To think that all this 'get the people on benefit to work' is less about cost saving for the economy and more about getting business owners slave labour?

(117 Posts)
Heroine Wed 05-Dec-12 13:01:40

I just can't help thinking, when I hear another daft greedy business owner claiming that 'work gives a social benefit' whilst advocating 16 year olds working for £2 an hour so that they can earn £50K a year plus from their small shop that all this low wage, internship and apprenticeship crap is just a way to further line the pockets of the relatively wealthy.

Also I had a big lecture from someone about how their business was doing badly, then I saw their massive house and two large guzzling cars whilst they have taken on three apprentices at £2 an hour - the same as one minimum wager! Its shocking.

LadyBeagleBaublesandBells Wed 05-Dec-12 13:04:57

Totally agree Heroine.
It's a business owners dream. Cheap labour without paying minimum wage, and they justify it by saying they're helping the unemployed.
Yea right.
Ha bloody ha.

EldritchCleavage Wed 05-Dec-12 13:04:59

I agree.

And why are people who claim benefits scroungers, but employers who refuse to pay a living wage in the knowledge the state will top up their employees' incomes aren't? We taxpayers are subsidising a lot of bosses' pay, pensions, perks and overweening self-regard.

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 13:07:13

yep, i agree too

twinklesparkles Wed 05-Dec-12 13:07:41

Totally agree smile

NiniLegsInTheAir Wed 05-Dec-12 13:17:13

YANBU. Totally.

emmam25 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:29:21

YANBU my niece has been working ridiculous hours at a well known high street clothes retailer for £2.50 an hour under this apprenticeship malarkey and basically, they are seasonal staff, without the wages. It's disgusting.
I really feel sorry for school leavers with average results who are looking to start work at the moment as there seems to be little or no options open to them. sad

thekidsrule Wed 05-Dec-12 13:30:53

agree with all posters above


Busyoldfool Wed 05-Dec-12 13:33:08

Agree. Criminal. Yes we want a society where everyone contributes - in whatever way, and yes we need people to work but this is not the way.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Dec-12 13:40:57

Yabu to think that the powers that be don't want to pay less in benefits because it would be better for the economy.

YANBU to think that apprentices are paid too little.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 05-Dec-12 13:44:07


I simply don't see how the Workfare scheme encourages businesses to actually employ people. £1.90 ph with the government paying it for 40 hours a week vs paying someone minimum wage for those hours.

flaggybannel Wed 05-Dec-12 14:46:14

YANBU! i worry that i could be made redundant then forced to do my old job for benefits as part of 'workfare' scheme- that is what we are talking about yes?

MammaTJ Wed 05-Dec-12 14:49:33

YANBU, in my youth it was the YTS and people were used and abused and unemployment figures manipulated.

Luckily, I got on a good one and am still in the same line of work.

Heroine Thu 06-Dec-12 00:01:15

I think we should encourage £2-ers to make sure they damage the brands of the people who employ them, thus learning quite a lot about how businesses should make sure that they treat their staff well in order to get the best from them, and how damaging it can be to mistreat your staff in a service economy.

Lets not forget that twat employers also need to learn how to have strong work-related skills like fairness, employee reward and consequences.

LadyBeagleBaublesandBells Thu 06-Dec-12 00:53:47

I agree again Op
Come the revolution...
But it's not going to happen sad
The huge corporate companies have way more power than our snivelling Government, they rule the world, and I can't see a way of stopping them.

Heroine Thu 06-Dec-12 07:17:21

France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway all seem to do fine at resisting the drive towards Victorian poverty that we claim is an inevitable consequence of capitalism. We just have too many leaders who have been educated in the same old-fashioned values.

There is much evidence to show that businesses that fairly reward staff are more robust, have more success, grow more sustainably and are less vulnerable to market shifts, but this current government don't understand that concept. for some reason they give off this impression (like a schoolkid would) that being a business boss is about being a nasty bossy person who drives slaves. In fact it should be more complex than that - sure business is about costs, but the best businesses are not the ones that drive on costs alone (I'm thinking some of the shockingly poor council contractors for example) they are the companies who do share the wealth and influence better, so god knows why we are letting our leaders create a culture where we have our youth feeling that work is a humiliating unrewarding experience.

The obvious outcome of that is that we have a resentful unmotivated workforce who are constantly evaluating work against dole and seeing them as broadly the same - I think what I am saying is that if businesses that rely on humiliatingly low wages go to the wall and are replaced by better structured businesses we will have young consumers, not just survivors, people who see work as of value and not just humiliating, employees who will choose the best job for them rather than something humiliating from a choice of other humiliating situations, a motivated productive workforce with pride in itself and, a better economy.

YuleBritannia Thu 06-Dec-12 07:26:10

I cannot express an opinioon but there is another eay of looking at the 'apprentice' system. These youngsters have work that will give them experience. Yes, they are paid £2 an hour (or whatever it is) but the employers are paying it. If they were claiming unemployment benefit of some sort (don't know if they qualiofy), the tax payer would be paying it.

