Students Unemployed For Over A Year To Have Benefits Retracted

David Cameron has outlined his plans to end housing benefits and job seekers allowance for unemployed people who don’t take up job offers.

At the Conservative party conference in Manchester last week, the Prime Minister announced that benefits would be taken away from members of the group termed  ‘NEETs’ – those not in education, employment or training – who don’t take jobs that are offered to them. This comes as part of Cameron’s plan to reignite the British economy and cut back on government spending.

The government plan on delivering the policy, which gives students a year to prepare if they are not already in a position where they have guaranteed employment after university, in 2015.

There are fears that this new policy may impact recent graduates who have not managed to find a job instantly. If the proposed policy comes into effect there are fears that it may negatively affect thousands of students that have spent several years attempting to show their value to graduate employers.

David Cordell, the University of Nottingham SU Community Officer, highlighted the problem for students who find themselves unemployed upon graduation:

“Whilst we don’t believe that Cameron’s proposal would impact many full time HE students, we would want the changes to ensure that they don’t negatively affect other student groups such as part-time students, lone parents, students with disabilities, etc.  Our bigger concern is for our members when they leave University. We know that it is a highly competitive jobs market and that youth unemployment is a major issue. Whilst it might not affect people whilst they are at Nottingham, it could become a real issue for them after graduation.”

The government argues that the policy makes economic sense and may benefit Britain in the long run. Cameron justified the welfare cut by suggesting that “the best way out of poverty is work and the dignity that brings”.

Jono Hoyer


3 Comments on this post.
  • Philip Whitehead
    11 October 2013 at 12:48
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    I’d support cutting JSA and housing benefit to those who are offered a job but refuse to take it. Any job, even on minimum wage, is better than existing on JSA and housing benefit both psychologically and financially, and is a good place to start from when moving up to a better job. I’m sure an employer would look more favourably on a graduate who worked on a supermarket checkout or washed plates for a year than one who refused to take anything less than a £30k starting salary at a FTSE-100 firm. This policy isn’t talking about cutting off those who have not been offered work – but those who have turned down genuine job offers. Why should the taxpaying public (which includes minimum-waged till assistants and restaurant staff) continue to fund benefits to a graduate who has been offered work but is holding out for something better?

  • Right head
    11 October 2013 at 18:40
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    JSA is already cut for people who are offered a reasonable job and refuse to take it; such sanctions are already in place. You are writing, Phil, as if they do not.

  • Graduate
    12 October 2013 at 19:34
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    @philip whitehead
    While I agree a degree can be a massive hindrance when applying for minimum wage jobs in supermarkets given the employer knows you are unlikely to be there for the long term or you could even threaten their job if promoted. Removing a degree creates a gap on the CV that can be more of a problem than it solves. I’d advise 18 years olds not to go to university as you are in a much stronger position to compete for minimum wage/zero hour contract retail jobs without a degree.

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