Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Archive for the ‘Work Experience’ Category

I Million Hits for Ipswich Unemployed Action.

with 48 comments

Tossed by the Waves We Will Not Sink: We Stand Together By Our Banner.

I Million Hits for Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Today we have reached a watershed: 1,000,097 hits (16.15 Tuesday).

Ipswich Unemployed Action was founded in 2009.

The Site was created by two people, myself, and a young chap from Ipswich.

The intention was to describe what it’s like being unemployed, and to criticise the various “schemes” put in place to to deal with us.

The aim was to let out of work people say what they think about the way officials and the ‘unemployment business’ treat us – not what we’re told to say.

A bit like the alternative community newspapers of the 1970s,

We have always considered the comments to be the most important part of the Ipswich Unemployed Action site.

We also link to numerous Blogs, notably the always essential reading, the Void.

And a range of people on Twitter, such as I’m a JSA claimant @imajsaclaimant

Welfare Weekly has become important as well.

Apart from the fact that many posts come from people writing here – as well as from people I know in Ipswich – it’s the kind of open and up front things people come out with, the information we exchange with each other, that have given this site its special flavour.

Ipswich Unemployed Action has featured in Private Eye, the Sunday Times, and on Radio Suffolk.

We  have been asked by countless other news organisations for information.

My mate from one of the Ipswich estates – produced some of the best posts ever.

But we think that it’s our readers and commentators who matter most.

We have participated in the protests organised by groups such as the  DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts), and more recently UNITE Community.

I urge everybody to join UNITE Community – it’s there for the unemployed, for all of us.

This was an important one (2014): Iain Duncan Smith Greeted with Shouts of ‘Murderer’ as he visits Ipswich.

We support the great Boycott Workfare campaign.

Always with strong links to the Unemployed Workers’ Centres we have attended national meetings at the TUC – the most recent being in 2015, the TUC Welfare Conference: Action on Sanctions and Workfare!

We back this:

The Charter promotes:

  • A Political commitment to full employment achieved with decent jobs..
  • A wage you can live on for all and a social security system that works to end poverty.
  • No work conscription – keep volunteering voluntary.
  • Representation for unemployed workers.
  • Appoint an Ombudsman for claimants.
  • Equality in the labour market and workplace; equality in access to benefits.
  • And end to the sanctions regime and current Work Capability Assessment – full maintenance for the unemployment and underemployed.
  • State provision of high quality information, advice and guidance on employment, training and careers.

This what we said on our founding (May 2009)

Who is sticking up for the Unemployed? Not many. Who is the best placed to do so? Those out of work.  Ipswich Unemployed Action is a group of out-of-work local people determined to stand up for our rights.

What are we up against?

  • The abuses of the ‘New Deal’ scheme. Those who sign-on here know that the YMCA is getting paid to lock up over 150  people in a shed – ‘Dencora House’, doing ‘job search’ all day. They know the conditions they have to endure – treated like children, no proper facilities (computers, even enough toilets).  There are no placements. If they complain they are threatened with being ‘exited’ – losing all benefits.
  • The coming ‘Flexible New Deal’ will be even worse. We intended to expose the company who’s won the local contract A4e – its links with shady senior politicians (step forward David Blunkett), and its record of abusing New Deal participants.
  • Workfare will be a con – forced labour for our dole with private contractors coining it in.

What do we want?

  • We want the minimum wage for any ‘voluntary’ work they make us do.
  • There should be an independent appeal and monitoring system – open to all – for anyone on the ‘New Deal’. Not the present shambles,
  • We want real training, not the YMCA etc sham.
  • Above all we want to be treated as human beings – not things the DWP and Government Ministers can claim rights over. We should have rights, and we want them now!
  • And now, we want the Dencora House  detention centre closed down!

Any suggestions? Join us. All welcome.

This what happened in June 2009: Banned For Blog: YMCA Suppresses Dissent.


This morning I went to Dencora House, Ipswich. For my ‘New Deal’ induction at YMCA Training. A little while in and I was summoned. YMCA manager and colleague. Copies of this Blog, and the Ipswich Unemployed Action’s, on the table. Nervous type. Points to print-out. Picture of medieval Bastille. Legend, “Storm Dencora House“. Liked he it not. Or calling it a “detention centre”. Oh dear. Next, famous (hundreds of viewings), New Deal: YMCA Training, A Major Scandal.