So they have work and get something , even if only a little, rather than claiming JSA for which we pay. It's a gain all round

1. Youngster gets work and pocket money with experience for which employer pays.
2. Taxpayer pays nothing.
3. Community has one fewer people roaming the streets in the summer.

Am I wrong?

HollyBerryBush Thu 06-Dec-12 07:28:01

£2 an hour earning is better than sitting on their arse all day playing the xbox

takataka Thu 06-Dec-12 08:07:29

But whilst the businesses/employers have a string of £2ers supplied by the government, they have no need to create any actual jobs which pay a living wage. There is no incentive to employ any of these people

It's a disaster

David Cameron is a fucking arsehole

KindleMum Thu 06-Dec-12 08:21:07

Agreed. Any unskilled worker should be very scared by this as why should an employer pay a real wage for an unskilled job if he can get the unemployed to do it for almost nothing?

And usually, the taxpayer is paying for this or at least subsidising it and in the case of the big corporations, they take the UK taxpayer-funded labour and repatriate their profits to their owners overseas and pay next to no tax here.

pacificjade Thu 06-Dec-12 08:24:38

We have a small business and employ several young people under 21. We train them to do the job & pay for any courses they need to do etc. We don't call them apprentices, we call them employees and pay them way above minimum wage!

We could have taken them on as apprentices and paid £2 an hour, but we think it's morally wrong. We also think that everyone works harder if they are looked after and well rewarded. It's worked for us - our employees stay with us and enjoy coming to work.

Big companies aren't creating more jobs and giving young people experience, they are just paying their staff less 'cos they can!

GoEasyPudding Thu 06-Dec-12 08:34:07

I agree OP.
I like what you are doing pacificjade, I really admire that.

Ideally every single job in this country should be paid a living wage. The only exception should be the new Saturday Kid.

How do we start the revolution? What do we do?

SolomanDaisy Thu 06-Dec-12 08:50:02

I totally agree about Workfare etc. The trouble is that we have a government who genuinely believe that helping businesses in this way is A Good Thing.

I think apprenticeships are a bit different, as they can be an alternative to full-time education rather than an alternative to a job. A proper apprenticeship with proper training and development at a young age doesn't necessarily need to be paid at full adult rate. But a proper apprenticeship doesn't involve working in the freezer shop for the Christmas season...

Mrsjay Thu 06-Dec-12 08:54:15

I agree with you know a young woman who hasn't had much luck getting a job but has been on various work placements and schemes but never a full time job her mum is really starting to wonder if she will ever find a job

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 09:09:51




It's a convenient way of getting around the NMW really hmm

Bollocks, posting on phone!

Yanbu. I genuinely thought that getting those on benefits to work would be a good thing at first, and still think that it could be, but they have cocked it up so badly. I don't agree fully with you on the apprenticeships though. they need to be used with the ideas of getting the apprentice into employment at the end of it, providing experience and providing hands on education in the topic, not cheap labour. Lots of companies do use them for their intended purpose, though unfortunately many more don't.

takataka Thu 06-Dec-12 10:03:32

And, u believe companies are paid for taking on workfare people, are they not?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 10:08:18

Apprenticeships are not the same as workfare, they are two different things.

I can see two sides to the workfare argument, but I haven't got a problem with apprenticeships being low paid, as long as they are actually apprenticeships. 16 year olds don't need to be paid minimum wage, as they should still be being supported mostly by their parents. Apprenticeships are meant to be about training and gaining experience in order to get a proper job at the end of them. If those things aren't happening, then it's not an apprenticeship, it's a job, and therefore it should be paid like one.

TwinklingWonderland Thu 06-Dec-12 10:13:23

Let's stop buying from multi nationals like Starbucks and amazon and support the small trader then.

CremeEggThief Thu 06-Dec-12 10:15:54

YANBU. It is completely wrong that people are being forced to work for less than the minimum wage, and that others are having their jobs put at risk too sad.

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 10:18:10

Well I'm a business owner and we have taken the decision not to expand and to employ as few people as possible so we have actually made the business smaller. We are high tech and when we need specialised skills we buy contractors in overseas, completely off shore. I can't wait to retire tbh. Fed up with GB anti SME attitudes.

To the poster who used the term "pocket money" have a biscuit

A fair days work for a fair days pay.

Pocket money? angry

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 10:19:28

Sometimes Starbucks is a small trader. They are owned in a franchise by small business owners, and they have to pay the same tax as everyone else. I find this whole Boycott Starbucks thing very unfair on them.

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 10:20:09

I got into my career via YOP in the 80s, Youth Opportunity Program, introduced by Margaret Thatcher. I worked for free for 3 months and was then offered a junior job there. Best thing I ever did.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 10:21:41

What's wrong with a 16 year old being paid pocket money while they are on an apprenticeship? They are still children, who should be being supported by their parents if they are in some form of training, which a proper apprenticeship is.

Obviously I don't apply this to actual jobs that are being disguised as apprenticeships, but apprenticeships can be a very good thing.

