30 hours a week at all kinds of jobs on workfare. Your job is next

I’ve got more to add to this story, which I will do over the weekend – here’s a starter for now:

This is a photo of a timesheet from a London JSA claimant who is on a Community Work Placement at a charity called Embrace UK:

1timesheet

The Community Work Placement scheme is one of this charming government’s we-will-make-you-work-for-nothing “concepts” for people on JSA. Instead of finding people proper paid jobs, the government forces people to work for their tiny benefits for 30 hours a week and for up to 26 weeks in a local charity or organisation. This is workfare, pure and simple.

This claimant is a 44-year-old man who signed on a couple of years ago, because he was not able to cover his bills with the money he was making in a small business he wanted to build (he was self-employed). His work programme provider is Urban Futures. Urban Futures is a right bunch of charmers with a reputation for bullying. The company has recently come to the attention of Boycott Workfare and Haringey anti-workfare campaigners. Urban Futures appears to be delivering Community Work Placements in some sort of contract formation with the equally repulsive G4S. I tried to get hold of Urban Futures on the phone yesterday to ask about the concerns re: bullying, their involvement in CWP, how many people they were sending out to work for nothing in local charities and how much their contracts were worth. I gave up after being passed around to several people who didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and/or didn’t want to know and/or finally said the only person I could talk to was out of the office. I may try calling again next week, or I may just visit their Wood Green offices and lie on the floor in reception until someone responds to me. It’ll be Option B at this rate.

Anyway – the man whose timesheet you see above must work 30 hours a week from Monday to Thursday at the charity on workfare. On Fridays, he goes into a local Urban Futures office where he has to carry out his weekly jobsearch activities. He must apply for about 18 jobs on Fridays. Here’s one of the sheets he recently filled in for that.

jobsheet

So.

Two points for now.

The first is that this man’s CWP commitments are cutting into the time he has available to find paid work and to develop his business, which is what he wants to do. He said that the hours he spends on the workfare placement and in the Urban Futures office “prevent me from building my own business. I think I would have found another job much quicker [if I wasn’t on CWP].”

The second point is that he is involved in quite an amazing range of tasks at the charity and he should get a proper wage for all of it. I think sometimes people who aren’t yet affected by these things have a vague (and snobbish) idea that workfare means a bit of weeding in public parks (a job which, may I say, is a real job that also should be properly paid). I don’t think everyone quite grasps the reach workfare increasingly has, or how far into the workplace the government intends it to go.

This charity provides a range of advice, outreach and support services for people in the area. I spoke to the charity yesterday and the person there confirmed the range of work that people on CWP were involved in – and added that people were also working in data entry and administration.

“I’m involved in the sexual health [advice] team and the youth development group,” the man on CWP told me [a comment which, incdentally, piqued my interest re: CRB/DBS checks. The charity told me that people on work placements were supervised by DBS-checked staff or volunteers at all times when on outreach with young people as per DBS guidance. The ultimate responsibility and enforcement of this is a topic I’m particularly keen to pursue with Urban Futures. It is my understanding that providers are responsible for complying. I wonder how many pursue this tirelessly. I asked the DWP about this, but haven’t heard back. More on that soon]. “At the moment, I’m doing presentations for black history. I do presentations for new arrivals, homeless groups and things like that. I’m involved in the marketing team… You need good IT skills and good communication skills. [You need to be good at] public speaking and any sort of project type management, really. I’m doing all that for the JSA. It’s a lot. ”

Indeed it is. There’s an awful lot of work being done here – for free. Paid work as a concept is under real threat – and that’s paid work of all kinds. As this man said to me when we spoke – people in so-called white-collar work may not be particularly aware that “their” kind of job is being done now for nothing. “They’ll have doctors and lawyers on workfare soon,” he said. I wonder, you know. I could see Iain Duncan Smith getting off on that.

55 thoughts on “30 hours a week at all kinds of jobs on workfare. Your job is next

  1. and why should firms and charities pay a wage when they can get slave labour for free, workfare stifles real job creation..also, people are being forced to slave away for less than the minimum wage, which is still illegal,,,,

  2. It is not “for free” and “unpaid”. These people are receiving benefits; you and I are paying for those benefits. It is only 40 hrs a week. This leaves all the rest of their days to build a business and pursue other interests.
    The person signed on a couple of years ago – that’s a long time on benefits, which the wider society pays for, with nothing to show for it. I think we have a) a responsibility to the jobseeker to expose them to wider work opportunities than they may have been considering and b) a responsibility to tax payers and other beneficiaries to use our money wisely. Consider that every pound saved on benefits could be spent on health or education (i.e. not tax cuts but helping people).

