Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Community Action Programme: Provider Guidelines for Work-For-Nothing.

with 22 comments

Community Action Programme (Workfare).

Government Guidelines for Providers (Extracts and Comments).

From here.

“This scheme  is for “very long-term JSA claimants who  may reach the end of the Work Programme from 2013.”

Note: There are 750,000 long-term unemployed. This figure is not expected to go down by 2013.

The government’s approach, already in place, and adopted by Work Programme providers,  is summed up in the Guardian today,

“The subtext is that external economic factors can never be the cause of someone’s unemployment: the problem must somehow lie with the individual.”

Those long-term unemployed who have gone through thee Work Programme will now have to face up to this further effort to make them solve ‘their’ problems.

“10.  Participation is mandatory and a claimant’s benefits may be stopped if they fail to start or complete the programme. ”   

Those who will have to participate  include,

3.  The majority of these claimants will have been unemployed for a substantial amount of time, and having received support through both Jobcentre Plus and contracted provision, should display similar characteristics to those we expect of claimants still out of work at the of the WP.
4.  The claimant group set out above will include a range of claimants with circumstances that need be taken into account in designing CAP  support. These will include:
•  claimants with caring responsibilities, including lone parents
•  disabled claimants or those with health conditions
•  claimants who are over 50 years old
•  claimants serving a community sentence which could involve
Community Payback
•  socially excluded claimants, including ex-offenders, offenders,homeless claimants, and claimants with a drug or alcoholdependency problem.

What is the nature of the work?

9.  CAP work experience placements must deliver a contribution to the local community and must not displace what would otherwise be paid jobs.

 Those who are succesful to run the scheme will have to deliver,


“provider-led jobsearch support for a minimum of 30 hours each week where a participant is not in a work experience placement •  delivering up to 10 hours of compulsory provider-led jobsearch ( Note: more pointless sitting in front of Computers)  each week for each participant
•  raising compliance doubts with JCP Decision Makers, and notifying us when participants subsequently re-engage
•  reporting specified participant changes of circumstance to JCP
•  producing an exit report, when a participant completes CAP, within ten working days of a participant leaving CAP
Duration of the CAP
12.  Each work experience placement will last for up to 26 weeks, however a single work experience placement of 26 weeks may not be possible in every case.  If necessary, CAP can be made up of several shorter work experience placements, but you will need to ensure the participant completes a minimum of 21 weeks on a work experience placement or combination of work experience placements and employment (off benefits) to achieve a 100%  completion fee.  

Defining principles.
A2.2   The community benefit of a CAP placement should:
•  be of benefit to the community and the individual 
•  directly create, or significantly contribute to the creation of, tangible  and lasting benefit to the community, or particular groups or individuals within the community;
•  be clearly demonstrated in the placement activity, and not be an    “add on”; and •  where the placement does not directly benefit the community, there must be clear demonstrable evidence that the placement provider business objectives are to deliver community benefits.

What ‘community’ is, and what ‘benefits’ are is open to question. 

Who will decide what is, or is not, of ‘benefit’ to a ‘community’? 

Who Will Deliver Workfare?

A2.4  Examples of organisation types that deliver direct/indirect benefit to thecommunity for the purposes of this section include; 
•  Local Authorities and Councils 
•  Government Departments and Agencies
•  Charities and third sector organisations
• Social Enterprises
• Environmental Agencies

Unsuitable activities: or, there are limits you know.

A2.8  Participants must not be expected to engage in activities which could   put them at risk, or are against their personal beliefs. It would be difficult to produce an exhaustive list of unsuitable activities.

Please note this list is not exhaustive. 
•  where there are doubts as to compliance with the relevant Health   and Safety legislation 
•  where it may involve the claimant breaking the law e.g. street    sales without a licence from the local authority where one is required
•  involvement in religion or party politics
 You should take account of a claimant’s personal belief. All participants on CAP should be treated fairly regardless of their religion or beliefs. They should not be asked to undertake any activity which goes against their beliefs, for instance, working within certain types of industry (e.g. particular sectors of the food industry). You should also make allowances wherever possible to accommodate religious holidays and practices.  