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 10:22:17

Actually not free was on equivalent of job seekers benefits for that placement but the employer was not paying. They were paying in as much as they had to devote staff time to getting me productive though, providing desk, computer etc. Just having a new person join is expensive and I don't think many realise that.

CrunchyFrog Thu 06-Dec-12 11:17:38

I'm currently working on just about living wage.

I get more in benefits than I would not working. Like, a couple of hundred quid a week more - due to childcare tax credit.

I can't see the sense in that. But I guess if wages went up, so would rents/ childcare etc.

YANBU, workers are being screwed by their employers at the tax payers expense.

(Oh, I pay about £30 a week in tax. Woop.)

Proper apprenticeships, yes ok.

But the term pocket money is so patronising. If they are old enough to be employed in any capacity they are old enough to deserve NMW.

Anything else is age discrimination.

Would you employ a pensioner and pay them "pocket money" and say its ok because they live in their daughters granny flat? Err no.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 11:27:11

An apprenticeship isn't proper employment though, it's different. There is no reason why it should have to be the same. Training people costs money, there is no good reason why that shouldn't be reflected in the pay an apprentice receives.

ConferencePear Thu 06-Dec-12 11:29:03

I think this recession is allowing the conservatives to start doing what they would really like to do - dismantle the welfare state. Watch out for the NHS.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 11:29:21

It's not age discrimination because the pay isn't linked to age. It's linked to the training and experience received.

That may best suit people who are young enough to still expect support from their parents, but people who are older aren't banned from doing them same if they want to.

Yes, an apprentice plumber or electrician perhaps, were the costs of training are substantial.

An apprentice retail assistant were training consists of ten minute till training, not acceptable.

YouCanBe Thu 06-Dec-12 11:45:21

It is both disgusting, and short-sighted.

I think it's a moral question - if you're sat in your huge house as a small business owner while you're paying your staff below minimum wage or 'training' wages or using workfare then in my opinion your business isn't successful.

Success should be judged by how you treat the poorest paid in your workforce.

I have nothing against people making money but if they make it at intolerable expense to their staff then I do object.

I do have a problem with large businesses like Tesco/banks making mass multi billion profit, that is money taken from their staff and their suppliers - I do not think that they are successful by my definition and it's really depressing when they are lauded as a success.

We need different measures of success in my opinion. Isn't there a statistic where the happiest employees have the least gap pay wise between the people at the top and the bottom?

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 06-Dec-12 11:56:09

I don't understand the logic in it at all. So we have loads of jobless people wanting job. We have seasonal demand. Wow here's a great idea, we send the jobless to do the jobs for the companies that need them, but instead of the companies paying fair wages, the government will pay the jobless half of what they should be earning, which frankly the government can't afford, and the companies get free work and more profit.
Who the fuck had that bright idea?

EldritchCleavage Thu 06-Dec-12 12:27:11

Anti-SME attitudes?

If we had small and medium-sized businesses like Germany and Italy do: good industrial relations, excellent on-job training, family-run with good ethics, slow but steady growth and high standards, I'd be all for them.

But our bad industrial relations (fault on both sides, but to no small degree a side-effect of our pernicious class system) and very greedy, ruthless company directors have helped significantly to undermine our industrial base. Yet the business culture shows no sign of changing.

diaimchlo Thu 06-Dec-12 12:33:44

One thing to take into consideration is that these apprenticeships are not only offered to youngsters, they are offered across the whole age spectrum....

The whole benefit system is screwed to be honest all on ConDem propaganda and the mindless morons that actually believe their lies and misreporting of figures...... they have stigmatised every benefit claimant as a fraudster (the actual cost for ESA/DLA fraud is 0.05%).

The government is giving free labour to big companies, taking up seasonal jobs from people who would love to be back in the workplace full time, they cannot give an actual figure of how many of people on apprenticeships and Work Fare Programs have actually secured full time permanent work and now the sick and disabled are being forced into these programs or lose their benefit.....

SoniaGluck Thu 06-Dec-12 12:59:19

YANBU and I totally agree with what LauriesFairy said.

takataka Thu 06-Dec-12 13:03:20

Rubbish freddos I left home at 16. Lots if people I know dis also. With university fees as they are, there will be less people staying in post 16 education, and striking out at this age. There is no justification for paying anyone below minimum wage.

Anyhow, it has a knock on effect on ^ all^ employees of all ages, if a company can get their labour done for £2 an hour, of course they won't be employing so many staff that they have to pay properly

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 13:18:25

"We also think that everyone works harder if they are looked after and well rewarded. It's worked for us - our employees stay with us and enjoy coming to work. "

totally agree with this. no-one is going to want to leave an apprenticeship paying over min wage and paying for their courses for a job paying £2 and hour. it makes good business sense to pay your staff well and make them feel valued.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 13:26:35

" Training people costs money, there is no good reason why that shouldn't be reflected in the pay an apprentice receives. "

people train in jobs at all ages, should a 35 year old man who has moved into a new line of work be paid only £2 and hour because he requires training on the job?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 13:35:05

and also, if you are training someone to work in your business then why the hell shouldn't YOU be paying for the training? it is your business that will benefit from well trained staff. follow it up with good wages and are more likely to keep your employee/apprentice once their training is over.

if you cant afford to train and pay the staff you need you need to shut up shop.

