What’s wrong with workfare?

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from keep volunteering voluntary

1 It undermines genuine volunteering

Workfare is forced labour  – the opposite of volunteering. As Oxfam has pointed out, “These schemes involve forced volunteering, which is not only an oxymoron, but undermines people’s belief in the enormous value of genuine voluntary work.”

The one in three unemployed people who volunteer are increasingly being forced to give up volunteering because they have been sent on workfare placements. Bryn Tudor, managing director of Mobility Advice Line, told Third Sector that he lost five volunteers in six months to workfare schemes: “We invest a lot of money in training our volunteers, and I can’t continue like this.”

Welfare to Work providers sometimes tell charities that the schemes they want them to participate in are voluntary for participants. However there have been reports of claimants being made to do compulsory unpaid work after refusing to take part in a voluntary scheme. The target-based…

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