Finally, their account of  this,

“I have placed this website as the Home Page on all computers at Dencora House today. Hopefully some of my fellow detainees here will read it. There has also been print outs of your articles left around the centre. The staff have been going round ripping them off the walls. They then get put up again.

People who merely found this site as the home page have been undertaking these actions on their own. Hopefully more people will involve themselves in such sabotage. If we make it too much hassle for them to treat us like this then they will be forced to stop!”

The upshot is I face being suspended from all benefits for exercising my (see YMCA Induction Pack), “freedom of conscience”. Apparently human rights do not apply to the out-of-work on the New Deal. Still no doubt they’ll find some way of justifying themselves. YMCA Mission Statement, “Motivated by its Christian faith, YMCA Training’s mission is to inspire individuals to develop their talents and potential and so transform the communities in which they live and work.” Needs some creative re-writing.

Oh yes, one of our many invisible supporters  tells us that they’ve blocked their computers’ access to our Blog.

I was reinstated pretty quickly and the YMCA ended up treating me decently.

You wonder what would happen today with the rules they have brought in.

Indeed little did I realise that the YMCA turned out to be sweeties compared to what has happened since.

Particularly after the Liberal-Tory Coalition.

Iain Duncan Smith has stalked the land seeking out poor people to oppress, unelashing the DWP ‘sanction regime’.

The Cameron government has lost no opportunity to let their mates in the ‘unemployment business’  pick the pockets of the state and make the lives of the unemployed a misery.

These are some of more recent best viewed posts:

Is it Compulsory to Register with Universal Jobmatch? What Evidence of Jobsearch do we have to provide? 2015.

35 Hours JobSearch: We Publish the Mad DWP Guidelines. 2014.

Universal Jobmatch – List of fake ’employers’ (Part 1)  2014.

This video shows what we stand for:  we stand together, we never give up!


Work Experience Week: Give Workfare a Warm Welcome!

with 16 comments

Work Experience Week 2015

This year’s Work Experience Week will take place from 12th-16th October. Register here to be kept up to date!

What is Work Experience Week?

A week dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of high quality work experience. Work Experience Week aims to get all parties involved in work experience to celebrate its full potential. It’s a chance for employers, learning providers and young people to showcase the positive work they are doing and encourage more organisations to realise the benefits of work experience.

Currently only 1 in 4 employers offer work experience and we don’t think that’s good enough. Work Experience Week aims to increase the quantity and quality of work experience programmes, including Traineeships, Apprenticeships and Internships.

The Void comments, in a moderate tone in our opinion,

The vile welfare-to-work sector are teaming up with a DWP controlled front organisation this week to hold a celebration of all the money they are making out of unpaid work.

The inaptly named Fair Train are funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, a government body under the control of both the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Iain Duncan Smith himself.  Despite their name, this so-called charity exists to promote unpaid Work Experience schemes, by flogging off dubious Quality Standard awards to workfare exploiters.  In 2013 they were paid a whopping £283,000 of tax payer’s money to promote unpaid work schemes.

Week Experience Week is part of this gushing celebration of exploitation, so it is no suprise to see ERSA, the trade body established to lie on behalf on the welfare-to-work sector, joining in the festivities.  Fair Trade say that want others to get involved with Work Experience Week, with aim of encouraging as many companies as possible to stop paying wages and start using workfare.  You can let the bastards know what you think on twitter using the hashtag #WEWeek2015.

You might care to sponsor this event:

Sponsor packages.

Work Experience Week headline sponsor –£10,000.

There a lot to celebrate during the bean-feast:

Themes for the week

This year’s Work Experience Week will focus on the different types of work experience available to learners. By highlighting the different types of work experience we aim to inspire and educate more organisations to offer high quality placements. Here’s what we’ve got planned:

Monday – Traineeships
Tuesday – Interns
Wednesday – Volunteering
Thursday – Apprenticeships
Friday – Work experience at school or college
Get involved using #WEWeek2015 and don’t forget to submit your plans by completing our editable plan in our toolkit for a chance to be featured in our newsletter.