    • Just wait Fiona till your out of a job and someone else is doing your job for Benefits While your on the same roundabout working for Benefits but hey that’s ok cos your getting benefits. The working folk of this country are being made a mockery of and its folk like you that allow these megalomaniacs to get away with the money cos this is what it all boils down too is the few leeching off the rest of the world don’t think so go educate yourself to what is going on round the world

    • Fiona

      There is an Amerindian saying that before passing judgement on another person, we should “walk a mile in their moccasins.”

      I find your line of argument extremely offensive. I was a very long term disabled jobseeker for decades before I had to conclude that the system of ever greater tight-fistedness in terms of money spent on the individual jobseeker/trainee was a total mugs’ game as far as the ‘participant’ was concerned and taxpayer-funded exploitation as far as the companies that really profit from these exercises while they bully claimants.

      Throughout the time from when I left 5 years seamless but unfulfilling salaried service in Novermber 1977 till the time I claimed Employment & Support Allowance in March 2009, my sum total of waged employment was 17 months, 11 of which was so part-time that I was submitting part-time earnings sheets at the jobcentre each fortnight and not getting the proper top-up money because of administrative cock-up.

      The length of time I remained unwaged was largely due to my being pushed into changing job direction even then, even when I was on self-directed training opportunities and told to attend A4e where there were not enough computers to go around. Living on JSA rates is extremely debilitating and I reckon you should try it before you talk about ‘value to the taxpayer’. What about the right not to be exploited?

      PS: I’m sure that systemic failures such as the fact that in 2004/2005 21 million calls to Jobcentre Plus went unanswere still happen but are not reported sufficiently. How would you like to live with the frustration of being left to starve and be threatened with Housing Benefits claim closure as a consequence of endemic system failure? 21 million calls was 44% of all incoming calls to Jcp switchboards. I’d say that was endemic system failure. How about you? Can you imagine how much hardship was caused by such things? Or is that “a price worth paying for taxpayers’ value for money?”

      • Swheatie, it’s not taxpayers value for money – I’m a working taxpayer and what it really amounts to is theft from the taxpayers public purse to the grasping private sector.

        These idiots in favour of such corruption have simply been blinded by Murdoch and Rothermeres lies to blame their plummeting wages on anyone other than those who are responsible.

        Flavour of the month at the moment(other than those on benefits) are the immigrants.

        It’s pathetic.

    • Workfare victims have been paying NI and tax into the system, in many cases for years.

      If you ever find yourself on workfare, Fiona, and I sincerely hope that you don’t, you will understand.

    • So Fiona, you consider Jobseeker’s Allowance to be a fair wage for a 30hr week of work? Firstly, that would be less than £3 an hour. Half the minimum wage, which would be illegal. Secondly, jobseeker’s allowance is what it states. It is an allowance technically granted for the purpose of jobseeking. How can someone jobseek if they are stuck in a charity shop all day or stacking shelves in Poundland? Thirdly, you or I did not pay for these people’s benefits. They did, by working previously and paying their national insurance contributions. If your actual money was going to people on the dole then every time the government claims that unemployment is falling you would expect to see your wages rising dramatically, wouldn’t you, as the money you claim is being taken from you would now come back? Fourthly, you state that the wider society pays for these people and sees nothing in return. So you assume that all unemployed people do nothing all day? Just because a person is not in paid employment it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not keeping busy. Many unemployed are looking after their children, their aged relatives and sick relations (unpaid carers who save this government a packet). They also volunteer (in places of their own choosing; doing something useful other than stacking shelves in Poundland) or they are in education. Not all unemployed people are sitting around watching Jeremy Kyle on their widescreen Sky enabled TVs. Fifthly, you speak of exposing the jobseeker to wider work opportunities. Erm, again Poundland. Not sure you could class that as a wider work opportunity. Most people on workfare don’t get exposure to wider work opportunities; they just get made to stack shelves and sweep floors. They are not learning new skills, thus increasing their chances of gaining employment or at the very least bettering their minds. They are just being used to do the donkey work. And very few people on workfare get a job out of the company where they do their placements. Six, you claim that a person doing a 40hr (which should be 30hrs actually) week can pursue other interests and build up their own business on their days off. Would these be the days they will actually spend in bed because they are exhausted and dispirited because of having spent 30hrs on a work placement that they are receiving less than NMW for? And that’s not to mention the hours the person will have spent getting to and from their placement. You conveniently forgot to add those hours. A person slogging their guts out for nothing feels little motivation on their days off to do much of anything. And lastly (I have loads more points I could actually make but then I’d be here forever but I have to get ready for work; the job I do which is part time thus meaning I am forced to claim benefits despite being in work – something the majority of people in work have to do) you seem to think that every pound saved on benefits could be spent on health or education. It could but it won’t be. You have seen our government haven’t you? They are dismantling the NHS. They don’t want to spend any money on it. Any money saved on benefits (which wouldn’t be a lot) would be kept by this government and probably end up lining their pockets, or would be spent on war. Odd how we apparently have no money for unemployed people, the low waged, nurses, teachers etc but we always have money for pointless wars. I shall finish by saying that I hope you are in employment (proper full time work that enables you to live without claiming a single benefit) and that you never lose that job and have to find out for yourself what workfare is truly all about.

