Cornwall project quits government unemployment scheme

A project in Cornwall which aims to help unemployed people find work has withdrawn from a government programme, the BBC has learned.

Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change had been involved in the government's flagship scheme to help the long-term jobless find work.

It said there were not enough jobs in the South West for it to help all the people on its books.

The 10-year-old Redruth project works with people on 20 housing estates.

Benefit cuts

Fees under the work programme are mainly paid out once someone has been in a job for a year.

But the BBC understands the organisation has said it no longer made financial sense for it to continue its participation.

State benefits could be cut if people refused to join the scheme.

In a separate scheme, people aged 16 to 24 on Jobseeker's Allowance could do up to eight weeks' unpaid work but keep benefits.

It is voluntary but those who dropped out after the first week had risked having their benefits docked for a fortnight.

However, after a government change in policy, people can now only lose benefits if they are found to have been involved in gross misconduct.

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