The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the government to extend Work Trials to help create an extra 46,000 jobs.
With around 1.64m people having been out of work for up to one year and unemployment currently standing at 2.45m, the FSB said the government needs to do more to get people back into employment.
The FSB’s ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of small firms think Work Trials would act as an incentive to taking on staff.
Work Trials are voluntary programmes that allow employers and employees to try a role before taking on a permanent position within the business. Currently, Work Trials are available to those who have been on Job Seekers Allowance for at least six months.
Ahead of employment statistics out last week, the FSB urged government to extend Work Trials by making them available from the first day someone claims Jobseekers Allowance.
FSB research shows that small business confidence has dropped, and although small businesses want to employ, they lack the resources they need to take on a member of staff.
Work Trials are beneficial for both the employer and the employee as they offer key skills to help businesses move forward while at the same time ensure the person on the work trial is learning new skills. Research shows nearly half of all jobs beginning with a Work Trial have led to a permanent job in that business.
“Small businesses are more likely to hire people who have been in long-term unemployment, and Work Trials are a good way to get people back into work and learning skills, and for small businesses to move forward with taking on staff and growing,” said John Walker, FSB national chairman.