Work Experience Week Champions.

Sarah Hewson – Presenter, the Trusted and Reliable Sky News

I’m a passionate supporter of Work Experience Week because I wouldn’t be where I am today without work experience. It was a placement at Sky News that led to my first job there 13 years ago and work experience at a local newspaper aged 15 that convinced me journalism was the career path I wanted to pursue.

I’m now proud to be an ambassador for Sky Academy which aims to give opportunities to a million young people by 2020.

Don Hayes – Trustee, Fair Train Unpaid Work schemes.

When it comes to improving the employability of young people and long term unemployed adults, nothing can make a bigger difference than good quality work experience. I know this is true because I have seen it over many years, with a whole range of different groups, with both young people having just left school and adults who have been out of the workplace for a while.

Work experience provides something positive for the CV, enables individuals to regain or learn the habits and attitudes of work but most of all it really builds self-esteem and confidence.

Suggestions for twitter welcome.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Iain Duncan Smith in Stout Denial on Failure of his Welfare ‘reforms’.

with 77 comments


Anything Wrong? Not my Fault Says Iain Duncan Smith.

The Guardian publishes a long interview with Iain Duncan Smith today,

This is worth noting,

Duncan Smith said that Britain’s welfare system – in particular the way in which the pay packets of the low-paid are topped up through tax credits – worsened the problem of dependency by reducing incentives to work. His grand idea, worked on in opposition at his Centre for Social Justice thinktank, and introduced when he came to power, was to encourage people into work by merging out-of-work benefits and in-work support into one monthly payment, known as universal credit. The new system is meant to encourage the low-paid to work longer hours by slowing the pace at which benefits are withdrawn, known as tapering, so that people will receive more of the extra money they earn.

Transferred from the seminar rooms of thinktanks to the reality of Whitehall, universal credit has been subject to numerous delays and criticised by various select committees, although it is now in operation in 54% of jobcentres and will be in 100% of them by next spring. But Duncan Smith is unapologetic about his mission. “What I have tried to set out, from universal credit right the way through, is have a look at the problem, figure out what the problem is, and try to get a system – which, after all, is on a huge scale – at least able to cope with individuals and people, and have the scope to be able to rectify issues and problems. There will always be problems and issues.”

As he prepares to travel to Manchester for the Conservative party conference, Duncan Smith is opening a new front on welfare reform as he outlines reforms to the WCAs. These were blamed by Mary Hassell, the coroner who conducted the inquest into the death of O’Sullivan, for acting as the “trigger” for his suicide.

There follows a lengthy defence of the changes to the  out-of-work employment support allowance (ESA) and the new “fit for work”  programme, and the DLA tests.

For those unwilling to go through this the Guardian also states in a handy form the main points of Iain Duncan Smith’s self-justification in the following key areas.


He used the interview to defend:

  • work capability assessment (WCA), the much-criticised gateway to the main out-of-work disability benefit, the employment support allowance (ESA), which is claimed by 2.5 million people. The five-year-old WCA has been plagued by backlogs, lengthy appeals and, according to Duncan Smith, is too binary in deciding whether someone is fit or not fit for work.
  • Defend the planned removal of an income measure from the child poverty target, saying it is better to measure and target the underlying causes of poverty such as educational attainment and family stability.
  • Reject criticisms of his department’s benefit sanctions system, saying he did not know of any jobcentre staff “flinging around sanctions”. He said: “There are a bunch of Labour MPs who hate sanctions and they don’t want them at all. I can understand that. I don’t agree with it because I think our system is predicated on this idea that there is a deal taking place.”The number of jobseeker allowance (JSA) sanctions has gone down by 380,000 over the past year to 507,000.

It would be interesting to know the details about these claims, particularly of the sanction figures. You can look up the latter yourself, but it’s hard going to try to work out the neat total Iain Duncan Smith offers: Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions: decisions made to March 2015. It is clearly the case that the massive expansion of sanctions has ended. But are they back to former levels? Are they reasonable?


Why is there such a massive variation in numbers?

Are there simply 380,000 thousand people fewer who are now obedient and eager to fulfil their ‘obligations’?

This shows something fundamentally wrong with the sanction system.

And anybody who thinks that making 507,000 people suffer extreme poverty is a success has something wrong with them.

