Do three months of unpaid work or lose your dole: Warning to young jobless in benefit crackdown

| August 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

Jason Groves

17:19 EST, 28 August 2012


17:20 EST, 28 August 2012

Thousands of the young unemployed are to be barred from receiving benefits unless they agree to do three months of unpaid work to prepare them for the jobs market.

A pilot scheme launched yesterday will apply to new benefit claimants aged 18-24 unless they can show they have already had a significant job.

They will be expected to spend 30 hours a week on ‘community benefit’ work experience in places such as charity shops and care homes or delivering meals on wheels.

The young unemployed will be expected to spend 30 hours a week on 'community benefit' work experience placements

The young unemployed will be expected to spend 30 hours a week on ‘community benefit’ work experience placements

They will have to spend a further ten hours looking for a job. Those who refuse could have their benefits stopped.

If the scheme in London is successful it will be rolled out across the country.

Ministers believe that young people with little or no experience of a job are often ill-prepared for the world of work.

Sources yesterday said the scheme  was designed to instil basic disciplines such as getting up in the morning and looking smart.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling denied it amounted to ‘slave labour’, saying it would help youngsters improve their career prospects.

‘Many other countries don’t allow young people to claim any benefits at all until they have made contributions through a job,’ Mr Grayling said.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling denied the scheme amounts to 'slave labour'

Employment Minister Chris Grayling denied the scheme amounts to ‘slave labour’

‘This trial will give a clear idea of the impact of an approach that says, effectively, you can’t get something back until you have put something in.

‘A something-for-nothing culture does no one any favours. It makes those who are doing the right thing cynical. And for those who head straight into the welfare state, it sets them out in life on precisely the wrong footing.’

Under the pilot scheme 18 to 24-year-olds in 16 London boroughs who have spent less than six months in a job will have to work for three months in order to receive their £56-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance.

London Mayor Boris Johnson backed the initiative, saying: ‘I would much rather people had the fun and the experience of work placements and the confidence that comes with it than being on benefits and doing nothing and seeing their self-esteem fall away.’

But Labour questioned the scheme, urging ministers to do more to create real jobs for the one million youngsters languishing on the dole.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the Government should guarantee young people ‘decent training or a work trial’.

The scheme was welcomed by employers, however.

Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: ‘A blank CV with no references makes it very hard for a young candidate to persuade an employer to take them on.

‘Undertaking work experience for a local charity or social enterprise would help to show that they had the work ethic and interpersonal skills which employers need.

‘If the scheme is a success we would like to see it rolled out across the country.’

The new scheme is the latest in a string of initiatives designed to tackle Britain’s culture of benefits dependency.

Around 6,000 youngsters in London are expected to undergo the trial in the coming months.

Their experience will then be compared with that of youngsters elsewhere in the capital to see if the scheme has boosted their employment prospects.

Ministers are said to be ‘very keen’ to expand the scheme to the whole country if it proves successful.


Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

whilst work experience may help in some cases the way the tory government have done this just isnt right. the so called work experience takes jobs from companies that would otherwise have to employ paid staff and it is also totally pointless for those people that have worked before and often have an extensive work history. it is then horrific for those on sick benefit to be asked to do the same work experience. work trials with jobs at the end are needed. none of this.. “they may be offered a job at the end” in reality they wont.

This Government
has neither the competence nor desire to create jobs
this is further proof, if any were needed, the hypocrisy to talk about “something for nothing”, with the Greed running rampant through the City of London
Through Government, through the Banking industry, How Dare Chris Grayling talk about a “something for nothing culture”, when this Government is surrounded by corruption, and avarice. It’s staggering that Britain has descended to such levels.

The scam is that no new jobs are created.
Meanwhile the companies who run the schemes profit at the tax-payers expense.

So what are the Goverment going to do with the people who are paid to do these jobs right now? They seam to have no real plan, no idea how to move forward. Will Tesco have free workers again?

If children were raised properly. and schooled properly with adequate discipline, there wouldn’t be any need for these nanny-state initiatives!

They keep promising all of this new measures but nothing ever happens.

Good, so they should.

This is barking mad. It’s going to destroy the job market these young people are supposed to be competing to join. Why bother creating a minimum wage job when there is a constant stream of totally disposable labour that is being co-orced by force at the threat of destitution? But to cite care homes as places suitable for this is also detatched from reality. The Care Sector is undergoing radical change to put in place standards and safeguards, most abuse in care homes happens when staff are undertrained and underpaid and take out resentment on residents… and what about all the CRB checks? Is the government going to underwrite the damages claims when people discover their relatives, paying a small fortune and destroying the family inheritance to live in these homes, are being abused neglected and stolen from? This is the rich looking after the rich, and nothing more

I have already done 30 hours a week of voluntary work for a month, plus I have been working voluntarily for over four years now, but the jobcentre don’t care. In fact they said my 30 hours a week that I did was sort of pointless. I was like, thanks for telling me after I did it!! This is rubbish and won’t work. Employers have to be willing to take on a person without a degree, then we might be getting somewhere. Far too many overqualified people working in supermarkets and call centres right now, its unfair.

Gosh they are really going to be impressed with work when it gets to the end of the week and they still can’t afford anything more than they would have gotten from being on the dole. Slave labour, yes it is. Pay them a wage if they are doing a job, that’s the only way to show that work pays. Let’s see all these ministers doing 3 months work for no pay so they can experience how wonderful their job is. I’m sure the gravy train boys will be impressed too. Working in care home ey? That’s not going to end well.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get Adobe Flash player