Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

As Big Society Fails, ‘Volunteering’ for the Unemployed.

with 20 comments

 Are these two stories related?

February 2011 – Government unveils new plans to massively expand volunteering and training opportunities for the unemployed

Unemployed people will be able to access thousands of new volunteering and training opportunities to help them take their first steps back into work – under new plans unveiled today by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith.

Under the scheme advisers from youth charity The Prince’s Trust and other local government voluntary organisations will be located in Jobcentre Plus (JCP) offices to signpost jobseekers of all ages to volunteering and training opportunities in their area. The new initiative will particularly benefit young people as they will be able to get more support to help them into jobs, education and training.

Ministers are keen to strengthen partnerships with the voluntary sector as it is uniquely placed to help disadvantaged groups and communities. They believe that increasing the support for this sector will be crucial to get Britain working again.

Prince’s Trust advisers and local volunteering centres will start to appear in Jobcentres in the next few weeks, with a national roll out from April where possible.

For people who have claimed benefits for many years volunteering and training courses offer the ideal opportunity to make the first move into the workplace and a good way to build confidence and gain new skills. There are currently almost five million people on out of work benefits, many of whom with the right help and support could start a journey back into employment.

More Here.

David Cameron‘s “big society” is being undermined by government spending cuts which are in danger of “destroying” the country’s volunteer army, a senior figure in the volunteering sector warned today.

Dame Elisabeth Hoodless – who is stepping down after leading Britain’s largest volunteering charity, Community Service Volunteers (CSV), for more than 40 years – also said the prime minister had overestimated the amount of responsibility volunteers were prepared to take on.

Hoodless said the government had failed to provide opportunities for people to do more in their communities, adding that, in some cases, spending cuts imposed on councils had actually taken opportunities away.

A cynical person might say that the Government intends to use the unemployed as an upaid army to plug the holes left by these cuts.

More here.


Written by Andrew Coates

February 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. As Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind put it:
    “We welcome the recognition that the voluntary sector has an important role to play in
    helping people into employment, but our clients must always come first. Trust is one of the
    voluntary sector’s unique selling points. We can’t betray people by getting involved in
    compelling them into work before they are ready, or without the support they need.”

    And Yes it sounds awfully like the next step is going to be concentration camps for the unemployed


    February 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

    • “concentration camps for the unemployed” 🙂


      Fritz Todt

      February 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

    • But they won’t call them concentrations camps; they will call them “resource centres” or something 🙂

      Beast of Belsen

      February 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    • Welcome to Auschwitz Resource Centre

      Job Centre Plus in Partnership with the Provider Network

      Work Makes Free

      F. Todt

      Arbeit Macht Frei

      February 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  2. […] The state’s attempt to use the unemployed to step in (unpaid) where public spending cuts have created a gap is described on the Ipswich Unemployed Action Blog. […]

  3. Just in case anyone wondered the majority of my websites went down for about 12 hours – they should all be up now and working fine 🙂

    Work Programme

    February 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  4. Yes, the work programme and big society volunteering are connected. Francis Maude admitted this on Monday’s Newsnight when it was put to him that people with jobs didn’t have enough time to volunteer.

    Crystal Balls

    February 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    • And services cuts will be replaced in some cases by ‘volunteers’.

      UNISON informs us that Suffolk Library staff are being told recruit volunteers to replace their own paid jobs!

      Andrew Coates

      February 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  5. I already do voluntary work. Last year I was distributing leaflets outside A4e Edinburgh, and a member of staff came out and asked us to move away from the door. So a few months later, myself and several other voluntary workers, go into A4e Edinburgh and start handing out leaflets to the poor downtrodden individuals on the Flexible New Deal. Then before we know it, The manager Dorothy Hewitt appears and says “if you don’t leave I’ll call the police”. Is that any way to treat voluntary workers?


    February 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    • So A4E own the pavement now too!

      We have a problem with campaiging stalls in Ipswich due to ownership.

      The Corn Hill has the been the site of campaigning going back to anti-Slavery and mass Chartist meetings.

      Now on market days it is ‘owned’ by the company that manages this.

      It costs around £60-£70 to have a stall.

      So we (that is all campaigners on any issue, at present our anti-cuts group, which involves all the unions to start with) are banned and shoved off to a less well favoured spot further up the street.

      I’ve heard in some towns all the pavements are now ‘owned’ by private companies and campaigning is banned altogether.

      Andrew Coates

      February 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      • Lets not forget if there is a public right of way there is little they can do about the private land.

        All it means is the private company is responsible for repairs etc. and not the local council.

        As for pavements, if the road isn’t a private road and there is a right to through access; there is nothing they can do to stop you walking on “their” pavement.

        Work Programme

        February 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      • Andrew: A4e like to think they own the pavement. There was two us stood outside handing out leaflets – we weren’t obstructing the pavement. It’s more a case of A4e hating ECAP and doing whatever they can to disrupt out activities.

        There was a meeting last year between ECAP, A4e, Wise Group ( who sub-contract A4e to run FND in Edinburgh) and the Jobcentre to see if it was possible for A4e at accept the right of FND particpants to be accoampanied to interview/meeting at A4e Edinburgh by a ECAP rep. I wasn’t present at the meeting, but from what I was told the woman from Wise Group lost it and started accusing Mike from ECAP of being a troublemaker. And the meeting ended with ECAP still being persona non grata at A4e Edinburgh. And the person from the jobcentre said they could not put any pressure on A4e and Wise Group to recognise ECAP.

        Atos, Ingeus, JHP and the jobecentre all allow claimants to be accompanied by an ECAP rep for meetings and interviews. So we’ve have had some success!

        Sorry to hear about your problem with campaigning in Ipswich. It’s outrageous that they expect you to pay GBP 70 to set up a stall where historicaly it’s always been free.

        ECAP sets up a stall outside jobcentres, and we hand out leaflets. I’ve only done it twice at different jobcentres – but we never had any problems with being asked to move. In fact, at one jobcentre one of the security guards came out for a smoke and was happy to chat to us. You might want to consider the jobcentre as an alternative venue – and it’s free!


        February 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      • More like the Daft Group, the Wise Group are a shower of shit!


        February 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    “One Race One Vote”
    “Integrate the Segregated”

    Racial Democracy redefined as “VOTING WYSIWYG” with “Race Codes” by the Race Equality Inspectorate.

    Could you be a representative of your “Racial Constituency” ?

    Can “VOTING WYSIWYG” work with “BIG SOCIETY”?



    February 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

  7. Hi Guys

    I have come across a couple of stories that are really harrowing especially about the dwp and its big society and it’s vision. and INVOLUNTARY WORK




    February 15, 2011 at 8:32 am

  8. The work programme, so what happened to the minimum wage here? after all it says WORK programme! is it not illegal to work for less than minimum wage? hang on its not even minimum wage its working for nothing! under the threat of benifit cuts. jobcenters whats the point of them nowadays? just full of civil servants trying to justify their jobs by franticaly telling people THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE!! and trying to put the blame on the unemployed for their plight, the jobs out there are mainly part time,or agency work! of an “unknown duration”, or simply jobs that do not exist! of which you will find many in jobcenters.


    February 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: