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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Future Jobs Fund

Country of implementation
United Kingdom
General short description of the innovation
In general, this national policy aimed to support the creation of subsidised jobs for unemployed young people (18-24) with special disadvantages in labour market. It intended to do so by building skills and work experience for disadvantaged young jobseekers that would help them to move into long-term unsubsidised employment. The policy was an important model of reviving both demand and supply-led employment policies. / / Originally, participation in the programme was voluntary. In January 2010, the programme became an option in the Young Person?s Guarantee (YPG). Under the YPG, the following options were provided: a) applying for jobs directly created through the FJF; b) applying for a job in a key employment sector, with pre-employment training where necessary; c) taking up work-focused training; taking a place on a Community Task Force; d) access help with self-employment; or access equivalent provision delivered through the Flexible New Deal for young people that run in parallel. From April 2010, young unemployed reaching the ten-month point of their JSA claim were required to decide for one of the options. Non-compliance led to a mandatory participation in the Community Task Force with the possibility of sanctions for non-attendance. / / Each FJF job was at least a 25h-a-week contract, provided at least the minimum wage and had to be ?additional?. These jobs had to last at least six months/26weeks and the work had to benefit local communities. Providers supporting young people were required to help participants in finding sustained work after the FJF job. Providers received a maximum amount of money for each job with 40% paid in advance and 60% based on the actual weeks worked by the FJF employee. Most of the funding was spent on public and third sector organisations. / / The coalition Government cancelled the extension of the YPG to 2012 and stopped it in March 2011. The same applied to the FJF, which was scrapped in May 2010 because it was found to be insufficiently cost-effective and badly targeted.
Target group
Youth
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
October 2009-2011
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Budgets: about 680 million
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The FJF was a response to significant concerns about the long-term ?scarring? effects of rising youth unemployment in general and about young people?s difficulties in entering the labour market as a result of the recession in particular. The policy primarily aimed at providing disadvantaged young people with a decent short-term job, with work experience and or the development of skills and competences to assist them in securing long-term unsubsidised employment. It sought to enhance qualification, skills validation and career aspiration. In the midst of the economic and financial crisis, this policy revived demand-led employment policies and addressed the supply-side. In January 2010, the government officially introduced the Young Person?s Guarantee of which the FJF became a major component.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
support low private labour demand during the recent recession
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • flexicurity
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • other
New outputs
  • benefit duration
  • learning workplaces
  • subsidies/tax-credits (employment subsidies for employers)
Clarification of intended mechanisms, outputs and outcomes (optional)
Between October 2009 and March 2011, the programme created about 105,000 FJF subsidised jobs. Approximately 20% of FJF participants left their FJF job earlier than foreseen (after 24 weeks). About 30% of these went into unsubsidised employment, about 50% went back onto out-of-work benefits and about 20% neither went into employment nor onto benefits. Six months after the start of a FJF (which lasted at least 6 months) 8.6% participants were claiming JSA benefits. Already in the 7th month after the start of their FJF job (and the end of most of them) 38.3% were back on benefits. 20 months after the start of their job, approximately 42% of FJF participants were claiming an out-of-work benefit. 2 years after starting their jobs with the scheme, participants were 16% less likely to be on benefits than if they had not taken part and 27% more likely to be in unsubsidised employment. Some survey-based reports found that proximately 43% of the participants had an employment outcome after FJF ? in the majority of the cases with the same employer as during FJF.
Intended target group
Young people aged 18-24, eventually also older age groups in unemployment hotspots
Working age population
  • employment situation (unemployed)
  • main source of income: social protection (social assistance)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Jobcentre Plus)
  • central state (DWP, CLG)
  • employers (organised or individual)
  • municipal government
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial)
  • private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO)
Clarification of the role of various actors
The scheme was implemented by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), and with input from Jobcentre Plus Regional Government Offices in England and Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales. Any organisation from public, private or third sector from across Great Britain was eligible to bid for funding for job creation subject to certain conditions. There was a strong preference for partnership bids. For smaller organisations, the government offered support in terms of helping to identify potential partners for joint bid submissions.
Intended output
  • benefit duration (transfer people from benefits into supported employment)
  • governance
  • learning workplaces
  • wages (payment of the National Minimum Wage)
  • working time (at least 25h contract required)
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
at least 25h contracts at NMW
Intended and unintended outcomes
105,230 participants were placed into FJF jobs; monthly influx in the programme; between 6,000 and 8,000 participants
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Some research suggests that the policy helped engage employers, moved people off from long-term benefits, raised people?s career aspirations and their levels of relevant training. It also strengthened sub-regional partnership to build on young people?s skills and competences (Fishwick, Lane and Gardiner 2011). An analysis published by the Department for Work and Pensions shows that the impact of the FJF on the chances of participants being employed and/or off benefit was substantial, significant and positive. Two years after the programme started, benefit receipt was 7 percentage points less among programme participants, and participants were 11 percentage points more likely to be in unsubsidised employment (DWP 2012). Other studies of the FJF also highlighted the role of this kind of Intermediate Labour Market, which represented a small but viable network of support for the long-term unemployed while being on placement and not ahead of it (Gregg 2009). / / According to a participants? survey of the DWP, many participants highlighted how the length of the post had helped to build their confidence through the opportunity to gradually expand their workload and role (Allaker/Cavill 2011). Before starting on FJF, many participants reported experiencing a highly competitive and depressed labour market, and some felt that they would have not been able to get a job without FJF at that point. Almost all participants reported an increase in their skills set as result of participation in FJF, although there was some variation in the breadth and depth of skills gathered. The most commonly mentioned gains were in transferable skills such as interpersonal skills, customer service skills and IT skills but also specialist and technical skills. Most respondents were confident that the skills gained from their FJF posts would be used in future roles. Formal qualifications and accreditations were also obtained by some participants. The predominant view was that an increase in self-confidence and perceived sense of employability were the most useful benefits of the scheme. / / At the same time, the policy had very limited ability to engage private sectors employers because they had to satisfy all the criteria: additionally, community benefit, and compliance with state aid regulations. Also, the programme did not put enough emphasis on progression into sustained work following the FJF vacancy and sometimes training was found irrelevant or inconsistent (Fishwick/Lane/Gardiner 2011). The DWP analysis concluded the programme a net cost to the government?s Exchequer while having a benefit to participants, their employers and society as a whole. / / References: / - Allaker, J. and Cavill, S. (2011). Customer experience of the future jobs fund: findings from a qualitative research study. / - DWP (2012). Impacts and Costs and Benefits of the Future Jobs Fund. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223120/impacts_costs_benefits_fjf.pdf / - Fishwick, T., Lane, P. and Gardiner, L. (2011). Future Jobs Fund: an independent national evaluation. Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Ed.), London. / - Gregg, P. (2009). Job Guarantee: Evidence and Design. Bristol: Centre for Market & Public Organisation, University of Bristol [Online]. Available: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/other/jobguarantee.pdf
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