Rotherham charity joins call over Future Jobs Fund

ROTHERHAM-based training organisation VC Train had added its voice to a demand that the three main political parties demanding assurances that they will continue a £1billion scheme to get young people back into work.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have promised to keep the Future Jobs Fund, which has given 117,000 placements in councils and charities.

But the Conservatives have said only that they will review the scheme raising fears that they would abolish it.

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VC Train, based in Rotherham, is a charity made up of South Yorkshire volunteer organisations which aims to help disadvantaged people to engage on equal terms with the rest of society.  It is one of 2000 charities that have written to all three main parties asking them to pledge continued backing for the scheme.

Andrew Coulthard, Chief Executive, VC Train, said: "The Future Jobs Fund is vital, not only for the people that are eligible for the scheme, but also for the community organisations that we are working with to help get people back into work and the growth of the UK economy as a whole.

"There is uncertainty over how we will get people back into work after the general election but the Future Jobs Fund has been successful and here in South Yorkshire alone we have helped get 40 people into work that otherwise would be struggling. Charities across the country are seeking to find out if this successful scheme will be continued following the election."

The scheme, set up by the Government as a response to the recession, has offered 40,000 six-month job placements in councils and more than 70,000 in charities for young people who have been unemployed for at least six months. Labour has pledged to extend it to March 2012.

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An employer is given up to £6,500 for each recruit and is expected to pay the minimum wage. The employer is expected to provide training but there is no guarantee of a job.

Forty jobs have been created via VC Train's Future Jobs Fund contract which benefitscommunities across South Yorkshire.

Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have written back pledging support. No response has been sent by the Conservatives.