What’s a job, at the end of the day? That was the question posed at length last evening at the launch of the new Jobs Foundation, a charity which wants (as the name implies) rather more of them. It’s the 9-5, sure, but it’s more than that: security, stability, the ticket to a better life.
Jobs, in fact, are the only ingredient yet proven to improve the welfare of nations. As the seasoned campaigner Matthew Elliot put it last night, almost the entire Treasury take comes from – at origin – entrepreneurs and the jobs they create.
The Foundation intends to put the humble job back at the centre of the political debate, a debate which in the business sphere at least has become confused and dissonant. There are endless column inches devoted to what businesses should and shouldn’t be doing or what their ESG purpose might be, and precious little time is given to the notion that just by existing, growing and employing people, businesses up and down the length and breadth of the country are already delivering the most valuable purpose one can conceive: giving their employees the opportunity to get on.
One would imagine that this is fertile time for the Foundation to launch. The business groups are engaged in a bizarre internecine war, fighting between themselves for precious airtime and in the case of the CBI attempting to redefine their entire purpose. With manifestos being drawn up and anaemic growth, it is vital somebody is able to speak up not for business’ social purpose or their willingness to be an ally to any cause under the sun, but for their ability to operate in an environment which encourages growth rather than takes it for granted