The Guardian was too tactful – or too ill-informed – to bother to ask IDS about his failing Work Programme and Workfare plans. Or the kind of the fraud and failure they are wrapped up in.

This, by contrast, is without doubt a true observation:

Duncan Smith can expect to be cheered to the rafters at the Conservative conference for sounding tough on welfare. There will no doubt be an appetite for his decision earlier in the summer to scrap the government’s child poverty target and to replace it with a new duty to report worklessness, addiction and educational attainment.

‘Boot’ – Camps for Young Unemployed.

with 27 comments

‘Work Coach’ for Young People. 

I am beginning to think that some of the contributors to this site are right to make comparisons with the 1930’s forced labour schemes.

Unemployed young people will be sent to work boot camp, says minister

Reports the Guardian today

Matt Hancock says plan for jobseekers between 18 and 21 to be placed on intensive activity programme is not a form of punishment.

“We are penalising nobody because nobody who does the right thing and plays by the rules will lose their benefits,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday. “In fact this is about giving more support to young people.”

The senior Conservative, who heads David Cameron’s earn or learn taskforce, will set out plans for jobseekers aged between 18 and 21 to be placed on an intensive activity programme within the first three weeks of submitting a claim.

The new requirements, outlined on Monday, will be in place by April 2017 as part of a wider policy, first announced by Cameron before the election, that jobless 18- to 21-year-olds would be required to do work experience as well as looking for jobs or face losing their benefits.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s criticised the plans, saying that young people needed to feel supported, not punished.

In a challenge to Labour, Hancock has now written to all four leadership candidates urging them to get behind the government’s plans.

…the leftwing frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has explicitly said he would oppose the government’s move to take housing benefit away from 18- to 21-year-olds, while Andy Burnham has also been critical of the policy.

Responding to the announcement, a spokesman for the Corbyn campaign said: “This is another punitive turn by this Conservative government that is failing young people. They have cut further education places, driven a punitive welfare regime that has failed to reduce youth unemployment, and are raising university fees and taking away grants.

“As it takes away opportunities for young people to earn or learn, this government is blaming young people rather than addressing the real problems. It proposes more free labour from the young with fewer rights, and will be resisted by young people and Labour MPs.”

Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have said welfare cuts need to be approached in a fairer, more Labour way.

Setting out his plans, Hancock suggested some young people were part of a “welfare culture that is embedded in some of Britain’s most vulnerable communities”.

He said: “By working across government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up three million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations.

“We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential.”

The idea of boot camps for young people without jobs is not a new one. The Conservative party previously suggested it in 2008, when the then shadow welfare spokesman Chris Grayling announced that the party wanted to “abolish benefit payments for any able-bodied person under 21 who is out of work for more than three months”.

The Independent yesterday carried the initial floating of this plan.

Jobless young people will be made to attend “boot camps” in return for benefits as part of a new Conservative drive to bring a “no excuses” culture to youth employment.

Under the plan, anyone under 21 who is out of work and on benefits will have to take part in a three-week intensive course to help them find employment or training.

They will have to sign up to the programme within a month of claiming benefits – or see those benefits stopped.

The course, which ministers are provocatively describing as a “boot camp”, includes practising job applications and interview techniques. It is expected to take 71 hours to complete and benefits will be dependent on attendance.


The Americanism (or cultural cringe to the US) ‘boot camp’ apparently means:

 boot camp


  1. a military training camp for new recruits, with very harsh discipline.
    • a prison for young offenders, run on military lines.
    • a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.
      “a gruelling, late-summer boot camp for would-be football players”

But in fact the language the government and its toady Hancock use has a different origin: it  smells of the ‘get yer hair cut’ 1960s.

Or the kind of pervy old men who like ‘punishing’ youngsters.

We can say one thing for sure: the companies who’ll be running these ‘boot camps’ are some of the biggest chancers and failures in the country – as the evidence from successive New Deals, Work Programmes and all the rest indicates.

What will happen after this bogus ‘training’?

Will there be more forced ‘boot camps’?

Will young people be made to do workfare?

As said above, it looks like our contributors are onto something when they suggest that forced labour,  Zwangsarbeit, is not far off. 

