The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has announced it will partially fund 500 trips abroad for graduates finding it tough to get a job. There's nothing inherently wrong with these trips; I know a few people who have been on ones like this and had thoroughly enjoyable experiences. I also know how tough it is for people to find jobs at the moment; where I work, the new employee who sorts the post and makes tea is an Oxford graduate.
But, how will eight weeks building huts and trekking in South America, Africa or Asia actually help these people get jobs? At their best, these sort of trips encourage people to work as part of a team, but they very rarely teach people new skills and things that would significantly improve their chances of getting a job. And at a job interview, there are any number of things you could mention as examples of working as part of a team, so I doubt these trips will be much use on that front either.
I can't help wondering if it's just another way of stopping 500 more people signing on and making the unemployment statistics look even worse. But hey, it's only a million quid.
Opinium/Observer – CON 40, LAB 43, LDEM 6
1 hour ago