Forced Labour Pilot for Young People.
The DWP says,
Young people who have never had a job or little recent work experience will take part in a new programme to help them escape a life on benefits, Minister for Employment Mark Hoban announced today.
The new trailblazer, designed and run by Jobcentre Plus in Derbyshire, will help around 2,000 18 to 24 year olds in the district gain the experience and skills they need to find their first job.
Those 18-24 year olds who have been on Jobseekers Allowance for more than six months, yet have gained little or no recent work experience – something that is seen as vital in today’s job market – will have to take part in the eight week programme. They will be expected to do 30 hours of work for the benefit of their communities and will also receive six hours of intensive job seeking support per week.
The scheme will be mandatory, so anyone refusing to take part without good reason will face losing their benefits.
The programme is funded by Jobcentre Plus and will be delivered by TGB Learning who will be working to the ‘payment by results model’ the Government has now introduced.
So, “18-24 year olds who have claimed Jobseekers Allowance for more than six months, but who have little or no recent work experience, referred for a mandatory 8 week work experience programme. Participants will be required to complete 30 hours of work “for the benefit of their communities” and six hours of intensive job seeking support per week. Anyone refusing to take part without good reason will face losing their benefits.”
And, “This latest addition to the vast suite of programmes now available, is unlikely to be welcomed by action groups who already object to “work for your benefits” programmes and actively protested throughout 2012 against the Mandatory Work Activity programme and voluntary work placement programmes already on offer.”
We wonder why?
Well there’s this:
TBG Learning is one of the UK’s leading providers of youth and adult learning.
Established in 1986, TBG Learning is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rehab Group, an Irish independent, not-for-profit organisation. Throughout its history TBG Learning has focused upon meeting the needs of disadvantaged people and has contributed to a whole range of programmes designed to reduce unemployment in the UK.
It’s a strange group that ‘meets people’s needs’ through forcing them to do unpaid work.
And what of this last year?
The Sunday Times can reveal that the Rehab Group, Ireland’s largest disability-services charity, has received more than €365m from various state agencies in the past five years.
More than €33m of it came from the Charitable Lotteries Fund, set up to compensate charities for income lost to the National Lottery. Rehab’s total income from the fund since it was established in 1997 exceeds €75m.
It emerged three weeks ago that Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab Group, has an annual remuneration package worth more than €400,000. The charity, which employs 3,500 people and has a €200m annual turnover, says senior executives’ salaries are not drawn from state funds.
There is now a disagreement between Rehab and the Department of Health over an ultimatum issued by the Health Service Executive (HSE). On March 29, the HSE told charities in the disability sector they were to sign formal agreements requiring full financial accountability by April 11, or lose their funding.
This was settled.
But what of Workfare?
Will this be a pilot for the ‘Support for the very long term Unemployed Workfare scheme?
Almost one million people will be forced to work unpaid for six months if a new government work scheme is extended across the country, a thinktank has said.
Under the Department for Work and Pensions community action programme (Cap), which has completed a pilot stage and whose rollout is expected to be announced this autumn, people on jobseeker’s allowance for longer than three years must work for six months unpaid or have their benefits stripped from them.
Two weeks ago the employment minister, Chris Grayling, flagged his intention to introduce the scheme – recently renamed support for the very long-term unemployed – across the country to tackle the rising number of chronic unemployed, driven up by a stagnant economy.