      • yvonne.

        Absolutely utterly agree with you. Anyone for workfare is against the working class full stop.

        Most of these morons don’t realise that the majority of the benefits budget claimed is for those actually IN work via working tax credits, housing benefits,and child benefits rather than those unemployed.

        They are so stupid and incredibly brainwashed by the propaganda media it’s untrue.

        They remind me of those German people who lived next door to extermination camps who thought they were just refuse incineration plants. Utter brainless gullible idiots.

        • Just came across this website and totally agree with your views. Dung-can theft of 5 years of my (earned!!!) Pension is disgusting but no amount of petitions or protests will make the slightest difference. Labour too, after initial condemnation, appear to have kicked the issue into the long grass. I am now on JSA, to be placed on workfare, fine, I just go through the motions!!

    • there is no saving going on here, its purely misdirection. you are worrying about 60 quid a week, subsistence income which will result in illness over time, instead of the billions in corporate welfare and tax avoidance, as the tories allow their mates to strip mine society.
      lets blame the victims eh?

    • These people have paid into the system otherwise they would not be in receipt of benefits. Today you may think it is okay because your circumstances are fine, but tommorrow it could be you possibly by unemployment or unforeseen circumstances Ill health or an accident God forbid sometimes people can’t see the woods because of the trees look beyond

    • 40 hours a week is more than a full time job!!!! So you get £72.40 a week, for working a full time job, which comes to £1.81 an hour. Now correct me if I am wrong, but national minimum wage is £6.50, for the 40 hours he is working that is £187.60 that is being stolen from this claimant.

      Let’s do some maths, there are 24 hours in a day, which makes 168 hours in a week, now lets take 8 hours a day out of that for sleeping, that leaves 112 hours, lets take the 40 hours a week he has to work for his £1.81 an hour, that is 72 hours left.

      Now, lets take off the weekend, minus the 16 hours he is sleeping, because everyone needs some time off, that leaves a total of 40 hours a week for him to do everything else a fully functioning member of society has to do, including running and trying to grow his current business, as well as getting backward and forward to his workfare job.

      Fiona, let me ask you this, would you work close to 80 hours a week for £72.40 a week? Heck, would you even work 40 hours for it?

      Would you say say “I am paying for your pension” to a pensioner? I bet you would not, and you would even go so far as saying “They have paid into the system all their working life”, well so has this person, he was 42 when he started claiming, if he started working at the age of 16, that is a 26 year working life. There is noting to say he has been unemployed in the past, so has he not “paid into the system”?

      So, Fiona, as you seem to be fine with working a 40 hour week for £72.40, please proceed to live for at least a month on no more than that.

    • First, no you’re not paying for this, technically we all pay into one pot and should you become unemployed, God forbid, the money is paid to you so you can live till you have another job. This govt is rather keen on people becoming self-employed because they no longer qualify for a raft of benefits that you, as an employed person, can claim.

      This man who is trying to become self-sufficient and in the meantime he was hoping to get the help that is offered by the DWP. As usual, the DWP has let him down and he is trapped in a situation where he can’t build his own business because he’s not given the time, on top of which he’s being paid a pittance for a job that is probably worth 2 or 3 times (or more) what he gets in benefits.

