The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
We’ve just come back from the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham and, although slightly exhausted, are very pleased by Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement that he’s reviving the 1980s Enterprise Allowance Scheme. This is something we’ve been advocating for over a year now and are delighted the Work and Pensions Secretary has taken up our ideas.
The detail of the scheme is still unclear but Mr Duncan Smith has promised that the long-term unemployed would receive financial support and expert advice worth up to £2,000 to transform a bright idea into a small business.
The proposed EAS will be targeted at people who have been out of work for more than six months in parts of the country hit most heavily by the recession.
Barbara Gunnell, NDotM’s Head of Research, welcomes the news but asks the Government to reconsider its requirement that only those who have been unemployed for six months or longer benefit from the scheme. “Evidence from the original EAS suggests that the longer you remained unemployed, the less successful the business was. That’s why the National Audit Office recommended a reduction in the duration of unemployment to only eight weeks to those who qualified in 1987.”