At the Conservative Party Conference next week in Manchester, David Cameron is set to launch the “Work Programme” under which many of those unemployed for longer than six months, including the disabled and single parents.
The programme is likely to be headed up by ex-Leader Iain Duncan-Smith, widely regarded as the Conservatives’ lead authority on social inclusion.
Assuming the Conservative Party win the next election and these plans go ahead, the Work Programme will mark the end of two of Labour’s key initiatives – The New Deal and the bureaucracy-ridden JobCentre Plus.
This is clearly a marked attempt to confound Conservative critics who recall the ‘bad old days’ when thousands of Britons were left behind as the “loadsamoney’ train rumbled on.
Let’s just hope that if and when the Work Programme begins, it does so by talking to the very people it’s meant to benefit.