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.
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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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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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