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Loss of Future Jobs Fund 'could harm graduate opportunities'

Published: Tuesday, 21 December 2010   Category: Work Experience

The government's decision to scrap the Future Jobs Fund could lead to a decrease in graduate opportunities and contribute to rising unemployment, MPs have warned.

Ministers have been urged to rethink the plan, which would see the closure of the fund in March 2011.

A replacement scheme - the Work Programme - has been lined up, but will not begin to operate until June 2011.

This means that many 18 to 24-year-olds could find it harder to secure graduate placements and other forms of employment in the meantime, according to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee.

The committee said that the programme had helped many graduates and other young people to secure "valuable work experience".

"Young people, especially those who may be lacking skills, experience and confidence, need appropriate and sometimes intensive support to find work, otherwise they risk falling into long-term unemployment," said Anne Begg, chairwoman of the Select Committee.

However, a spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said that the Future Jobs Fund was "expensive" and that the government regarded its increased apprenticeships programme as "a much better way of getting young people into sustainable employment".

The Future Jobs Fund was launched by the previous Labour administration in response to rising levels of youth unemployment in 2008 and 2009.

Find graduate training schemes with gradjobs.com

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