THERE are fears that 3,000 jobs could go in the Redcar and Cleveland area.

And, although the coronavirus has played its part in the demise of so many of them, unemployment on Teesside was raging well before the pandemic hit.

The job retention scheme – in which taxpayers pay for 80 per cent of an employees’ salary – comes to an end in October.

This means the Government have to work overtime to think up new ways of how to keep the unemployment figures down.

You can always rely on the Conservative MPs Jacob Young (Redcar and Cleveland) and Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) to do just that.

The Kickstart scheme for 16-24 year-olds sounded promising. Its premise is the Government will fund the wages of a young person for 25 hours a week over six months.

There are flaws, like employers using the scheme as free labour, continuously exchanging participants every six months, a grim repetition of the past and a haunting echo of the old YTS schemes.

As for adult work schemes, that’s like waving a red rag to a bull. Tories’ work programmes are among the worst in the world based on second class training and paying third world wages.

If there is any spare cash going for work schemes it needs to go directly to the local job centres or local authority and not into the paws of greedy multi-national companies.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar