Jobs initiative welcome - but we can do more if we think creatively!

While the government's jobs initiative is to be welcomed, and while it is vital that we create long-run, sustainable jobs, we also need to recognise that the scale of unemployment  requires a one-off, innovative response to help people back to work. 

We need to do something for the tens of thousands of unemployed people who could put their skills to use doing productive jobs that need to be done - if they were permitted to work part-time at the going rate for a temporary job created in the public sector - paid for by their benefit entitlement plus a small top-up payment to recognise their initiative. 

There is a great deal of work that needs to be done in this country - just ask any charity or community group you know of - and there are plenty of people who would be willing to keep their skills up to date if they could work part-time for their benefit entitlement plus a top up: that would also leave the rest of their week free to volunteer time to other causes or to find other paid work. 

Such a temporary public sector job creation approach ( that could be dlivered in part by charities and community groups that have plenty of work that needs doing) could be phased out over time as the economy recovers - but it would represent the kind of radical, innovative thinking that's now required to help people to make their badly-needed contribution in these extremely difficult times.