You can vote on this via the ITV site: HERE.

Is it fair to send unemployed youngsters to work ‘boot camps’?
Yes – more needs to be done to get them into workNo – it’s a step too far
 Yes 71.32%  


No – it’s a step too far 28.68%  

Written by Andrew Coates

August 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

For Iain Duncan Smith’s Attention: Fate of Motherwell Workfare.

with 15 comments

As Iain Duncan Smith visits Ipswich – after a relaxing afternoon at some posh hotel near Woodbridge tucking into some expensive grub with his Suffolk Tory mates  – here is a story he may be interested in.

Motherwell charity has pulled out of a Government employment programme after being targeted in a ‘slave labour’ protest.

LAMH Recycling says it has been bombarded with abusive messages and its Range Road premises have been vandalised since the Motherwell Times highlighted a daily vigil being carried out by former employee John McArthur.

He has been spending two hours every day standing outside the factory with placards critical of LAMH for taking part in the employment scheme. Participants get a six-month placement but no payment above their usual jobseeker’s allowance.

Mr McArthur (59) said his benefits were stopped after he refused a placement at LAMH where he had worked previously for a wage. He can’t afford to switch on his heating and is ‘living on 16p tins of spaghetti’.

Since our story two weeks ago Mr McArthur has received messages of support and offers of cash from home and abroad, but LAMH said it, in contrast, has been swamped by e-mails and other messages containing abuse and threats.

People on LAMH placements this week lined up to defend the work scheme which, they claim, is improving their chances of finding a job.

One, John Dowdie, said: “It’s completely wrong that the people here are getting hatemail and threats. This is a Government programme and the Jobcentre sent us here. It’s nothing to do with LAMH.”

Joe Fulton, operations and development manager at LAMH, also defended the scheme, saying seven people who signed up in June when it first started have gone on to find jobs elsewhere.

He said the 15 current participants will be allowed to complete their placements, but no more will be taken on.

Mr Fulton stated: “We are not in the business of surviving through slave labour, but it was obvious the people behind this campaign were not going to stop.

“We are forced into this action reluctantly for the protection of the people with us plus the safeguarding of the organisation, which is highly regarded for the good work it has achieved in the local community since 1999.”

Under the scheme, jobless people join the LAMH workforce, whose tasks include repairing computers and collecting materials such as cans and bottles for recycling.

They also get access to telephones and computers to make job applications under the supervision of an employment co-ordinator.

Elaine Tollan, from Craigneuk, gave the scheme her approval.

She said: “I’ve been unemployed for four or five years, but after 14 weeks at LAMH, I feel more motivated to get a job.

“I’m getting unemployment money and I’m fine with that.”

Richard Dawson, from Muirhouse, praised the ‘welcoming’ atmosphere at LAMH and scoffed at the ‘slave labour’ claim.

He said: “Before, I didn’t get out of bed till dinner time. I was very negative about this when I started, but now I feel motivated and confident.

“I don’t think about the money. I come here with a spring in my step. It’s another step towards getting a job and it’s all positive.”

Reports the Motherwell Times.

But, lo, there is more to say on this:

Here is the reply to the latest Motherwell Times article on Lamh Recycle which I cannot get posted on their web site:

“The print version of this article describes people on CWP employment schemes as “recruits” who had “signed up” however, they are not recruited or signed up but ordered under threats of sanctions to work for no wages . One conscript stated in the article that their job prospects were improved by being on a mandatory work activity (MWA) scheme however a DWP report shows that on average “an MWA referral had no impact on the likelihood of being employed compared to non-referrals” (but they can reduce the unemployment count). These schemes bypass minimum wage regulations and not only does the organization get the labour, for which they would otherwise have to pay, for free but they are actually paid by the DWP/agents. None of the charities that I am aware of in Motherwell Town Centre, nor any of the major national charities, participate in the CWP scheme because they believe it to be wrong.