My political and ethical belief is that workfare is wrong.



Ensuring participants are not exploited by placement providers
A2.10  You are responsible for ensuring that participants are not exploited. 
A2.11  Some placement providers may be tempted to get involved in the delivery of provision as a way of getting cheap labour or getting someone in to help during a busy period. This is not acceptable. Placements must be additional to existing or expected vacancies and should not replace what would otherwise be paid jobs.


The last area is the trickiest one.

Clearly working with Councils and Charities will replace what could be paid jobs.

These organisations, and businesses, are already suspected of being deft hands at ‘re-defining’ jobs so that a placement on the Work programme (work experience) is not considered a ‘replacement’ for paid employment.

We can expect that they will find ways of making it appear that Community Action Programme people will take positions that could get a salary. But they will now, thanks to generous government payments, get somebody to do this for nothing.

Cuts in local government, from libraries, spending on the environment, to social services,  mean plenty of things are no going to get done.

The Community Action Programme will fill the gaps, without ‘replacing’ anybody – nobody is going to be doing the work at the moment.

In any case working for way below the minimum wage  is by definition exploitation.


Written by Andrew Coates

February 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

22 Responses

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  1. It is against the law to force any body to go to work any where they dont want to thats forced labour and article 23 human rights act states freedom to choose what job u want to take it states that a fair days pay for a fair days work not u being loaned out to fat cat companys for no pay for work that u have renderd to that company The only people to benefit from the work programme
    Are the work programme providers and big companys the poor job seeker gets nothing except exploited and giving the lying hope that after doing free labour there be a job offer that we all know never existed in the first place so please lets have more the truth than the false hope we are given and if they stoped giving free labour to job market then these big fat cat companys would have to advertise for payed labour all the time they getting free labour they wil not take payed labour leaving us unemployed for rest of our working life the govement should be ashamed that they have not helped they have condemned us to no job prospects what so ever sooner we get cameron out number ten the better we wil all be


    February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  2. So now we know – straight from the CAP Provider Guidlines:

    Mandatory participants on the Community Action Programme “should not be asked to undertake any activity which goes against their [religious] beliefs”.

    Well, that means Christians are exempt for a start, because according to the Book of Jeremiah, at chapter 22 and verse 13, The Bible is against using workers without wages!!

    Did you hear that? The Bible is against using workers without wages! Here is the text:


    Moreover, “he that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker”. Yes, that is in The Bible as well – Proverbs 14:31. So is the well known expression: “the love of money is the root of all evil” – 1Timothy 6:10.

    Do not scoff, the poor, the disbaled and the unemployed are going to need the Lord on their side.



    February 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    • The Fourth Commandment:

      Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

      — Exodus 20:8-11


      February 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      • The big issue is how Councils are going to deal with this scheme.

        Given all the cuts will they replace paid workers with unpaid CAP people (after having redesignated the job titles)?

        Andrew Coates

        February 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

      • “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”

        – Matthew 6:5-6

        The Holy Bible

        February 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

    • Sorry Christians should be doing workfare.

      Its directly compatible with said religion.

      Whereas its a choice of accepting God etc.(in Christianity) it is not so much of a choice of spreading the word etc. which appears to be mandatory. OK, there are so-called Christians that do not go to church and barely follow such religion; deemed here-on as not proper Christians.

      Any survivors of YMCA Training’s Dencora House Detention Centre run by a Christian charity designed (for just one example) “TO LEAD PEOPLE TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND TO FULLNESS OF LIFE IN HIM” that enslaved people in the mildest form into degrading boring activities and workfare, will clearly understand that if in pure simple terms a subsidiary of the faith could treat such persons in such a manner whilst supporting such faith, then such faith should continue to allow its own kind into workfare.

      Unless I am wrong, I understand all Christians to be equal to a certain extent… if one can set up a charity that endorses and manages workfare, then another can surely be expected to be on the receiving end to such workfare?

      Work Programme

      February 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

      • FAO Work Programme and Andrew Coates


        Workfare is plainly and unequivocally unscriptural – despite your casuistry.

