TED Conversations

Tom Drake-Brockman

This conversation is closed.

A proposal for massive reduction of unemployment.

All employers, large and small, private and public, should be obliged to provide part time work for unemployed people. Each workplace would be given quotas scaled to its size. The unemployed would be free to choose their preferred workplace (providing a quota was not already filled there) and their employer would pay the equivalent of their work relief benefit as a wage for the time worked. That might only be 2 or 3 days a week, depending on the award rate for their industry. Private businesses would be fully reimbursed by the government but all employers would be expected to provide on the job training in return for the free labour. If permanent employment was not offered within say, three months, the job seeker would have to move to another workplace of his/her choice.

This scheme would have multiple benefits. It would:
• provide invaluable work experience and enhanced opportunities to showcase personal skills,
•fast-track people into real jobs providing real social justice to those genuinely seeking work
•eliminate passive welfare, restoring dignity to the unemployed
•remove any incentive or opportunity for rorting or loopholing the system,
•slash welfare and bureaucracy costs while massively boosting national productivity,
•help entrench a new ethic of mutual obligation that Western democracies so urgently need to counter a pervasive culture of greed and entitlement.

Am I dreaming or is this not a viable solution?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 25 2013: All I want to know is, where does the money come from? How does the government get the funds to subsidize the companies? Higher taxes on the companies? I guess you could do away with capitalism altogether and take all the rich people's money away. But that would be communism, which the Soviets proved doesn't seem to work in the long run.
    • thumb
      Jan 26 2013: Scot having studied and taught modern history and having run my own business for 35 years, I can assure you I am no communist.

      No more money would be needed. The government simply pays a company the person's unemployment benefits and the company then passes it on to the person as a wage.

      Far from raising taxes, they could probably be lowered as billions would be saved. Here's how.

      Bureaucracy would be slashed as the unemployed would not need agencies. They would go directly to the workplace of their choice, checking online first to see if there is still quota vacancies there.

      The scheme would also slash welfare costs as many people would no longer gain any benefit from rorting the system and seek full time employment. Many others would be able to find regular employment given this hands on opportunity to impress the employer. In the process, unemployment would drop and productivity would be massively boosted.
      • thumb
        Jan 31 2013: I kind of like the idea, I had seen work/welfare programs before but the jobs were picking trash and similar work that provided no work experience continuation. The only issue is that current bureaucracy
        supporting unemployed will not go away. An instructor once said " in the event of total nuclear annihilation the only survivors would be cockroaches and bureaucracies".
        • thumb
          Jan 31 2013: So true Mike but our politicians keep telling us that spending cuts will be directed at overblown bureaucracies so hopefully some would get the chop or be retrained to do something more useful like school teaching or monitoring at risk children.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.