Anyone who wants work experience might consider genuine voluntary work (but check very carefully if the Job Centre will allow it) which appeals more to employers because it shows the person is working through their own free will and it also saves the tax payer a fortune due to the fees paid by the DWP to their agents. Please also note that organizations enter into a contract for taking conscripts knowing full well the nature of the coercion involved (i.e sanctions) so the article isn’t correct to publish the claim that it is the Jobcentre who is doing the forcing and that “it’s nothing to do with LAMH”. It was also very disappointing to read comments purporting to come from happy conscripts which include the stereotypical Benefit St view of unemployed people as being lazy and unable to get up out bed and look for work. This can only cause further distress to their fellow citizens who are now tarred as scroungers and subject to forced labour for the crime of being unemployed through lack of vacancies.

I would also like to thank once again the many people whom I spoke to outside Lamh Recycle premises each morning who (bar one) expressed their support. I also deeply appreciate the extraordinary kindness of people whom I have never met but who have contacted me offering assistance. They keep alive the true spirit of charity, i.e caritas (love), and giving without seeking a fee (or free labour).

John McArthur

Written by Andrew Coates

November 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

MYGo Centre Jobs (Ipswich), Nice Work…. if you can get it….

with 44 comments

As a Public Service to the Unemployed we signal these Ipswich jobs,

In-Work Support Officerscirca £18k – responsible for supporting customers who have gained employment to stay in work. This will be achieved by offering face-to-face contact, via telephone, email or online support.

External Partnerships Managercirca £28k – responsible for sourcing new employers and account managing
partners and key stakeholders to generate new referrals to the Centre. Also responsible for managing the External Engagement Officer and Outreach team.

Training and Activities Manager – circa £28k – responsible for coordinating and managing all aspects of training, in line with a strong commercial focus.

Support Services Manager – circa £25k – this role is responsible for the smooth running of the Centre, from facilities management, centre logistics right through to health, safety and security.

Outreach Officers – circa £22k – responsible for engaging with and securing customer referrals from within the greater Ipswich area, targeting local communities and encouraging young people to participate.

Casework and IAG Manager circa £28k – responsible for the day to day management of the Caseworker team to ensure the quality of delivery and outcome targets are met.

If you would like to apply go to Jobs24.

Whether they’ll do much to help solve youth unemployment or not, some people will get some very well-paid jobs out of this!

UK’s first Youth Employment Centre opening soon


Fraser House, Ipswich is the new location for a pioneering approach to youth unemployment.

Works begin on the UK’s first ever dedicated youth employment centre at Fraser House in Ipswich.

In October 2013, Ipswich was unveiled as the location of the MyGo centre which will open in November 2014. The centre will pioneer a new approach to helping young people get into work.

Led by businesses, local councils, New Anglia LEP and Jobcentre Plus; this programme supports aims to halve youth unemployment in the greater Ipswich area over the next two years.

The MyGo centre will offer all 16-24 year olds in Ipswich and the surrounding area free training, career and employment support.

The project is being funded by money unlocked through the Greater Ipswich City Deal – the government’s flagship programme to devolve power to local authorities and businesses to put them in control of economic opportunities and challenges.

EOS Works Ltd, a training and welfare company owned by the Staffline Group plc, has recently been appointed by Suffolk County Council to operate the MyGo Centre and deliver the service.

Outreach services will also be provided from mid-2015 across Greater Ipswich; including those living in Babergh, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal. This will include the use of EOS’s new tablet software – allowing users to access services without the need to travel.

Work has already started on fitting out the MyGo centre and creating an inspiring, modern and supportive environment. It will be staffed by Jobcentre Plus, EOS and Tomorrows People employees working together so that young people can access all the help they need in one place.

Tomorrows People is a National Employment Charity with a 30 year track record of helping young unemployed people into sustained employment and is partnering EOS on this initiative.


Our dedicated welfare to work division, incorporating EOS and 2014 acquisition Avanta, provides a ground-breaking and highly effective approach to reducing worklessness. Our Employment Centres offer jobseekers practical, sector-specific experience of working in various professional directions, placing them back into sustainable employment.

Vision and Values.



Background of Staffline:

Staffline Recruitment Group has denied accusations in a BBC Inside Out documentary that it exploits Eastern European workers.


The documentary claimed that the jobs and wages which the workers were promised in Poland were not always delivered when they arrived in the UK. And it alleged that accommodation in the UK, provided by the recruiter, was often overcrowded and in poor condition.

Staffline Recruitment Group managing director Andy Hogarth dismissed the claims.