        I hope my message is shouted from the housetops – rather than closeted.

        Have you heard of the Biblical expression “wolves in sheep clothing”? Look no further than so-called Christians or Christian organisations advocating Workfare!


        February 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

      • Personally what matters is actions, not beliefs or words.

        Your support is welcome Tobanem.

        Andrew Coates

        February 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm

  3. Training Video for Community Programme Providers.

    Oliver Twist Community Action

    February 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm

  4. The high street book store Waterstones has pulled out of a government scheme that employed unpaid jobseekers in its stores after a Guardian investigation uncovered the practice at one of its outlets.

    More than a dozen other high street chains have been taking on unemployed workers for weeks without pay as part of the government’s Work Experience scheme and others like it.

    In a case lodged in the high court, the government has defended itself against claims that the unpaid work experience schemes are contrary to Human Rights Act legislation on forced labour.

    Cait Reilly, a 22-year-old geology graduate, brought her case against the Department for Work and Pensions, saying she was made to work in her local Poundland store branch for three weeks without pay.

    In court papers filed on Wednesday, the DWP admitted that it made a mistake by not telling Reilly she had a chance to opt out of the placement. But it says her scheme and others like it are not contrary to the Human Rights Act, and the department is “strongly resisting” the case.

    In an 11-page document setting out a provisional defence for a case that could affect the position of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers in a similar position, the DWP has argued that having benefits docked does not equate to forcing the unemployed to work.

    “Where a person is required to perform a task and, if he or she does not do so, loses benefit, that is not forcing a person to work.”

    The Guardian understands that the department is facing multiple legal challenges to the terms of various unemployment programmes, including the recently announced Community Action Programme in which those out of work for a number of years must work for six months unpaid, including at profit-making businesses, in order to keep their benefits.

    The Guardian has found that Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Asda, Maplin, TK Maxx, Matalan, Primark, Holland & Barrett, Boots, McDonald’s, Burger King and the Arcadia group of clothes stores, owned by the billionaire Sir Philip Green, have all taken staff via “work-for-your-benefits” programmes.

    James Moorehead, who recently finished an eight-week stint working unpaid for the electronics retailer Maplin, said he found his jobcentre-organised placement exploitative.

    Moorehead, 24, who holds a degree in computer games programming, said he found Maplin staff to be very helpful but resented the idea of stacking shelves, taking deliveries and doing stock-taking for no wage.

    “While I understand the need to gain experience to get a job I think the whole idea of unpaid placements like this are unfair,” he said. “We’re doing the same amount of hours and work as actual employees and temp staff are doing, and we’re doing it just as well and there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it, meaning it could potentially be all for nothing.”

    Moorehead said after finishing his placement on 20 January, the DWP then asked him to work in their own local office for a further eight weeks, again without pay. On hearing this, Moorehead said Maplin staff offered him 12 hours of paid shift work a week so he could be exempted.

    Another young graduate jobseeker, who wanted to be known only as Thomas, said he worked at Waterstones from late August until early October without pay and after a few weeks was doing the work of other employees.

    “They got me to do a lot of the grunt work, such as moving entire book sections around the store. I never saw anybody else do this kind of work. I was also shelving a great deal, which regular employees didn’t bother with too much.

    Thomas said this impacted on his ability to search for other jobs. “Technically, I had time to look for other jobs. When I finished a day’s work, or on the weekends I could browse graduate sites and send off emails. However, when you work a physical job full-time it’s very difficult to put much effort in when you’re finally home.”

    Waterstones said that after the Guardian highlighted the practice at one of its stores, it initiated a review and no longer allowed branch managers to take on work experience people as it did not want to encourage working without pay.

    In his autumn statement in November, the chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the number of eight-week work experience placements would be massively extended to 250,000 places over three years to be funded from the £940m youth contract.

    Under the previous Future Jobs Fund set up by the Labour administration, subsidised work placements were restricted to public bodies and charities and work experience was limited to only two weeks.

    A spokesperson for the DWP said: “Our priority is to help people off benefits and into work. We are looking to help people get practical experience that will give them a better chance of getting into work.