      And by the way, “a responsibility to tax payers and other beneficiaries to use our money wisely” – I would feel better about this if you actually understood how the benefits system works; I’d be even happier about it if a) the govt would encourage a growth in business to expand the job market and b) they’d force their mates to pay their bloody taxes.

    • what is wrong with giving something back if you have been on benefits for two years? And why can’t this guy find better paid employment after getting all this experience? I know people who have to work 40 hours a week for the minimum wage and gey no other help. Stop complaining and before anyone asks, I too have been on benefits and would have done anything to take that step towards paid employment.

    • Fiona, you’re right, this work is not “free” or “unpaid”, it’s paid for via a National Insurance Contribution – do you have any kind of concept what the definition of “insurance” is?

      Now imagine if under your car or home insurance company should your property be wrecked insisted that you worked to earn it after you already had?

      Are you that thick?

      I’m a working taxpayer and I REALLY object to this pilfering of public fund towards grasping private sector theft, which is all it really amounts to and it makes me physically sick.

      Can you please inform me just what the hell I am earning NIC for? Because to tell the truth it doesn’t seem towards my own benefit at all should I be unfortunate enough to end up redundant or too ill to work anymore….

      It is completely arrogant to assume anyone claiming benefits for a few years has “nothing to show for it” – how do you know they are not already doing voluntary unpaid work, charitable work or studying further in order to benefit society from a higher position?

      YOU are not speaking for taxpayers such as myself and how dare you have the arrogance to think otherwise.

    • Your job is next! if not through the imposition of slavery then by the fact that software bots and automation cost a lot less than you do so get ready to take your place in the queue for the unwaged slaves! it’s a damn site cheaper to make you unemployed and then make you slave for it!

    • To Fiona : What do You mean ”only 40 hours ” per week ?
      Only 40 hours means every day , full time . I don’t wish You to be on benefits , this is the most miserable life You can get.
      You are a disgrace !

    • What a callous person you are Fiona. I don’t suppose you’re on benefits and being forced into unpaid labour. I do agree that people on JSA should have to make every effort to find paid work but to use them as a pool of unpaid labour is shameful.

    • fiona i think the one who has to get a life is YOUdid you not read the chaps letter if he goes to the workfare from monday to thursday for 40 hours thats 10 hours a day where does he get the time to carry on with his own work but again you will be one of those TORY VOTERS who live on planet utopia

  3. Fiona I thought even IDS said that the biggest increase in benefits is caused by people in low paid work being entitled to them. For some unknown reason he seemed to think that was good but then he is nothing less than deluded or evil

  4. I’ve just just completed my time on a work placement for a recycling company. I had no idea what the company was until I got there for the induction, but it didn’t turn out to be too bad and to be honest I enjoyed working again, and was sorry to leave. As soon as I’d finished I was called in to an appointment with my adviser to be put on a 2 week “health and social care” course”, I am looking for vacancies in support work so I thought “ok thanks”. I’m looking for support work job in hostels, community centers etc, the kind that doesn’t require me to perform “personal care” tasks, that a regular care worker would perform. Personal care is washing, toileting etc and I’ve always said I couldn’t do that so I’m not looking to be a care worker. When I got to the course I explained this to them and they told me it wasn’t a problem. But towards the end of the course they put me under extreme pressure to go for an interview for a job where I’d be expected to perform personal care, even though I’d told them I couldn’t do it. It was like they just didn’t care, about me, or the people I’d be looking after, or possibly even neglecting for all they cared. I was threatened with benefit sanctions if I didn’t go for a job interview, so I asked them to keep trying to find me a vacancy for a basic support worker. At the very end of the course they came to me and told me they’d found a company, (big wow they could have just asked me to provide details of some such as the Salvation Army, or YMCA). I was told there were definably NO personal care involved and I’d be working in a shop with people with some learning difficulties who needed a little support. Great, bring it on I thought. Only when I got there the course had in fact LIED to me and it wasn’t a vacancy in a shop at all, it was in a residential home and I’d be performing personal care on people.Needless to say I was going though the interview great until this bombshell was dropped. The course called me to ask how I’d got on in the interview, and I told they I was very unhappy they’d lied to me. I got some poor lame excuse it was all some big mistake, so I let it go. Since then the course have harassed me every day with calls and texts to see if I’d heard about the job. I said “look its personal care and I cant do it and Im sick of you pushing me into a corner over it, find me another interview with someone who has the job I’m looking for or get off my back”. The next day I got a text asking if I’d heard about the job. Needless to say I have now complained to the city council and the Care Quality Commission about the company and a couple of newspapers.

