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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Minister for disabled: Unemployment result of unwillingness to work


Unemployment in the UK is down to people’s unwillingness to work because there is “no shortage of jobs”, the minister for disabled people has said.

Maria Miller, who works for the Department for Work and Pensions, said on BBC Radio 5’s ‘Pienaar’s Politics’ programme yesterday that the current employment situation was the result of a lack of “appetite” for the kinds of work on offer.
Her comments come despite the fact that the official unemployment count stands at 2.68 million, while last quarter the number of new workers being sought by new employers totalled only 463,000.
This means that there are now on average about six people chasing every vacancy, with recent figures from the Institute for Public Policy Research pointing to wide discrepancies in the number of positions available across the country. Hartlepool, for example, has about 16 jobseekers for each vacancy, while Middlesborough has 12.
But Miller said: “If you actually look at the facts and the figures, there’s 400,000 jobs at any one point in jobcentres. I was up in the Wirral on Friday talking to our of our local jobcentres there and there isn’t a shortage of jobs.”
Instead “what there can be is a lack of an appetite for some of the jobs that are available”, she added.
As a result, the coalition government had to make sure that people had the right skills, did not consider it a risk to move into employment and understood that “this is actually not just a choice, but it’s actually the route they are going to take”, Miller said.
“So I don’t think it’s a lack of jobs at the moment. I think it really is making sure that we’ve got people knowing where those jobs are,” she added.

One Response

  1. Unemployment

    I think this is a dangerous statement to make without analysing the types of jobs that are available. My view is that there might be plenty of manual jobs paying the minimum wage but this country has encouraged our young people to proceed through further education and gain A levels and degrees – this does not sound like a good match.

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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