Jobless build their own future

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The Independent Online
A pioneering training scheme has succeeded in getting two-thirds of long-term unemployed into work while saving local people thousands on their fuel bills, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Pilot schemes run by the Wise Group, in Scotland, Derby and the London borough of Newham provide those who have been out of work for at least a year with paid work experience in installing insulation, energy-efficient heating and home security systems.

Two-thirds of the trainees taken on each year went on to find work after leaving the scheme, of which the majority were permanent. Six out of ten gained NVQ qualifications while taking part. For all but the first eight weeks, trainees are paid wages of pounds 116 a week, taking them out of the benefit system.

The cost of each job created is an estimated pounds 14,100 - but this falls to pounds 8,300 when tax payments and benefit savings are taken into account.

Bridging the Jobs Gap:, pounds 9.95 plus pounds 1.50 p&p, York Publishing Services, 64 Hallfield Road, York YO3 7XQ Glenda Cooper