As the old proverb says, “The devil finds work for idle hands”. Whether it is clearing the tonnes of rubbish that litter our railway lines or revitalizing disused or derelict commercial or residential space to plug the housing shortage, the government can incentivise the private sector to re-skill the unemployed and tackle these issues and others like them that we see on a daily basis, such as the additional 500,000 social care workers needed by 2022. The opportunity is for the government to get the private sector to employ people for these tasks and hand over the universal credit amount to employers for an agreed period as a subsidy to the wage rate paid. By this means it costs the government no extra, gets the unemployed into the habit of work, and keeps them off the public sector payroll (from where one would want them to transfer to the private sector anyway eventually). All the while addressing some urgent needs in our society.