ButternutSquish Thu 06-Dec-12 14:08:39

I don't disagree with what you're saying about so called apprenticeships but I do think you no idea what it's like to run a business.

A business is by design there to make money for the person who owns it. I believe any business owner has a moral obligation to look after its' staff BUT it isn't cheap to employ people. Many people take on contractors so they don't have to pay National Insurance for their staff. In my case my employee costs me approx £250 per month plus sick pay, paid holidays, maternity pay etc etc and no doubt soon I will have to pay a 3% contribution to a pension. Add to this the start up & running costs of a business which in any climate is risky.

Not all business owners are rich and live in mansions and drive fancy sports cars. I always make sure my lady is paid before me. She gets everything she's entitled to plus extras such as birthday & christmas presents and bonuses.

EldritchCleavage Thu 06-Dec-12 14:18:18

I agree with Santa. All the professions (law, medicine, accountancy, surveying etc) work on the basis you earn a proper salary doing your on the job training.

Thats life Butternut. Its a part of running a business.

Do you tell your electricity supplier that you are only paying a third of the going rate?

Staff are a cost. They provide a service. Build the proper costs into your business model. If it doesnt turn a profit, dont have that business. Simple.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 14:42:30

" In my case my employee costs me approx £250 per month plus sick pay, paid holidays, maternity pay etc etc and no doubt soon I will have to pay a 3% contribution to a pension. Add to this the start up & running costs of a business which in any climate is risky."

sorry but all of that should be factored in when you are considering setting up a business, and yes i know that new regulations happen long after you have set up but you should be able to adjust your business to comply without it costing your current or future staff. if you cant comply with current business regulations and pay a fair (i mean NMW) wage then business is no longer a viable option for you.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 14:44:04

and yes i totally get that businesses exist to make a profit for the business owner but profit should absoloutely not be at the expense of anyone else. salaries and working conditions should be fair not exploitative.

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 16:01:04

ButternutSquish I feel your pain.

When we had staff we treated them very well, they were not on minimum wage or anywhere near it, £45K plus more like with graduates starting around £20K. Life is much easier now as have scaled back, we pick opportunities as we fancy them, and only have ourselves to pay and worry about. I cannot see anything proposed by the Gov that would make me want to go down the route of employing people and expanding again.

I do not want to make money enough to go through the hassle and if the economy dips you can be left haemorrhaging money as its a lengthy process to get rid of people, the risk is too great.

Example, we spent 6 months working on a sale to Enron a few years back, they went bust just before we signed the deal. We had staff in place to service it, they could not just be switched off, we still had to pay them. Upshot was we stopped paying ourselves to keep the business going and them in jobs.

But as 'bosses' we are the greedy bad guys? Sod that for a game of soldiers. Easier not to play.

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 16:01:32

wannabedomesticgoddess have you ever run a business?

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 22:14:51

That's a feckin No then.

Meglet Thu 06-Dec-12 22:15:39


ravenAK Thu 06-Dec-12 22:25:00

So you've made business choices based on the current economic climate, Pam. & you've decided it makes sense for you not to hire employees.

That's quite literally 'your business', so long as you aren't asking the rest of us to sub your employment costs via workfare, & you aren't exploiting staff by asking them to work for less than NMW.

Did you mean to be so feckin' rude?


No I havent run a business. But I cant see how that invalidates my point. I have business experience. Does that count or are you still superior?

Darkesteyes Thu 06-Dec-12 22:29:52

<claps ravenAK> Totally agree raven.

PessaryPam Fri 07-Dec-12 07:27:30

wanna, you have no idea.

AnneTwacky Fri 07-Dec-12 07:44:14

All those people saying it gives them experience, and it's better than the tax payer paying/ saves them playing on their xbox etc. I would agree with you if the employers were paying them a real wage instead of a pittance.

It's absolutely immoral to expect somebody to work for you and not pay them properly. OP YANBU.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 08:01:31

So much of whether it is immoral or not depends on the job. If we are talking about an apprenticeship in retail where the only training required is how to work a till, then I agree, it is wrong to pay for that job at less than NMW. But if we are talking about a traditional apprenticeship, where the trainee requires a lot of training and experience to be able to do the job properly, then I can't really see the problem with it. Apprenticeships are not suitable for all jobs, but they are great for learning trades like plumbing. I don't think employers should be expected to pay NMW to someone who is not yet capable of doing the job, but who will be very capable after having hours of input into their training. A plumber who is training someone needs to have extra time on every job to do do that training, and time is money in trades like that. Who is going to pay someone who is unqualified and with no experience the NMW to do a job they have no idea how to do?

It's better to pay young trainees a little so that they get training and experience which will enable then to earn more than NMW in the future. Otherwise they get no training, no experience, and can never hope to do a job that will earn them more.

