Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Workfare (Forced Labour) to be Piloted in Suffolk (and elsewhere).

with 9 comments

Work for Your Benefits (here)

Work for Your Benefit (WfYB) pilots were a key part of the Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reform responsibility” published in July 2008 and the response “Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future” published in December 2008.

  1. The Work for Your Benefit programme will consist of full-time (30 hours a week) work experience, backed up with flexible employment support.
  2. There will be two pilots:
  3. Greater Manchester
  4. Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk


This is coming, very soon. This will apply to people who have completed the 52 weeks programme of the Flexible New Deal. Given the rates of unemployment it means quite a few of us will be facing the prospect for working for our meagre Dole. Locally ‘voluntary; organisations are already trumpeting a ‘soft’ (voluntary) version of workfare. Well-rewarded professionals consider that we should contribute something to society  at rates of pay they would never dream of accepting. Like Housing Associations we will see some of them transform as they become publicly-funded (but privately run) bodies. Already there are some reports of dodgy individuals getting involved in these ‘projects’.  

More to the point: given Councils are cash-strapped, looking for ways to save money, how long will it before some Town Hall hits on the idea of using Workfare to replace paid staff?


Written by Andrew Coates

October 28, 2009 at 11:44 am

9 Responses

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  1. Direct action is needed against ANY organisation taking workfare victims from the dole. I’m thinking bad publicity campaigns, bricks through the windows, office occupations. This needs to be stopped and people have to organise against it.


    October 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    • Good idea! Like all corporate bodies these despicable organisations will have a Public Relations department in order to present an “air-brushed” image for public consumption. The LAST thing they want is BAD publicity!

      Raw Deal

      February 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

  2. Well, bad publicity campaigns at any rate are a start.

    As I say to these organisations, I am a man of peace, I abhor violence, but my good friend M H, he is not so gentle…

    (See James Bond).

    Andrew Coates

    October 31, 2009 at 9:52 am

  3. heres an idea when you do workfare you just give them work equal to the scab wages rate you are being paid ie dont break your back doing the work just take your time after all the employees wherever you are sent to are on min wage or above so let them do the main bulk of the work


    November 1, 2009 at 5:58 pm

  4. Allan, this is the problem of all forced labour. No doubt they’ll have to have some Overseers to try to make you slog your guts out.

    As I said, I’ve noticed some local ‘voluntary’ organisations gear themselves up for this.

    Andrew Coates

    November 2, 2009 at 10:13 am

    • The Government needs to be careful not to start a civil war…

      Flexible New Deal

      November 8, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    • The “Overseer” will set “targets”, and if you don’t meet your “target” it will be up on a “disciplinary” and it will be back to the JobCentre for a sanction. But, as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ir drink.

      Raw Deal

      February 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

  5. Dan Owen has some interesting comments about direct action against Flexible New Deal on his blog: http://claimantsactionsouthwales.blogspot.com/2010/01/flexible-new-deal-guerrilla-tactics.html


    January 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  6. I’m inclined to agree with Harald, taking direct action. You might want to start with TGB Learning, they have been shortlisted for the workfare pilot. Why not email them and tell them what you think of them?

    Gerry Attric

    February 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm

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