Tagged: Community Work Placements

Liars! The National Charity Who Are Deceiving The Public About Their Role In Workfare

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WorkFare-not-workingSome of the UK’s largest charities have a dirty little workfare secret and one of the best known has even resorted to telling bare-faced lies about their involvement in forced work.

In a statement on their website, updated on 14th July 2014, Age UK say:  “Age UK, the national charity which includes our 453 shops, is not involved in the mandatory welfare to work scheme.”

This will come as a surprise to G$S who have recently announced that an Age UK training centre in Preston will be acting as Placement Brokers for the recently launched and very much mandatory Community Work Placements.  Age UK’ have claimed up until now that only local branches, who are managed independently of the national charity, are involved in workfare.  But according to the charity themselves these training centres are a division of the national organisation, they are not locally run.

Whilst one…

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Involuntary volunteers?

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

This is what the Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) have to say about Community Work Placements advocated by Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP.

The Association of Volunteer Managers advises its members to think very seriously before getting involved with the new Community Work Placements (CWP) or the Mandatory Intervention Regime (MIR) as part of Help to Work.

The CWP is a mandatory work placement scheme that unemployed people will be forced to take up and complete (at 30 hours per week for six months) to avoid losing their benefits. Any charities signing up to the scheme should be very clearly aware that this is not volunteering and that volunteer management practices will not necessarily be applicable.

Organisations will have to understand that they will be required to report a claimant’s non-attendance or poor performance, and that this could result in their loss of benefit.

Volunteers support us with their skills, effort and time…

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Labour To Hand Lucrative ‘Workfare’ Contracts To Smaller Companies

A future Labour Government would consider handing lucrative Work Programme contracts, dubbed ‘workfare’ by opponents, to smaller businesses and charities in a bid to cut back on the number of large providers involved in controversial back-to-work schemes.

>  Small providers will then proceed to grow into big providers (re-employing all the crap staff from the ousted providers along the way) and we’re back to square one.

And whoever provides it, workfare is still forced labour.

Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP said that she plans to “challenge the status quo” of Government commissioned Work Programme contracts by opening up the scheme to smaller providers.

 Back-to-work services could be devolved and decentralised away from Whitehall, by allowing local governments and social enterprises to develop and outsource schemes better tailored to the meet the needs and requirements of locally unemployed people.

Ms Reeves told the Financial Times that new providers may be required to pay their employee’s a living wage if they wish to bid for contracts. She said that existing providers should be worried by her plans but acknowledged that they come with potential “cost implications” for a future Labour Government.

Some of Britain’s largest charities recently announced that they were to boycott a similar scheme to the Work Programme. Hundreds of charities and 13 councils signed a pledge to boycott Community Work Placements, which form part of a new Help To Work Programme, where the long-term unemployed are required to meet with a Jobcentre adviser every day, attend training or commit to six-months “voluntary work” in their local area. Failure to comply could result in benefit claimants having their payments docked or stopped completely for a pre-determined length of time, otherwise known as a ‘benefit sanction’.

Opponents of back-to-work schemes, like the Work Programme and Community Work Placements, say they amount to a form of forced labour because of an ever-existing threat of sanction for non-compliance, as well as gifting employers with free labour enabling them to escape hiring paid workers and keep wage costs down.

Unemployed people taking part in these schemes claim their benefits have sometimes been cut for ridiculous and over-zealous reason, such as failing to turn up to a placement because of being in hospital or delays to local bus services, as well as other reasons.

Labour will have to go much further if they are to satisfy opponents of these schemes, who say they would accept no less than complete abolition of all “slave labour” programmes, and the end of private company involvement in social security benefits and the welfare state.

> They’ll have to go a damn sight further than they ever seem likely to, now that the extent of their ambitions seem limited to being the Tory-lite party.

 Source –  Welfare News Service, 24 June 2014
http://welfarenewsservice.com/labour-hand-workfare-contracts-smaller-companies/

Hunting Down The Workfare Exploiters – Shame On Westward Pathfinder

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sanction-sabsSo scared are the DWP that charities involved in workfare will have their reputations ruined beyond repair that they are refusing to name the sub-contractors running Community Work Placements.

70 organisations have been handed lucrative sub-contracts which will see tax payer’s money shovelled into their filthy pockets in return for forcing people to work without pay for six months.  Anyone who refuses will face punishing benefit sanctions which are known to have driven people to ill health, suicidal behaviour and homelessness.  Many of these contracts will be managed by G4S, who yesterday violently removed human rights protesters from their annual general meeting.

Astonishingly some of the organisations involved in the scheme call themselves charities.  Like the worst kind of Ned Flanders fucking do-gooders, these nasty pieces of work have even decided that forcing people to work without pay under the threat of homelessness and destitution is ‘helping them’.  And…

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Workfare’ Scheme ‘Holed Below The Waterline’, Says Unite

 

Unite Union Press Release:

The opposition of nearly 350 charities to the government’s new ‘workfare’ programme has ‘holed the scheme below the waterline’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 5 June).

Unite has welcomed the news that 345 voluntary sector organisations, including household names such as Shelter, Crisis, Scope and Oxfam, have pledged not to take part in the Community Work Placements (CWP) programme.

 The indications are that the flagship scheme of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been delayed yet again

This week was meant to be the deadline for organisations to start the new mandatory CWPs which require that jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants do six months work placement – or risk losing their benefits.

Unite, which has 60,000 members in the voluntary sector, has branded the scheme as “nothing more than forced unpaid labour.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The mounting opposition from the not for profit sector has holed one of Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship projects below the waterline. More waves of opposition will sink this scheme once-and-for all.

