The Government has been urged to inject £2 billion into new work schemes to help the long term unemployed back into jobs. The call has been made by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the eve of the Chancellor's Budget and with new unemployment figures to be released imminently. The body believes that such a commitment could well create at least 100,000 new paid work experience jobs in areas of the country where unemployment is rife. New opportunities would be afforded to those who have been out of work for a considerable length of time (who have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for six months or more), as well as young people who have struggled to find work because of the financial downturn. Under the proposals, jobs would be created in areas valuable to communities, with childcare, sport, transport and childcare being prime examples. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said that properly defined work schemes had proved successful in the past and that it was up to the Government to ensure the UK is ready to make the most of opportunities to drive itself out of the recession. Jobs would last up to a year and would be run by a combination of local area partnerships, unions and Jobcentre Plus. The TUC believes the cost involved would more than offset the cost of supporting people who go on to be unemployed for five years or more. A number of locations have been earmarked for the scheme; Birmingham, Belfast and Liverpool would most benefit, with 10,000, 6,000 and 5,000 jobs created respectively. Cleveland, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield would also see new roles created, followed by Haringey, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets when the programme is rolled out across the capital.
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