FeistyLass Fri 07-Dec-12 08:07:03

We run a small business too and pay our staff well and give bonuses. I know a lot of small business owners and none of them are using apprentices at £2 per hour. They all treat their staff well. Hence I'm a bit confused where all this anger against SMEs is coming from. confused
It's big businesses who seem to be benefitting from this scheme and exploiting it.

QueenoftheHolly Fri 07-Dec-12 08:18:34

Oh dear! Really find this pov very confused
The thing is, really anyone can be a 'business leader' esp of a small company, if things are so unfair why not take on the challenge (& stresses etc) & have a go yourself? Worth remembering that most small businesses fail - it is tough. & why all the choppiness about people having a good car etc?

I get very annoyed by Tesco's (for eg) taking advantage of the apprenticeship scheme because they are not teaching any skills but when a young person is genuinely learning new skills, this does cost the company money - both sides see the time as an investment.

When I was at school I did jobs (for spending money) including babysitting 4 DCs including one autistic, for £1.17 / hr (I remember as the counted out the pennies! They were quite wealthy- obvious as to why!!)) waitressing for £2/ hr, office cleaning for about the same.

It helped me to learn that jobs, wages etc are supply & demand. If you want to earn lots you have to be able to do something that fewer people can do. That applies to gaining experience & expertise as well as working hard at school of course.

To me this thread rings slightly of a sense of entitlement. A kind of 'brought up on welfare' thought process.

Heroine Fri 07-Dec-12 08:56:29

I'm absolutely fascinated that you think a sense of entitlement is most evident in those brought up on welfare, and that you also clearly believe that feeling entitled to a wage that is enough to live on in one of the wealthiest countries in the world is some sort of character flaw!

It never fails to astonish me that people with at best a junior school grasp of economics feel 'entitled' to blether on about how people should be grateful for being exploited, and congratulate people whose means of making money is to make the lives of everyone around them miserable so that they can feel a few steps up.

Heroine Fri 07-Dec-12 08:57:17

Also, when you were this social hero working for £2 an hour, how many years ago was that??

Pam, do you mean to be so condescending or does it happen by accident?

You have no knowledge of what I have an idea of.

I dont need to run a business to know that these apprentice schemes which have popped up recently are nothng more than slave labour.

Real apprenticeships which contain a structured training programme and improve job and salary prospects are being seriously undermined by these schemes.

It beggars belief that people are on this thread complaining that people dont want to work for £2 per hour.

Stop believing in the "entitlement" propaganda. Its all lies. No one is acting "entitled" by expecting to be paid a decent wage!

TwinklingWonderland Fri 07-Dec-12 09:52:38

Seems that small businesses are getting a hammering here...worth remembering that many have gone out of business in the last few years so not sure the comments about business owners in large houses is true most of the time confused

In fact, though I'm not a small business owner, the few self employed I know work all hours themselves and couldn't afford to employ anyone, £2 per hour or otherwise....

Worth also remembering that it is a free country and everyone is entitled to be self employed, for example I get lots of people asking for work as window cleaners/gardeners/laptop repair etc, they flyer lots of houses looking for work though mostly east Europeans as they seem more keen to work than some of those on the dole

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 10:32:22

I don't think anyone is saying that people should be grateful for being exploited confused

I do agree that many people have too much of a sense of entitlement though. It's as if people think 'I should be able to have as many children as I want, have them educated to a high standard, and I expect them to be able to walk into a good job whenever they choose to leave education no matter whether I have paid into the system or not'.

The fact is that we don't have enough jobs at the moment, and it's debatable whether that's because we don't have enough work available or because we have too many people in the country to do the work that needs doing to sustain society.

I think it is entitled to just assume that you deserve a NMW job and then top ups to sustain you if you have few or no skills. There a too many people that fall into that category, for whatever reason, so people have to accept that if they don't have something worthwhile to offer an employer, there is no reason why an employer should want to employ them when there are plenty of others willing and able to do the same, or a better, thing.

I have already said I don't agree with people being paid £2 an hour if their work is worth more, but if their work isn't worth more because they have minimal skills and require a lot of supervision and training, then they have to do what they have to do to improve their own earning potential themselves without expecting it to be handed to them.

So a retail assistant should accept £2 per hour because they have minimal skills? Or a cleaner?

Sorry but that really is a load of shit.

Some people need a job to support themselves and their families. They may not have time to gain qualifications. Lets face it, there arent many opportunities out there anyway. And some people simply arent that way inclined. Should the less able in our country be paid a pittance?

And it has absolutely nothing to do with people who have more kids than they can afford. FGS does every thread have to turn into thst nonsense now.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 11:00:09

So a retail assistant should accept £2 per hour because they have minimal skills? Or a cleaner?

That's not what I said. Are you actually reading my post, because it would help if you are going to respond to it.

A retail assistant or a cleaner is providing work that is essential to the business, therefore their work is worth at least NMW. But that only applies if they can do the job that is needed with minimal training. If they require a lot of training and supervision, as a trainee tradesperson would, then their work isn't worth that much in comparison to someone who has already been trained and is willing to work at NMW. If you take away the chance to earn a small amount of money and gain experience and training at the same time, then opportunity is reduced even further.

