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To agree with workfare in principal?

(707 Posts)
IAmMiranda Sun 29-Sep-13 11:23:01

Donning my flame retardant underwear - though note I'm not for the current scheme, but the principal is sensible.

Working for unemployment benefits makes sense to me - provided that the "wage" is fair for the hours and skills. Eg. £90 a week job sellers could equal 15 hours of charity work?

Taking into account disabilities, childcare and other responsibilities I really don't think its unfair to provide people with jobs to earn the equivalent of benefits?

I do think its wrong to line the pockets of corporations, reduce jobs for other workers etc but surely charity work is an option?

I think I've probably missed some huge glaring point but AIBU?

(NOTE: I have previously been in reciept of JSA and would happily have done 15 hours a week and had plenty of time to job search)

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 11:25:26

Job seekers is £71 a week. At minimum wage it works out as 11.5 hours a week.

People should be encouraged and helped to gain relevant experience and qualifications, not sanctioned for not wanting to work a 30 hour week in Poundland.


IAmMiranda Sun 29-Sep-13 11:29:38

As I said - working hours equivalent to minimum wage and for charity not corporations.

Of course I'm not agreeing with making people work FT unless they are being paid fairly for it.

IAmMiranda Sun 29-Sep-13 11:30:25

So 11.5 hours a week, not 15. Same principal.

Souredstones Sun 29-Sep-13 11:30:35

What I don't get is if the jobs are there for workfare to fill them then why don't the employers just, you know, employ them

SpookyNameChange13 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:30:41

Thing is, it isn't how you would ideally like it to be, so saying you agree in principle is like saying 'Id agree with murder...if no one got killed'

It isn't and won't ever be any of the things you describe because that would make it fair and that doesn't appear to be the intention of workfare.


hettienne Sun 29-Sep-13 11:31:58

It's a stupid idea. If we can provide people with jobs, why not provide them with actual paid jobs and solve the unemployment problem?

Why should anyone work for less than minimum wage? If someone is doing a job they should be paid for it like anyone else.

utreas Sun 29-Sep-13 11:31:58

YANBU I think it is useful to prevent employment gaps appearing which can be fatal to any CV.

PhantomMenace Sun 29-Sep-13 11:32:13

I agree with it for lazy oiks like my brother, who has never worked a day in his life and has no intention to. His whole life plan is to have kids and live from them. He is fit and well by the way, he just says why should he work when he doesn't have to. Something like this would do him some good.

Tiredmumno1 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:33:01

Spooky beat me to it, I agree with every word.

So YABU, and yet another pointless thread about it (sorry) but one was floating about yesterday.

mrsjay Sun 29-Sep-13 11:33:03

I know a few people on this scheme i am not sure if it is called workfare in scotland anyway they force people too do work placements they stop benefit if they dont and then they punt them after a few months and get somebody else in, it isn't training anybody for work it is free labour yabu

hettienne Sun 29-Sep-13 11:33:52

OP, so what you are saying is you want to guarantee everyone at least a job of 11 hours a week at minimum wage?

ClementineKelandra Sun 29-Sep-13 11:36:12

The logistics of dong that would cost the government more money. It would also cost the charities money too. Plus who would want to train a volunteer who might leave at any moment to work in a paid job.

Dominodonkey Sun 29-Sep-13 11:37:31

Op Yanbu.

And I totally agree with you, there must be lots of jobs in the community that could be done without lining the pockets of corporations. They are not 'real jobs' because the jobs would be put off or not done at all if the job seekers could not do them.

mrsjay Sun 29-Sep-13 11:38:41

oh and volunteering for a charity or working for a charity takes dedication and people need to agree with the whole charity ethos so forcing somebody to work for their benefit for a charity is not going to work if they don't want to be there,

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 29-Sep-13 11:42:17

Many many years ago there was something called "New Deal".

My dad at the time was a manager at the council. He was offered a bloke through the New Deal system who was in his 30s and had been a chef since leaving school. Due to a car accident he now needed a sedentary job but had no experience.

