we can volunteer for, many are very worthwhile and require no skills. I see no harm in asking those who have been unemployed for an extended period to take on roles such as this, part time (to allow them opportunity to seek employment) and give something back. Who knows, they may actually find a role that they enjoy and stick with it. Or alternatively, use any extra funds raised to pay for some training in an area they are interested in.