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While I think the decission of the judge as the right one in the overall view of the principle of 'is unpaid work slavery' I find it hard to understand why the DWP did not use the voluntary work Cait Rielly was doing as 'work experience'. Surely it would better prepare her for work in any field, doing what she did in the museum rather than stacking shelves in a bargin shop?
In the early to mid 1990s I went through a number of the programmes described by Michael. In all but one of them the employer for the placement phase had no intention of offering a job to the person who took the placement. At the end of the 6 months the 'placee' had to train their replacement and was then returned to the job queue. Some long term unemployed people actually found themselves going back to the same company they had been placed with before to do the same job.<br/><br/>Regarding 'what do they want's comment about job seekers volunteering for unpaid work in their preferred field, unfortunately very often they find that the volunteer job in their preferred field is not acceptable to the DWP. I know people and have read about others who have had to give up unpaid jobs where they were getting experience relevant to their preferred field to take up placements in irrelevant fields. <br/><br/>I do think employers who want to use placees should have to explain how this benefits the placee and the country as a whole and why, as they have the work, they aren't taking on paid staff.
Properly paid jobs are needed first.<br/>It doesn't create a job by forcing someone onto 'work experience'. Problem is the tax-payer is now paying the benefits for 1000s 'in work' AS WELL AS those still out of work, AND the administration of the scheme.
It was a Conservative government that originally set up the Student Loans Company to "help" more people to gain graduate qualifications. This was called the "Knowledge Based Economy" and was supposed to help Britain compete in the world economy and be a winner. Now, under David Cameron, the Conservatives are effectively saying to hundreds of thousands of people who have worked their butts of to get degrees and have taken on huge student loan debts - 'Your degrees are worthless and we will treat you like a slaves.'<br/><br/>If Britain does not raise the education levels of our work force and apply that highly trained work force to effective use, then the economic future for Britain is grim.
I note the Government intends to use taxpayers money appealing a small element of the judgement, about the letters, and then go on to say that they have revised their standard letters! It would appear that the DWP treat even the slightest criticism as an affront and are prepared to spend as much of our money as necessary to try and justify themselves. I'm not sure they would be so eager if the money came out of their own pockets!
Have your say...The employer gets FREE labour for work that they would otherwise have to employ someone to do and pay proper, if minimum wages. This actually obstructs getting people into employment and keeps wages low.
I absolutely agree with Louisa. Loads of people have been "paid" to sit at home for years while people like me work full time and pay tax to keep them. A lot of them are better off than me when all the handouts are totalled. If people are keen to find work then they will fully embrace a work placement to get up do date references and experience. This has been tried and tested and it works for those who have a positive attitude and who want to progress. I say well done to the employers who take part in this type of scheme - it is not just "free labour" they are getting - they get a lot of grief too!!! Long may these programmes continue.
It should indeed be truly voluntary. You don't have to do anything, you can sit at home all day if you want, but of course, we won't pay you any benefits for taking that choice.<br/>I am absolutely incredulous that these people can equate a bit of work experience blighting their 'Jeremy Kyle time' with actual slavery. Really? Have we become that spoiled and inward-looking as a society? Were they forced to sleep in a shed, beaten, threatened and made to tarmac drives for no money and barely any food? I think not! And that's just a recent case, heaven forbid they Google traditional slavery (which they should, as they probably have the time spare). They need to take a long hard look at themselves and how they are chosing to spend their days. They need to stop moaning and do something positive to help themselves instead of waiting for someone else to solve their problems and wasting all this time and money on pointless court appeals. I applaud the private firms for trying to help these people. Make no mistake, it should be a properly structured programme, but slavery it clearly IS NOT.
I did a YTS many years ago. It cost my 'employer' nothing, but in the outcome I got a permanent job, so it worked out for both of us. I worry some employers will now as then, view it as an opportunity to get some something for nothing with no intention of taking people on full time.
the jobseekers could always volunteer to work unpaid in the field of their choice. So what is better, getting work experience in an unrelated field and receiving some pay or in a related field for no money? That is a decision each individual has to make for themselves. But they shouldn't be sitting on their backside watching television to receive benefits.
I find some of this thinking very short sighted. There may be a logic to the line that benefits recipients are receiving something, so should give something in return, but employers will themselves very quickly get used to getting something for nothing. In France, for example, internships are the norm and as a result, it is really hard to get a professional job without first doing a series of unpaid 'stages'. Result: masses of graduates living off their parents for a year or more so they can get the work experience they need to get a paid job. The government should be encouraging employers to offer paid jobs, not placements.
Have your say...In response to "Something for Nothings" comments. It is not even the government paying the unemployed wages for doing nothing - the money comes from people who are working, and a lot of them people are doing jobs they would rather not. How can it be bad to get some work experience, build your confidence in the workplace and feel like you have contributed to the UK? The only way to get this country off its knees is to all contribute in whatever way possible.
Have your say...<br/><br/>When times were thin and other commissions scarce in the early 90s I worked several times as a trainer providing 'back to the world of work' support / orientation to long term (over 6 months) unemployed people.<br/><br/>On completion of that course, part of the specific brief I had to give participants was they had to 'volunteer' for further training or 'voluntary' work schemes or they would lose benefits .... This message under the very specific direction of the regional Job Centre which commissioned the program. <br/><br/>So whilst it may be technically correct that Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson were misinformed, its laughable that Judge should construe it in those terms. <br/>Such misrepresentation has permeated the DWP and its predecessors for decades. <br/><br/>By that logic a mugger threatening 'hand over your valuables or I'll shoot you' should be let off if the judge deduces they didn't actually have a gun.
Have your say...The lady was doing a work placement - voluntary work in a role which would benefit her future career. She was not sitting at home watch daytime TV. Stacking shelves in Poundland will not help her career -perhaps customer service skills but working in the museum which she is currently doing will give her excellent customer service skills and customer engagement. So before everyone starts knocking her for being 'grateful that she is working' she is and was doing unpaid work to get work experience in the museum. Her voluntary work should be taken into consideration as a work placement. Have you ever been part of the government's work programme?
I totally agree,what else can the Governement do to try and get people experience in the work place and in turn increase their chances of employment?
Surely it isn't "forced labour" if they are receiving benefits already? It is just the goverment rather than the company "paying their wages".
I think this is a great result. Employers are offering people placements to support them in getting back into work; they do not have to do this. It costs employers time and resources to supervise and train individuals, and in return the job seeker has the opportunity to enhance or develop their skills and employability whilst they also receive payment from the state. They are already actually being ‘paid’ to sit at home, so this should be a positive thing for people to do in exchange for unemployment benefits. I know lots of people who are currently unemployed and would relish an opportunity to have a work placement to spruce up their CV and get their confidence back.
At least the judge criticised the implied threats in DWP's letters. Too many people are being coerced into schemes that will not help them back into employment - but are there to make the government look as if they're doing something useful to curb the vast increase in joblessness.
This case demonstrates the focus of the government is with penalising job seekers rather than assisting business in creating sustainable long-term employment. It is ideologically driven with little success at encouraging long term employability.
Have your say...firms should not get free labour typical tory logic but with mass unemployment and over breeding things can only get worse