“This obscene programme is nothing more than forced unpaid labour.

“Unite welcomes the fact that so many charities have given this scheme the thumbs down as they can see that it is grossly unfair and a perversion of the true ethos of volunteering.

“Questions have to be asked about the government’s slavish reliance on the controversial private sector contractors, such as G4S, to implement the CWP programme.

“It was G4S and its security shambles that was the only blot on the London Olympics two years ago.

“We are against this scheme wherever Duncan Smith wants to impose it – in the private sector, local government and in the voluntary sector.

“It is outrageous that ministers are trying to stigmatise job seekers by making them work for nothing, otherwise they will have their benefits clawed back.

“What the long queues of the unemployed need are proper jobs with decent pay and a strong structure of apprenticeships for young people to give them a sustainable employment future.”

Unite is opposing workfare in local government and will be raising it as an industrial issue with local authorities which do not sign the pledge. So far, 13 local councils have signed up not to implement any workfare programmes – and more are actively considering doing so.

With so many council cuts, Unite is determined that workfare placements are not used to replace paid jobs.

Unite’s growing community section will be on hand to support unemployed people forced onto workfare schemes.

> This last paragraph looks interesting….

Source – Welfare News Service,  05 June 2014

http://welfarenewsservice.com/workfare-scheme-holed-waterline-says-unite/

The Staggering Cost Of One Man’s Delusions: £25 Billion Squandered On Bungled Welfare Reforms

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iain-duncan-smithThe recent report from the Major Projects Authority, which revealed that Universal Credit is such a fucking disaster they had to invent a whole new category to describe it, also laid bare the astronomical cost of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.

Just under £11 billion is budgeted to be squandered on some of the DWP’s largest projects, and that figure doesn’t include Universal Credit.  The cost of this hare-brained experiment is shrouded in mystery now it has been classed as ‘reset’, but last year the Major Projects Authority reported the that bill would reach £12.8 billion.

Even this is far from the whole story.  Community Work Placements, the latest mass workfare scheme, will cost almost a third of a billion.  The costs of other Jobcentre schemes, such as Mandatory Work Activity, are not included in the above figures.  At the very least the budgeted costs of welfare reform exceed…

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Another Shambles At The DWP: Community Work Placements Fail To Launch

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g4s-workfare Despite a high profile launch of the latest mass workfare scheme two weeks ago, DWP documents confirm that in fact it hasn’t started yet.

The unpaid Community Work Placements are one element of ‘Help To Work’.  This is the latest draconian scheme concocted by Iain Duncan Smith as part of his increasingly desperate attempt to prove that unemployment is caused by unemployed people.  The £300 million initiative involves claimants sent on six month’s full time workfare for ‘community organisations’ under the threat of benefits being stopped.

The scheme is mired in chaos with sources at the beginning of the month saying that no-one who works in Jobcentres has “been told anything about it”.  This is confirmed by a DWP newsletter which says that “the first claimants will be referred onto Community Work Placements from the end of May 2014”.  It is even unclear whether daily signing, or mandatory interventions –…

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Over 200 Charities Reject Workfare and Sign Statement Saying Keep Volunteering Voluntary

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Over 200 charities and voluntary organisations have now signed the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement in response to the Government’s launch of mass workfare.

As pointed out by Boycott Workfare, this vastly outnumbers the 70 organisations that the DWP claim have backed the new Community Work Placements, which involve 780 hours forced work under the threat of meagre benefits being stopped.

Many more charities have confirmed they will not be involved in the scheme on twitter, including household names such as British Red Cross, Scope and Friends of the Earth.  This is a disaster for the DWP as they attempt to find tens of thousands of workfare placements in the voluntary sector.

It could also spell trouble for Mandatory Work Activity (MWA), the shorter workfare scheme which to punish claimants when Jobcentre busy-bodies decide they aren’t trying hard enough to find work.  The Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement does not just…

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G4S Ride To The DWP’s Rescue, Bungling Fraud Suspects Handed Huge Government Contract

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g4s-workfare Several hours after the DWP’s £300 million mass workfare scheme began and the DWP have finally decided who’s going to be running it.  The Financial Times are reporting that G4s will operate the flagship contract to provide Community Work Placements in six regions.  This is despite the fact that up until just over two weeks ago they were still mired in a Cabinet Investigation over fraud allegations.   The company are still under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office after over-charging huge sums on their electronic tagging contract.  Other companies with their snouts in the workfare trough include Pertemps, Seetec and Interserve.

G4S will use their experience fucking up the Work Programme to fuck up the Help To Work scheme of which the unpaid workfare placements are a key part.  Quoted in The FT, Sean Williams, managing director of G4S employment support services, said:  “Building on our experience on the…

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Chaos At The DWP As Bungled Help To Work Scheme Attempts To Launch

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Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success. Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success.

Despite wildly optimistic claims from the DWP, today’s launch of mass workfare seems to be in chaos behind the scenes.  With barely any information yet available on the scheme it appears that the flagship Help To Work programme has no-one actually running it, no guidance for companies involved and no real plan to deal with the huge influx of claimants to Jobcentres from daily signing.

According to the BBC a mere 70 so-called charities have signed up to provide placements on the scheme which will involve forcing unemployed people to carry out 780 hours of unpaid work.  For ‘Help To Work to be successful, these charities will need to accept hundreds, or possibly thousands of placements each.  Predictably the DWP are not saying who the charities are.  So far the only voluntary sector organisation…

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