Have you ever wondered why it costs so much to create new jobs? Why you need to build an entirely new business park or subsidise a massive new factory and then find that each job has cost £10k or £20k or more.
“A £1.6m grant offer enabled a manufacturer to safeguard 149 jobs, investing over £12m in a new production plant.”
Or maybe more?
Now, did you spot the mistake? If not then you haven’t been reading my blog or books about how the brain does or should work.
By quoting numbers like this I am pulling in left brain thinking, surely we can just do some maths on this and the numbers will tell us whether it is a good deal or not?
But people who talk about investing in jobs will say that each new job brings money in, as people spend money and that gets taxed, and their salaries get taxed, and so on. So in the end people disagree what the numbers really mean, and the reason they disagree? It is because the numbers don’t mean much at all.
Business works much more like a complex ecosystem, mutual dependencies all over the place, changes in one place lead to unpredictable changes in another place.
So let’s be creative with some ideas about what might help generate jobs in a way that we don’t really have to make much fuss about numbers and cost benefit ratios.
People employ people they trust. If people trusted people more they would employ more people. My guess is that the village fete, and the school parent-teacher association, and the local cricket team, and the Christmas charity fayre, and all those other great local events create more jobs than a centrally funded job creation scheme.
Take the job recruitment costs out of the equation for employing people and maybe more people get jobs. Do this by creating more ‘get to know people’ local events.
Create local currencies so that people know the money is being fixed locally for more benefit to the local community. Local economies are not the same as regional and national economies so they needn’t be taxed in the same way.
We know from brain studies that numbers should not be seen to have the same value for everything, so it makes sense to have variations in currency locally, regionally and nationally.
Maybe there should be a global currency? Well, maybe that is what Gold is.
But if we get creative we can have different currencies working in parallel at different levels of community operation.
Free labour – at the moment we have a one policy fits all for employment, which means a minimum wage. While minimum wage does stop exploitation, or is supposed to, it also limits volunteering to help local businesses which might be having a hard time. I think we should get creative about how to allow freely offered labour in ways which do not lead to exploitation (which also means apprenticeships not exploiting young people desperate to get jobs.)
OK, now it is your turn. How do we get more creative about creating jobs? Forget about numbers, this is about whole picture viewing, seeing from above, looking at everything and intuitively understanding how some ideas could work.
It is not about trying to guess the next Google.
And as an example I want to mention a company that I think is a great example of this, Knitting with Grannies.
Follow this blog and post your own ideas please, let’s find ways of getting everyone good work.