Yes, people need jobs to support themselves and their families, but if all they are ever going to be capable of is earning NMW with top ups, then they have to accept that they aren't going to have a great standard of living.

Society isn't there to just do favours for the 'less able' as you put it. People have to have something to offer society as well. Sometimes they do valuable work that is badly paid, and I think we need to concentrate on improving the incomes of people that do provide valuable work to society before we start creating work that doesn't need to be done just so that people with nothing to offer can have families. If people aren't 'that way inclined' then why should they expect a living wage for doing next to nothing?

Surely you can see that people who have nothing to offer but who still expect a good standard of living and to be able to have as many children as they want, do in fact have a huge sense of entitlement?

It seems to be you who isnt reading my posts. I have stated numerous times that I am not talking about trade apprenticeships eg plumber.

I am talking about these new "apprenticeships".

I have worked in retail, as both the trainee and the person providing training, and I can assure you that the skills required do not involve training of great cost to the employer.

In a society you will have jobs which require high skilled workers. These people have spent time and money gaining their qualifications and should be rewarded accordingly.

But in order for those peole to do their jobs effectively, people need to be available to do the less skilled jobs. Thesr people are no less valuable. Where would we be without cleaners? Or assistants in shops?

It is not entitlement for the less skilled to expect to be able to put a roof over their heads, have a family and a life.

Its one thing to say they shouldnt expect the living wage. But to say they shouldnt expect minimum wage is ridiculous.

£2 per hour is a paltry sum of money. I was getting paid just shy of that in 1992 to work in my school holidays in a fish and chip cafe. It was a terrible wage then and I left after the summer season and got a better job with better pay. That was 20 years ago and I was still at school (about 14 years old). How anyone in all honesty can say that paying someone £2 per hour is going to encourage people to see the value of work and reward is beyond me.

Bumbdeal Fri 07-Dec-12 11:56:36

But it is not just £2 an hour, it is topped up by benefits.
That business that employs 3 people might not exist without a fourth person but maybe can't afford to employ another member of staff.
So that would be four people on benefit.
There is plenty of work that needs to be done but no money to pay for it.
If you are receiving benefit why shouldn't you do some of this work?
Some people do, my friend volunteered until she found paid work. Some of which was a result of volunteering.

Theres no money to pay for it because once it lines the pockets of the wealthy it goes offshore.

Benefits dont top it up either. A single person claiming £71 a week JSA would only get topped up to £71. Any earnings are deducted.

kilmuir Fri 07-Dec-12 12:07:42

what else would they be doing all day?
get some decent qualifications so you don't have to work in a shop

SoniaGluck Fri 07-Dec-12 12:19:54

kilmuir As has already been pointed out, we need people to work in shops, work as cleaners, etc., these people also deserve to be paid a decent amount of money.

We can't all be high fliers and society needs people that do every level of job.

What is your solution? Highly trained nurses cleaning hospitals? And who is going to sell you your bread and milk if everyone has decent qualifications.

Don't talk daft.

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 12:52:43

I think we need to concentrate on improving the incomes of people that do provide valuable work to society before we start creating work that doesn't need to be done just so that people with nothing to offer can have families. If people aren't 'that way inclined' then why should they expect a living wage for doing next to nothing?

Good heavens. How awful.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 12:55:33

Wannabe, I already agreed with you that cleaners, shop assistants etc are essential to business and that's why they should be paid at or above NMW.

The problem is that even without stupid 'trainee' schemes or so called apprenticeships that aren't really apprenticeships, there still aren't enough of these low skill low pay jobs to go around. There are too many people that want them, and I think part of that does come down to people having too many children over previous generations.

The more low skill workers we have, the less valuable their work becomes. Employers will naturally keep their expenses as low as possible, and will often use the cheapest labour possible. I probably feel the same as you in that its unfair for a big business to keep all of its money at the top and not let any flow down to the people that are at the bottom or middle of the chain.

But on the other hand, if an employer can pay NMW to either choice of two employees, and one has more skills than the other bit they are both willing to work for the same, then why shouldn't the employer get the most it can for the same amount of money?

I agree that we need low waged workers, but as there aren't enough jobs for those that do have qualifications, then those people with qualifications and good skills are going to take work that they are over qualified for. This means that those who are unqualified and unskilled either have to sell their labour for less, or get themselves the skill and qualifications required to pay a decent wage. They are not owed a favour by the rest of us, it's up to an individual to do as much as they possibly can to increase the value of their work.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 13:00:05

Why awful Eldritch?

If the only jobs available to people with skills and qualifications are low paid, then there is going to be less work available for those with no skills or qualifications. It's just common sense.

Those that have worked to improve their skills and to gain qualifications deserve to be paid more than people who haven't.

Ok. Send the unskilled to work for free then.

Or better yet, sling them all into workhouses.

Its £2 per hour now. Whats next? The NMW was set up to stop this happening but now this government is letting businesses get around it and promoting it as A Good Thing.

Also, why are the unskilled being expected to work for next to nothing? Who caused this recession? It certainly wasnt them. Yet they are bearing the brunt.