  5. EXCUSE ME MOST THEM THAT UNEMPLOYED HAVE WORKED PAID INTO SYSTEM SO THEY AIN’T TAKING YOUR TAXES THEY TAKING WHAT THEY PAID IN .I CAN’T WAIT FOR UNEMPLOYED PERSON TO BE DOING YOUR JOB THEN YOUR ATTITUDE CHANGE FIONA

  6. This is disgraceful,slave Labour for Jobseekers , that also threatens he Jobs of paid workers. Why wont the Unions put a stop to this,why wont genuine volunteers show solidarity by just walking out as they are in a position to do. We are sleep walking into a fascist society

  7. This man has worked and paid into the system. He is entitled to claim benefits until he can support himself again, and he is entitled to do so without providing free labour for organisations that can afford to employ people and pay proper wages.

  8. I was in a Job for 13 years and made redundant in 2010 since then it has been very hard to find work interview after interview been back at college obtained certificates for cscs card. Yet still only had 3 months here and there in work. so working for £74 per week I don`t get housing benefit or council tax relief as I still live with a my sick sadly father I feel cwp are aiming at the wrong people why bully and force those who have a good job search and were in work. Let remember who caused the credit crunch BANKERS IN THE CITY why are the working class unemployed are tarnished with the same brush Fiona let see how you fair when you lose your job because it will happen to all at some point. slavery was abolished hundreds of years ago.

  9. RE Tony. I am being forced into care jobs (it seems to be what the jobs are in), Now due to disability, I can’t drive, or lift people and I have a bad memory. I am waiting my ESA, but JSA and Workchoice but wanted me to do Care work! I wouldn’t last!

    I was on 4 years on JSA, I have been “parked” on the Work Programme as I have a learning disability and in the last two months I broke down IN THE jobcentre in tears and looking at what they are making people do on the CWP, there is no way I can do anything and everything. I have anxiety issues and thanks to the JCP, they have flared up big time.

    Fiona, try walking in the shoes of those people who are disabled. I am still living at home and I am in my late 30’s.

  10. Urban Futures in Hammersmith is even worse, cock ups by the staff there leading to the girl on the front desk having to do admins/managers jobs and try to reverse someone’s sanction because it was Urban Future’s fault not the claimants.
    Plus many of us were sent to sit the new two part CSCS card course and exam there by our jobcentres. But Urban Futures were so spaced out we never got any results back. Seem that they have to have someone with a CSCS card there at all times while giving these courses or they are invalid.
    Last time I went back to try and get my exam results (3rd attempt) the security downstairs told me, that they just sent home another CSCS class, but did not know why. They even started asking if anyone there on the staff were “not” on drugs!!!
    Local jobcentre tell me they have loads of people complaining that they are not getting their exam results, and over several months too. So why keep sending claimants there if they know it’s no longer capable of functioning?
    Which begs another question: Ingeus, A4E, Seetec, Urban Futures have all stopped functioning in their purpose (in W & N.W. London anyway), so why are they still being paid, and clients still being sent there? Local Jobcentres all know what’s happened, so why are mandated to go to a scheme/course that is known to no longer function in it’s official way?
    Do Jobcentres have any liability to those they have forced to attend?

  11. The “make you work for nothing” claim in your first paragraph contradicts the point made in the same paragraph that payment actually IS OFFERED: i.e. benefits.

    Re your second paragraph, the fact that an employer offering CWP jobs is a bully proves nothing: there are employers who DON’T OFFER CWP jobs who are bullies.

    If you’re going to make mistakes at the rate of one per paragraph, I can’t be bothered reading further.

    • Benefits are not a wage.

      If you’re gonna make schoolboy errors like that I’m not sure I can be bothered to read anything else you have to say.

    • Sorry Ralph mate, you’re talking rubbish.

      I hope when you get made redundant the firm forces you back on their books for £72 a week.

      Then you won’t look so superior and smart will you?

      WHAT do you think you are paying NIC for?

      Idiot.

