Thursday, March 22, 2018
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 10:09

Is it worth the aggravation to find yourself a job when there's nothing worth working for?

Written by  Jonathan Lord
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Anti workfare protesters in manchester Anti workfare protesters in manchester

The protesters, members of Manchester Against Benefit Cuts, have been out in Manchester to express their anger over the Coalition's controversial mandatory work schemes, dubbed "workfare" a fusion of work and welfare by opponents of the programmes.

Banners have been unfurled and placards hoisted outside Tesco, one of the largest companies to participate in the work schemes and one increasingly targeted by Right to Work campaigners.

The welfare-to-work schemes have come under the spotlight in recent weeks for forcing jobseekers to work for no additional pay and threatening those that drop-out of the schemes with sanctions. Although the Department of Work and Pensions dropped sanctions for jobseekers who voluntarily chose to leave the government's work experience scheme, they remain in place for the DWP's other four mandatory schemes.

Tesco have recently announced 20,000 new jobs over the next two years, net of its current workforce; and David Cameron dismissed the anti-workfare protesters as "Trotskyites" in Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions.

While there is a definite Socialist Worker presence at the demonstration, Manchester Against Benefit Cuts (MABC) is an umbrella organisation that has backed young peoples anger at the scheme the government believes is credible. MABC believe that work experience is a good thing, but the problem is with these mandatory schemes is that although young people gain valuable work experience, they should be paid them for that work experience.

It will be interesting what the government will do with the scheme as they clearly want people to get experience of the world of work, but it does become difficult when you're talking about companies that are making millions of pounds of profit, it does become difficult to justify to say that they can't afford to pay the people who are doing their work experience. Let's watch this space!

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 10:25
Jonathan Lord

Jonathan Lord

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