He worked for my dad for a month or so only getting benefits and expenses. He then got offered a job there as he was keen, able and now experienced.

It should work like that. Ie there should be jobs at the end.

mrsjay Sun 29-Sep-13 11:45:49

I didnt get a job out of new deal I worked my but off for 6 months and then was told there was no funding to keep me on angry

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 11:49:12

I'd be happy if they 10 hours work in the community that isn't replacing real jobs such as litter picking, sweeping play grounds that type of thing. Get some of the CRB checked and go into schools to help with lunch time and after school activities, even going in and listening to dc read - all the stuff that already relies on volunteers or teacher good will.

I've always wondered if the armed forces should be a national service thing for youngsters either not working or studying - sort of 6 months to find a job and then off you go. They could be exempt from front line duty but it may prevent some of the issues where large youth employment creates gangs etc.

wannabedomesticgoddess Sun 29-Sep-13 11:54:46

The very point of JSA is that it is an "out of work" benefit. While on it, your purpose is to find a job.

Workfare (in any form) doesn't make sense for two reasons.

1. Companies are receiving a conveyor belt of free staff to fill the positions they would otherwise be hiring for, thus creating less jobs for those seeking work.
2. If we are now going to expect everyone to work for their "out of work" benefit, we might as well re open the workhouses, because we are basically saying that we no longer agree with the system that allows people to claim out of the pot they have paid into through their NI contributions.

If we move away from the "us and them" mentality and realise that the vast majority of people claiming JSA are not feckless idiots, then perhaps we would see how wrong any form of workfare is. People should be able to opt into volunteering, and if there are to be any work placements, they should be about benefiting the participant (through actual training and the availability of references) instead of benefiting large corporations.

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 11:57:53

Exactly, if we expect people to do something whilst on JSA it has to be very part time, looking for work can easily be a full time job!

I'd love it if my office had an office inexperienced volunteer in one day per week to do the filing and some other such tasks, it would help us out and give them experience to hopefully help them get a job... <<thinks>>

mrsjay Sun 29-Sep-13 11:58:20

the scheme has an upsurge around christmas time funny that hmm

TidyDancer Sun 29-Sep-13 12:01:09

The only way in which any version of this shit may work is with the people who are unemployed solely by personal choice so they are forced into getting off their arses. This includes people like my feckless cousin who has babies only for money. This is the only way she may be induced to see that since she will have to work, she might as well try to get a real job and not do this form of slave labour.

However, the problem with the above is that that scenario is exactly what the premise of workfare is built on, even if the Tories won't admit it. They think everyone is on benefits out of choice and that forcing them to work for less than minimum wage will help. It won't. It only reinforces the view that everyone on benefits is a scrounger, when the reality is that people like my cousin are few are far between.

Any then you have the added bonus that the companies who sign up for workfare participation will be filling real vacancies with people they are neither having to pay themselves nor who will be getting a fair living wage.

Workfare stinks.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 29-Sep-13 12:01:18

mrsjay That's rubbish! I was only about 13 at the time so may have the details wrong but the way I remember the point of it was for the bloke to decide if admin was for him and if it was and if he did a decent job and demonstrated he was keen etc then there was almost certainly a job for him at the end.

HeySoulSister Sun 29-Sep-13 12:02:20

I've just got a job and come off JSA but it's only,IMO, because I did some voluntary stuff

Don't underestimate how something like workfare, voluntary etc can 1/boost your confidence and 2/ boost your cv

A few hours putting yourself out can give a good return!

Fayrazzled Sun 29-Sep-13 12:02:38

Workfare schemes tend to assume that you have no or little work experience anyway. If you're a chartered accountant or surveyor or architect who is out of work, then working 15 hours a week at Tesco isn't going to put you in a better place to get a job aligned with your skills as experience is it? And the fact is, those people HAVE paid into the NI pot when they have been working- they should be entitled to the benefit without conditions.

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