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  17. I’m currently going through this farce of a system and I’m wondering how this will help me to get a job. I’ve been unemployed since April 2011 after completing a 6-month contract with a housing company, working in their Finance department. Since then, I’ve had NO LUCK in finding another job whatsoever. I even went to college to study towards 2 AAT qualifications to try my hand at becoming an accountant, but to no avail. EVERY job I look at for a bookkeeper or accountant ALL require previous experience, which I have no idea how to even get! I’ve also noticed that a lot of job postings now are adding this little caveat: “Due to the number of applicants, we cannot give individual feedback”. This just seems like a get-out clause to me as jobseekers NEED feedback to understand where they’re going wrong with their applications in order to be able to tailor it so that they CAN be successful. It really gets my goat that employers are of the mentality now where they can just say “Why should we pay you when we can get staff for free?”. This is TOTALLY unfair, and it feels like employers can just move the goalposts so that those of us who are claiming JSA have seemingly no chance at all of finding a proper decent-paid job.

    I’m currently placed with an RSPCA charity shop, and I have to do all the mundane tasks associated with it: tagging clothes with price labels, steaming clothes ready to be put on the rails, taking stock off the shelves that haven’t sold and replace them with more recent items that have come in and I have even been out with the van drivers as a driver’s mate and helping out with collections and deliveries. So my question is this: why can’t I get paid for doing this work? I didn’t volunteer to do this of my own accord, I was FORCED into this placement as there were no placements available in my chosen line of work, which is Admin/Finance. You know why that is? It’s because of Boycott Workfare and other campaigns like it to get these places to stop taking on CWP claimants, and I’m glad of that. I only have around 6 weeks to go of my placement and they can’t come soon enough. I want to be free of this oppressive system and able to find work on my own terms, instead of being made to jump through the JobCentre’s hoops under threat of sanction like the proverbial Sword of Damocles.

    • You should be as the top wags are getting millions in wages for heading their organisations in charity status, even more now they can have you work for free courtesy of government.. That is how they get round it, you apply for non profit to get tax exemptions, then you fix your own wages at a colossal rate. Some as high as 6.4 million, then they can add inflated expenses too. Alright for some.

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    • We have been here before, and It does not benefit all businesses, just those run by fascists.
      I had my own business with a few employees at the beginning of Thatcher’s reign. 17% interest rates were not useful, but we soldiered on. And then the nasty party introduced the 1980’s equivalent of JSA. “Youth training Schemes” YTS provided virtually free labour that we thought had disappeared with Victorian apprenticeships…
      Not much new under the sun.
      My business lasted only a few months as new contracts at a “possible” price disappeared. The power base was restored.
      POWER is what its about.
      Apparently, a long time ago, there was something called society, not BIG, that spawned associative rebellion and allowed the working class (workers) to avoid becoming the next morsel for the cannon!
      Ba….rds….

    • Slave labor is when you work and get paid NOTHING by the person or organisation you are working for. You clearly need to study the definition of slave.if it was the way round you are suggesting then I could apply to a court for a public pay rise of my own choosing or set by that court, except there is no legal aid assistance. There are some firms who might do win or no fee which means the government may end up paying their fees and you more money. Google it and put the opportunity to the,. Legal aid firms are struggling at the moment. First get a signed letter from an official stating you are considered to be working for your benefits but it may not be necessary as court ,may accept if stated on any government paper you have asking you to take part in the slavery. Anyone for a legal pay rise ?

  20. I am 61 and have been referred to CWP. The reason I can’t find work is my age as I am a programmer and web developer and the under forties are the preferred choice of employers. This will be the second placement I’ve been on. The first placement I designed and implemented a corporate website for a large training company. I thought I would be offered a job, but they never even said thanks. Four years later the site is still up and running so they must of been pleased with the result. Looks like I’ll be doing the same on the CWP. Why would they employ me? I build their web site so there is no need to keep me and they have saved 20k by not employing a design company.
    I wrote to the DWP offering to build a better system than Universal Job match which cost millions (why did they use an American company). The number of faults in the present system is a joke. They never replied.

  21. I have been unemployed for a number of years now..I won’t bother getting into it here as quite frankly it’s a personal issue and none of any one’s business but mine.

    My job adviser has recommended that i now go onto the ‘work for nothing for 6 months’ as i like to call it..Work placement.
    I am already searching everyday for over 17 jobs+.
    And i am volunteering at a local community centre.