"before we start creating work that doesn't need to be done just so that people with nothing to offer can have families"

What on earth kind of jobs are you referring to there??

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 07-Dec-12 13:19:40

"what else would they be doing all day?"

jobsearching/applying/interiewing for a job that will pay them a wage they can actually survive on.

the thing is NMW is the minimum wage thought necessary for 1 hours employement in any role.

if people start a job and require training, yes they should expect to be paid less than someone already trained, but the less should begin at NMW. if the company want to recoup the costs of training someone (to make money for their business!) then write it into the contract that the employee will remain on NMW after training for a period of X months/years and that the initial employment contract is for a period of a minimum of X months or years.

i know quite a few people who were taken on as apprentices, paid less than £2 an hour for 2 years and then let go once their apprenticeship was done. so whilst they had received their training and given 2 years of work (trained for alot of the work for a good chunk of those 2 years) they were then made unemployed because the company didn't want to have to pay them an actual wage for the work they did.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 07-Dec-12 13:22:44

"get some decent qualifications so you don't have to work in a shop "

yes because the highly qualified students leaving UNI with degrees are just walking into jobs aren't they? hmm

SoniaGluck Fri 07-Dec-12 13:30:03

* I think part of that does come down to people having too many children over previous generations. *

Oh, the temerity of the lower orders for having children. Whatever next?

Honestly, for all the accusations of 'entitlement' aimed at the low-paid or people claiming benefits, I am beginning to believe that the truly entitled are those who want to employ workers but at the minimum they can get away with and let the government top up the wages. And also those who earn well but don't want to pay taxes that help those less well off.

Well said Sonia.

Also, we need people to have children. And we dont have the right to decide who is worthy of it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 07-Dec-12 13:42:51

We need people to have children, but we don't need people to have children and then bring them up so that they have nothing to offer.

People have every right to have children if they want them. They also have every right, and every responsibility to provide for them themselves without expecting their right to have children to become the responsibility of other people.

Santa, your point has hit the nail on the head. If highly qualified individuals are finding it hard to get work, then those who have nothing to offer need to up their game. They are not owed a living just for being.

It is every individuals responsibility to make themselves as employable as possible, because in times like this when unemployment is high, those people with no skills to offer are reasonably going to be bottom of the pile when it comes to getting employment.

They might not be owed a living. If they cannot get a job and they do nothing to change that then ok.

But if they get a job, they are owed a fair days pay for a fair days work.

We cannot lower wages because demand for jobs rises. If we do that we are de valuing the whole workforce, skilled or not.

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 14:07:03

Interesting that none of these economic arguments tend to get applied to the middle classes.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 07-Dec-12 15:58:32

agree wannabe. if someone presents themselves to a place of employment and undertakes the job set out to them they deserve to be paid a fair wage and in this country that wage has been set at NMW. it does not matter that there may be 40 other people capable of doing the job, it isn't madbid where the job goes to the lowest bidder (or who will work for the least amount). NMW should be the lowest starting point possible for anyone in employment.

Heroine Fri 07-Dec-12 23:35:58

You do know don't you that many business people who claim to be taking nothing from their business are doing that deliberately to keep their wages (drawings) low so that they can also claim working tax credits. Good employers keep drawings low by paying staff bad ones call big cars and domestic property business expenses so that instead of paying the 40% tax they should, they only pay 20% corporation tax on their 'profits' and no tax on their 'business purchases'.

Note that someone running their own business can be given help for their earnings, be granted apprenticeship money that pays then, and then the apprentice can claim money to re-subsidise themselves. Business owners are getting handouts from far more directions than the unemployed or 'unskilled'.

There is no requirement that young people on £2 an hour 'apprenticeships' recieve any training other than being on the job.

There is also a fallacy going through this discussion that people on low wages are automatically those without skills or abilities. If that were true, it would be an easier world. IN fact many people on low wages have skills that are above the job, yet are trained in that particular job because all employers are different. Training plus job STILL means that that work is worth more to the employer than they are paying the staff - that is the purpose of employing them. It is just outrageous that people are effectively not running successful businesses, they are running unsuccessful businesses part financed by the poor and part financed by the government. ITs disgusting.

TwinklingWonderland Sat 08-Dec-12 07:29:45

Bloody hell OP I think I'll set up my own business if its as simple and profitable as you say! More to the point, why don't these skilled and able apprentices set up their own businesses if they are so capable and it's so lucrative?

This is a free country with lots of opportunities, something we should be very grateful for, have a look at many parts of the world where there us genuine slave labour and you may realise how lucky we are.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 08:13:15

Presumably these apprenticeships are for those people who can't get any other job, mainly through lack of qualifications or experience?

If they can compete in the open job market, they aren't being forced into an apprenticeship.

Working in a shop is about a lot more than using a till, for which I am sure the training is more than 10 minutes. It's about time-keeping, appearance, communications skills, attention to detail, efficiency, etc. These transferrable skills require training, development and feedback from the employer.

I can see the value on giving employers an incentive to take on youngsters who have nothing on paper to offer.

My teenagers have to pay to get their qualifications.