    “It is simply absurd to suggest that we should not be providing this support and effectively leaving people at home doing nothing. The DWP is strongly resisting this challenge.”

    Many of the big chains involved in the scheme say they do not know how many unemployed people have been working for free in their stores because the placements are arranged at a local level and not through head office.

    One of the companies involved in rolling out work experience placements is the health store Holland and Barrett, which has 1,000 such placements across 250 stores.

    A full-time employee at one Holland and Barrett store, who did not want to be identified, said they believed the placements were starting to replace paid work.

    “We have had a number of placements in our store and have noticed that the hours for part-time staff have been reduced. Staff are upset because we are all struggling to make ends meet,” the employee said.

    “The real benefactors of this scheme are the companies who receive millions of pounds worth of labour absolutely free of charge and the losers are the jobseekers who see potential jobs being filled by workfare placements for months at a time and the loyal part-timers who find their regular overtime hours savagely cut.”

    Holland and Barrett said it had taken on about 50 work experience jobseekers as paid employees. “We have committed to working with JobCentre Plus to make available 1,000 work placements available for young people aged between 16 and 24 years. We have 250 stores taking part in the scheme as well as our head office and distribution and packaging site,” it said.

    “We ensure they are given skills and confidence to move forward with their job search and of course a valuable reference.

    In a statement, Maplin said: “We are more than happy to get behind the different work experience schemes nationwide. We fully support, where possible, placements initiated by the local employment offices to get individuals into the working environment.

    “This is by no means a way of replacing our current paid employees as all the individuals involved are shadowing a full-time member of staff.”

    A spokesperson for the Arcadia group, which includes Topshop, Burton, BHS and Miss Selfridge, said: “Arcadia are committed to providing both work experience and career opportunities in both head office and retail. Our stores currently work with the local Jobcentre Plus contact and any work placement arrangements are agreed at a local level. Our stores also work on an ongoing basis to support the community.”

    • This article was amended on 3 February 2012. In the original, James Moorehead’s name was misspelt. This has been corrected.

    The Guardian

    February 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

    • “Holland and Barrett, which has 1,000 such placements across 250 stores.” Hmm… 1000/240 = 4 = the maximum number of staff in any given Holland and Barrett store! Is Holland & Barrett “staffed” entirely through workfare?

      Boycotting Shopper

      February 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

  5. Why is that the general feeling of the dwp and the forced work schemes – that everybody, that is unemployed is unskilled and need training in free labour,many are more skilled than those giving the training u take jhp hereford just one exsample u now have a ex secatary who is now a job advisor what gives her the right to teach unemployed and two ex unemployed now teach to its a smoke screen to cover up the free labour they are making people do and no matter how they tart it up they are forceing u to work for free or be sanctioned and lose your benefit and they are going against my christain belives as we condone free labour, after all If I aint was an immagrant I would have rights in law- as a uk born person I have none I would turn to crime before I work for free I aint going to boost a fat cat company get rich off unemployed and aint going help work programme providers get rich off unemployed either as sitting in front of a computer for half hour a wk is going to get me a job its a disgrace unemployed being exsplotied and excuse me u dont see immagrants on any of these courses why is dat mr cameron ????

    Wayne green

    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

  6. Sandra Munoz finds it hard to sleep at night. Shortly before Christmas she received a letter from her landlord notifying her that the rent on her two-bedroom flat in Battersea, south London, had gone up. As a single mother of one she receives financial help to put a roof over her head. But rather than languishing on the already backlogged waiting list for social housing, she uses cash payments, known as local housing allowance, to put towards renting in the private sector.

    But as part of their series of welfare reform packages, the Government has capped the local housing allowance meaning people such as Ms Munoz and her five-year-old son Eduardo are now being evicted.


    The Independent

    February 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

  7. No one is being forced to do anything, people do have choices albeit sometimes not great ones. You can take part in the programme you have been selected for or you can choose not to and forgo your benefit. Just like I would forgo my salary if I didnt go to work. You do have choices.