    This is beginning to smell of bull shit.

  22. I recently was diagnosed with a degenerative spine. I can at times be in massive pain in my neck and shoulders and yet our glorious provider, Learndirect has decided to put me on it’s only available position, a farm.

    Despite me and them telling the farm to put me on light duties, on my first visit today, this is nothing like light duties. I am dreading coming home and waking up, if I could sleep in pain.

    I was already sanctioned once for refusal, although interestingly they took my case and reasons and I got what they sanctioned back.

    I shall be asking to speak to someone in charge on my next visit to my local Learndirect for job search. I am not happy to say the least.

  23. i think it would be a lot better for the job centers to stop wasting peoples time in making jsa people work for nothing for the 30 hrs per week why not find jsa people a couple of job interviews per week and then try to get them back into paid work as working 30 hrs per week for 26 weeks is just ending up keeping people on benefits a lot longer , i think its about time job center advisers was made to work for there money and start helping in finding paid work for people instead of packing you all of on training once again ,while then job advisers will then just put there feet up in having cups of tea/coffee and wasting hours just standing around chatting between them selfs i think its wrong that they get paid for this when they should be the ones that sound have there money stopped ie…for just standing around chatting for hours on end between them selfs job advisers dont help people find jobs so what are they paid for just sending jsa people away 24/7 on training

    • Learndirect are a joke. They are providing placements for the Blackpool area and all they have on their books is this farm as I mentioned above and Trinity charity shops which I already had a placement with and was removed as the boss hated me taking time off for interviews. Yes I know, it ironically rather defeats the point.

      The other day one man who I’m also on this farm with was shouted at in front of others for falling asleep during the job hunting session. I know he has worse medical troubles than I do.

      Anything he tried to say was just beaten back by this woman.

      Learndirect are a disgrace if this is what happens. Anyone got any other similar stories ?

  24. and i thought slave labour had been abolished, Wrong!! Its here in disguise as mandatory voluntary work by the jobcentre. They always find a way to take advantage of the word voluntary, if the jobcentre wanted us to work they should pay us a living wage to at least help go towards the barbaric rising costs of TFL London transport fares.

  25. I am coming towards the end of a CWP provided through LearnDirect.

    Initially i was told they were trying to get me into a placement relevant to my skills and job interests and that there was a good possibility of a job at the end of it (even though they clearly state that during the CWP period you will not be placed in a job that takes a paid job away from someone, so how could there possibly be a real job at the end?). As expected, this mysterious placement fell through and i was put into a charity shop.

    Now dont get me wrong, i have enjoyed the placement there and i have got a lot from it on a personal level (although having previously been employed in retail management, i havent actually gained any new skills), and its been good to actually be out doing something worthwhile to fill my day. However, with this particular charity, the only paid staff are the managers and all other staff are volunteers. They do not have any assistant manager roles (paid ones, anyway), so unless a manager was suddenly to leave, its extremely unlikely a job would become available. I currently support the manager as an ‘unofficial’ deputy manager and take on all the responsibilities and duties of those that receive a wage, and i do so because i want to help the charity and want to be doing ‘something’.

    Yet every time i have to go to the job centre to sign, i am being told that i should be doing more to find work (on top of my 30 hours of CWP and 4 hours at LearnDirect and all the travel time in between). I apply for several jobs every week, and regularly have interviews but as yet i’ve not had success in finding a job. The job center advisor seems to think that in applying for work that i have experience in, relevant to my qualifications (at degree level) and have an interest in, i am being unrealistic and should be applying for jobs such as a warehouse worker or hairdresser (seriously, do they even look at your skills and experience?)

    So please, before you look at people on CWP as chancers and scroungers, realise that most of us are actually trying to find work and are being placed in positions that cannot provide a real job at the end, or in positions where we are doing the work of paid staff just to hold on to the ‘allowance’ that the government says we need to find work

  26. Amen. I am trying to set up a business, spending days and nights on it then I get told by this adviser I’m not doing enough job searching and I must do 35 hours a week. I said I need time for the business as well as this will get me off benefits. He wasn’t interested and said he would have to see if the business is viable before I can get assistance with a business mentor. All he wants me to do is go to work for nothing as soon as Christmas is over. I curse George Osborne who thought up this idea. Don’t vote Conservative, they mess up people’s lives.

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