AnnaRack Sat 08-Dec-12 08:30:36

If the job the "trainee" is doing was previously being done by an employee on afull wage then of course it's exploitation.

Op your last post is a bit confusing. Do you mean they are self employed and that they are putting false expenses through so their profit is low, or do you mean they are directors of a company and taking a low salary? In either case, cars etc don't go through as a lump sum, a proportion is as a capital allowance, reduced by personal use.
I also thought that workfare was a 2 pound contribution to the benefit, not that the person only receives 37 hours at 2 pounds? Altho actually, wouldn't that be the equivalent of jsa? (71 pounds a week?)

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 08:52:24

The minimum wage for a 16/17 year old apprentice is £2.65 per hour, and they work a minimum of 30 hours - so earn £80 per week.

Transferable skills which would be learnt in any job do not make something an apprenticeship.

A structured programme of practical on the job learning, supported by theory, which leads to a qualification at the end, is what an apprenticeship should be.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 09:48:56

Most people leave school with the minimum of transferrable skills. There are, however, a sizeable number who do not and need to learn them on the job. If an employer has to do what should have been done at home or school, why should they pay double the wage?

Why shouldnt they pay National Minimum Wage? Then people who have got skills can earn a living wage as a reward for having those skills, and the unskilled can still support themselves.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 10:15:28

They will want someone who is "work-ready" if they are to pay mnw.

If they have to provide remedial education, why should they pay more? They can get plenty of people to fill these jobs with only a minimal induction.

Why was it ok before then?

Because we had a government which upheld the principle of nmw.

This government is undermining it,because it feeds into their theory that the poor are scum and business owners are superior.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 10:21:42

Was it OK?

What was OK?

That companies had to pay nmw to everyone, unless it was a recognised apprenticeship which provided a trade.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 10:33:01

What was youth (16 - 18) unemployment like, and how was it tackled?

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 10:39:40

Let's get some facts about NMC:

£6.08 per hour for adult workers (21+)
£4.98 per hour for 18-to-20-year-old
£3.68 per hour for under-18s who have finished compulsory education
£2.65 per hour for apprentices under 19 years old or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

So, if your typical 16 or 17 year old can get a job on the open market, they are only £1.03 better off than someone of the same age who brings nothing to the table. A pound an hour doesn't seem bad for remedial education leading to recognised qualifications.

Amerryscot Sat 08-Dec-12 15:48:13

It makes me chuckle no end when hard facts = thread killer.

All those people who bleat "exploitation" don't know where to look.

These placements arent just being aimed at young people though.

A neighbour of mine has to do an unpaid placement in a charity shop. Hes in his thirties.

Yet, I cant apply for jobs I could do easily because I am 25 and most of the jobs are in the youth employment scheme.

The whole jobmarket is a shambles right now.

Heroine Sat 08-Dec-12 16:06:36

Some points:

1. Are you seriously benchmarking against the minimum wage to judge the contribution of workers to the business?

2. If minimum wage is the wage that should be paid to the most unskilled jobs with the highest number of available workers, why is the minimum wage still paid to many jobs that require the employee to have more about them than no skills at all.

3. Business owners can easily manoeuvre what is salary into profit in order to pay less tax

4. Some business owners say 'how can I make my employees feel part of the team, rewarded and motivated' other say 'If I can get this sucker legally to work for nearly nothing, and get the government to pay me to do so, I am cleverer than that sucker because I can rip him off, so I deserve the money'.

5. I don't think large employers making billions profit a year that shareholders are taking away are really 'struggling business owners'

6. Its clear however you put it that these schemes are about subsidising the business, not the worker.

7. That the net result is that the worker is disadvantaged, less likely to learn the skills he/she needs to progress, can't have spare money so is limited by a cycle of dependency to work rather than by a cycle of motivation and achievement.

8. That long term this is foolish because if too many individuals or households are paid only subsistence wages, then the economy becomes too reliant on food and household goods as there is little expenditure on anything else

9. So who benefits the most from low waged apprenticeships?

10. That's right, the supermarkets, whose shareholders from the top five are taking about £15billion out of the economy at the top end every year.

11. Which represents 1.5 million minimum wage (over 18s) workers - i.e. half the jobless.

Darkesteyes Sat 08-Dec-12 17:07:00

AmerryscotSat 08-Dec-12 08:13:15

Presumably these apprenticeships are for those people who can't get any other job, mainly through lack of qualifications or experience?

If they can compete in the open job market, they aren't being forced into an apprenticeship.

Working in a shop is about a lot more than using a till, for which I am sure the training is more than 10 minutes. It's about time-keeping, appearance, communications skills, attention to detail, efficiency, etc. These transferrable skills require training, development and feedback from the employer.

Amerryscot 9 years ago i got a job at Boxclever. (a now defunct tv rental business) i worked in one of their shops. I had to learn a till yes.... but i also had to learn their computer programme so i could do rental contracts (the shop had a till and a computer ) and you often had to multi task with both at the same time. Do you know how long it took me to learn and be trained up to do it........THREE WEEKS!

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