Letter to the Guardian by Colin Crooks about Job Creation
Polly Toynbee is surely right when she points out the uncomfortable truth that there are many people inhabiting “a twilight zone of semi disability, borderline odd, barely coping” who would be difficult to employ (People are nicer than the PM thinks 20.01.12) but I cannot agree that no employer would take them on. Social entrepreneurs are establishing businesses that operate to different values. They believe that business has a moral purpose and they use their entrepreneurial skill to help society. I have been a social entrepreneur for 22 years and in that time have created work for hundreds of the most outwardly challenged people in our society. Once in work a very high percentage of these people are transformed and start to shine. The secret is to create the job first and then patiently support these, often desperate, people to learn the skills they need to do it. If we are to help the huge numbers of workless people in our country (currently nearly 6m working age adults!) we need to do 2 things. Firstly, adopt an active policy of job creation aimed at helping the lowest skilled and those furthest from work. Secondly, we need to support the social entrepreneurs who have the energy, commitment, open mindedness and patience required to bring the satisfaction that work can bring to those millions currently excluded from jobs.