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Department announces additional funding to halve number of long term unemployed

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Additional funding of £300,000 is being committed this financial year to fund plans to halve the current number of long term unemployed people in the Isle of Man by 2015.

This follows discussions between the Departments of Economic Development, Social Care and Treasury.

A long term unemployed person is one who has been claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance for 12 months or more. By the end of April 2013 the number of long term unemployed people had fallen to 190 from a figure of 205 at the end of September 2012.

Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK outlined the plans:

'I am delighted that the three Departments have been able to commit this additional funding which will be used in a wide range of initiatives designed to help the unemployed find suitable paid work.'
'We will be enhancing our current Work Placement programmes to provide opportunities for developing confidence and skills. For example, we will consider tools such as additional training and mentoring. This will help overcome the feelings of low self-esteem and lack of motivation that some individuals experience.'
'We are committed to developing skills ‘academies’ in those industries that are having difficulty recruiting suitable qualified workers. My Department has been closely involved with the very successful academy that Sleepwell Hotels launched and we are looking to transfer this model into other areas such as the care industry.'
'We will also be using professional agencies to help coach, mentor and place long term unemployed people back into employment. Agencies will be employed on a payment by results funding model.'

The Minister confirmed that other options were still being explored such as the exploration of limited ‘incentive’ schemes to provide direct financial incentives to employers who recruit (and retain) those previously classified as long term unemployed.

He continued:

'We are working with the Department of Social Care to develop ‘social firms’ to provide realistic employment opportunities. These are market-led enterprises which are set up specifically to create good quality jobs for people disadvantaged in the labour market.'

Minister for Social Care Chris Robertshaw added:

'It is vital that the Departments of Economic Development and Social Care work closely together to ensure individuals have every incentive and assistance they need to help them find suitable employment and reach their full potential.'
'I believe these plans will help overcome the skills/experience mismatch that exists have and that these measures make a real difference to long term jobseekers in order to help them identify suitable employment opportunities.'

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