Latest Public Sector News

11.05.12

Regional Jobs Fund value for money criticised

One of the Government’s flagship employment scheme could have created “thousands more jobs from the same resources” with better allocation of resources, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) investigation.

In some cases, jobs created under the Regional Jobs Fund cost taxpayers as much as £200,000 each.

The Regional Jobs Fund aims to create private sector jobs in areas dependent on public sector employment. The first £1.4bn awarded from the fund could lead to an extra 41,000 jobs over the next seven years.

The average cost of one of these jobs was £33,000 but ranged from under £4,000 to over £200,000. More effective administration and tighter controls could have reduced the average cost, the NAO asserted.

The report reads: “A significant proportion of the £1.4bn was allocated to projects that offer relatively few jobs for the money invested.

“Allocating funding across more bidding rounds could have created thousands more jobs from the same resources.”

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “We have already put in place some of the NAO’s recommendations such as making more administrative resources available, which means projects are being processed even faster.”

Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think taxpayers will be encouraged to know that for every £1 we are putting on their behalf, we are getting £6 from the private sector.”

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