Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd is launching a new jobs initiative called 100 x 3: New Year, New Beginnings.
He will be asking the town’s businesses and organisations to provide 100 work experience placements, for 100 hours, in 100 days.
“I am very hopeful Eastbourne and Willingdon will respond in the same fantastic way they did with our apprentice initiative,” said Mr Lloyd.
“A consequence of all the hard work Eastbourne has done over the last few years to get through the recession so positively is that our JSA claimant rate is down to only 3.7 – the lowest it’s been since 2008.
“However it means that many of the people still jobless have been out of work for a long time, and often, when someone is long-term unemployed, it becomes very difficult to break the spiral.
“Confidence is eroded, employers are less keen to take you on and the whole vicious circle begins.
“All this is also not helped by some sections of the media and politicians who talk about people who are long-term unemployed in such a pejorative way.”
The MP hopes to approach the project in a positive ‘but still realistic’ way.
“It is about helping people who have been out of work for some time, and I recognise this can be off-putting for employers, which is why the whole structure of our local jobs initiative is around work experience.
“The reason why we’re asking companies and organisations to offer work placements for 100 hours is that will be long enough to really help someone get back into the habit of work, as well as give them an up-to-date reference on their CV.
“So rather than labelling people as either lazy scroungers or helpless victims, we are providing a practical step back into work.”
The local JobCentre Plus is co-ordinating the project, supported by Sussex Downs College, a number of local employment companies like Baldwin Traning, Crossland and Dudson, A4E and Scope, Eastbourne Borough Council, the County Council and local charity People Matter.