    I have been on JSA, I know what it is like but I was recruited into a role with one of the work providers the DWP use and I can admit that I havent been able to help everyone. It is incredibly tough out there and it isnt always the fault of the unemployed person. But I can also say that I have worked very hard to support a large number of people back into work, whether it be by arranging funding they need for licences, re-training into another trade, walking people through the process of starting their own business or simply helping to create a CV for those that have never used one.

    These programmes arent created to get free labour, to upset people or to penalise the unemployed. Unemployment is a huge issue as we all know so would it be right to have no programmes and just let weeks, months and years tick over with the same names signing in for JSA each week? No. Something pro-active needs to happen and this is what the government is attempting to do. I could talk about literally hundreds of success stories that have come out of work programmes like CAP but unfortunately, as with most things, it is only ever people that are unhappy that speak up.

    Sian Lees

    February 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    • A mate of mine was pushed into a turkey farm under one of your schemes. He committed suicide soon after! Sian, you and your scummy organisation are pure fucking evil!!


      February 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    • Wel Sian – see reply to the Dave person – all of which applies to you too.
      You say

      “Something pro-active needs to happen and this is what the government is attempting to do. I could talk about literally hundreds of success stories that have come out of work programmes like CAP but unfortunately, as with most things, it is only ever people that are unhappy that speak up”

      You need to look at the bigger picture. The WP and other workfare scams do not create jobs. They may influence which individuals are successful in obtaining a job – but every time that happens it is at the expense of the person who would otherwise have that job – fact and indisputable. So what is the effect? ZERO! What is the cost? Billions! Plus civil strife and unrest. What is the answer? We all know it’s proper training leading to proper jobs.
      Don’t be smug – when you and your pimp employer fail to meet your targets (and you will fail) you’ll get some first hand experience of the workfare machine. Enjoy!


      February 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

  8. Take this opportunity to carry out training and gain vital experience. If you are on job seekers this the best thing for finding a job!


    February 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    • A mate of mine was pushed into a turkey farm under one of your schemes. He committed suicide soon after!


      February 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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    December 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  10. its says words to the effect of goverment lay people off then u go in fill the gap and get the work done. how on this earth can u explain you are not replacing him. . that to me sounds like u make man unemployed then get unemployed to do his job on the cheap.. this is not right

    Andrew james

    February 18, 2013 at 3:35 am

  11. i have just been placed on this has a result of long term unemployment which is mainly due to serious motorcycle accident 15yrs ago has left me with a few problems eg my leg and ankle was seriouly smashed which means i walk with a limp which people see what they dont see is when i over do the walkin standin i am unable to move much for up to 2 days while swelling goes down. i am to unrelable to work a 9 to 5 job i can usally drive ok. so my work options are very limited. dhss doc gave me zero points which means i am in there eyes 100% fit. anyway after all the bullshit introduction hour eg cvs etc which i have heard 50times before they make it part of my agreement i must apply for ten jobs a wk. i have told them driving jobs without to much manual work i can do. ( so can ten million others in britain) so i put on forms i was lookin for work in the porn industry which isnt just seedy side the porn industry employs 100000s world wide from shop assitants , delvery drivers, camara and sound engineers, management the list is endless. but that a big no no to them i cant put that down on forms. my doctor will sign me unfit to work any time i ask him but he has recived a letter off dhss artos that he is not to ever give me another sick note and if he does they will ignore it . surely thats not a legal thing they can do my doc has known me for 20yrs and hes no easy touch a very proffonal man .

    Andrew james

    March 2, 2013 at 3:33 am

  12. i would like to add that up until my accident which was 14yrs after leavin school i had a number of different jobs from factory, road works, welding and chief motorcycle instuctor with 6 instructor under me. i did a couple of times be unemployed for a month or so in that time but jobs were pretty easy to get then. nowadays there isnt many jobs unless u are a specilist in a trade. a lot of local farm work is now havin people brought over from abroad for 3-4mts and every year a lot dont go back . what can a workin class man do when nothin is avalable? a 45yr that has worked the land all their lives workin outside i am sorry to say mr asshole in goverment dosnt make the best IT student

    Andrew james

    March 2, 2013 at 3:57 am

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