Exciting scenes at 1 London Bridge last night as Social Enteprise London (SEL) launched its attempt to put together a collective London social enterprise bid for the government’s Future Jobs Fund. Basically the Future Jobs Fund involves the DWP giving businesses a subsidy to employ unemployed young people (aged 18-24) in a ‘new jobs’ for at least 6 months – at which point the subsidy stops but the jobs hopefully carries on.
There’s £1billion worth of funding in total designed to fund the creation of around 150,000 new jobs. The jobs have to have ‘community benefit’ and there’s some emphasis on ‘green’ and ‘cultural’ jobs. In theory, 15,000 of these jobs will be created by social enterprises. SEL’s bid is going to be called London’s Future 500 – so, unsurprisingly, will involve the creation of around 500 jobs. The overall package of mentoring and support sounded really good. My organisation’s definitely keen to be involved.
I think this could be an interesting moment for social enterprise (and for social enterprise support bodies). If SEL is successful in making this kind of direct intervention in a realm usually primarily occupied by local councils – the distribution and supervision of large amounts of new streams of central government cash – then this seems to open lots of interesting possibilities.
I’m interested to hear what anyone else thinks.