Labour Leader Ed Miliband has urged the government to reinstate the £1bn Future Jobs Fund, which voluntary sector organisations used to create thousands of short-term jobs.
The fund was set up by the last government to create 150,000 six-month work placements in England, Scotland and Wales before March 2011.
Hundreds of voluntary sector organisations received funding under the scheme, including the bidding consortium 3SC, which was given a £21m contract to create 3,000 jobs across 250 third sector organisations.
Labour promised before the election that it would extend the scheme until 2012, but the coalition government announced last year that it would scrap the scheme when the funding ran out in March.
At a press conference in Westminster this morning, Miliband criticised the government for ditching the fund and insisted the funding should be extended.
Axing the scheme would worsen conditions for a "lost generation" of young people, he said.
Asked by Third Sector whether he thought the £1bn fund was affordable, Miliband said: "Yes, I think the fund should be kept at its current level."