“The allegations and insinuations in the BBC programme were entirely unfounded and based on poor information,” he argued. “From showing ’cramped’ accommodation, which we had not provided, to filming a former contractor who bemoaned the lack of expected overtime.”

Hogarth said the company, which employs 3,500 workers from Europe, consistently engages with relevant agencies to ensure workers’ interests are protected. These include the Gangmaster Licensing Authority, the Agricultural Labour Providers Association and the Temporary Labour Working Group, as well as the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.

Meanwhile the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has voiced concerns about the generally negative portrayal of recruitment agencies and the suggestion that migrant workers are systematically exploited.

Tom Hadley, the REC director of external relations commented: “Instances of bad practice must of course be addressed but the general tone of the programme is wide of the mark.

“The vast majority of agencies provide a valuable and ethical service to job-seekers looking to work in the UK and to employers with staff shortages.”

Tomorrow’s People also has a very dodgy background.

This is is what they say about themselves.

“2011 Coalition government launches the Work Programme, reflecting payment by results policy Tomorrow’s People has long argued for.

Praxis, research and innovation unit, launched to test new solutions to unemployment.

Independent report estimates every £100 spent on Tomorrow’s People programmes benefits society by £240.

Heathfield Works! launched to offer a lifeline to unemployed young people in isolated rural communities.

ThinkForward, pioneering programme with Private Equity Foundation to improve work prospects of young people while still in school, launched.”

Tomorrow’s people  was prominent in the failed “Getting Families Ready for Work” programme.

We see this:

Charity Commission raps Tomorrow’s People for ‘supporting’ Conservatives

Scott, who accepted an offer last year to become a Conservative peer, appeared in a full-page picture on page 14 of the Conservative Party’s 2010 election manifesto, Invitation to Join the Government of Britain.

Many will say that this Ipswich initiative is a Conservative Party publicity stunt.

Young Unemployed will be Made to do “Community Service” – just like Offenders.

with 89 comments

This is the new proposal from the Conservatives: punish the young – again.

Any young person who has failed to find a job after six months on the dole will have to go on a community work scheme.

Cameron said on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “At heart I want us effectively to abolish youth unemployment. I want us to end the idea that aged 18 you leave school, go and leave home, claim unemployment benefit and claim housing benefit. We should not be offering that choice to young people. We should be saying to people you should be earning or learning.

“We are not talking about those people with children. This is about single people aged 18 to 21. You can start a life on dependency and that is no life at all, that is no future for your children when you do have them. We are saying save the money, make sure after six months every one of those young people has to do a job or in training and use the savings to provide three million apprentices”.

He defended the cut to the welfare cap, arguing that a better education system and welfare reform was one of the best ways to lower immigration. “All the evidence is the cap is too loose, particularly in some parts of the country, so bringing it down saves money, will mean more families getting into work, and what I want to see – the plan we have for Britain – is to spend less money on welfare and more on helping people into work.”

The chancellor, George Osborne, said: “It is not acceptable for young people under the age of 21 to go straight from school or on to benefits and into a home paid for through housing benefit – benefit funded by other people who are working.” He said single parents and those coming out of care would be exempt from the exclusion of housing benefit.

Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is currently worth £50.95 per week for those aged 16 to 24 and £64.30 for those over 25. JSA will be replaced with a six-month allowance, after which claimants will have to do community work if they have failed to find a job or an apprenticeship.

New apprentices will be paid with savings from cutting the welfare benefit. There are currently 150,000 18 to 21-year-olds on JSA.


So, the young unemployed will end up with the same penalty as those doing a  “community sentence”

The Mail gives the ‘wage’ that these forced labourers will receive,

The dole, officially called the Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) is currently worth £50.95 per week for those aged 16 to 24 and £64.30 for the over-25s.

Mr Osborne intends to scrap the JSA for 18 to 21s and replace it with a ‘youth allowance’ – set at about the same level as the dole.

But they will only receive it for six months. After that, if they have failed to find a job, apprenticeship or a training scheme, they will have to do community work, such as cleaning up public places, to continue receiving it.

Community sentences can be given for crimes such as:

  • damaging property
  • benefit fraud
  • assault

I would add minor drug offences.

Let us remind ourselves of what those sentenced to do “community payback” (for offences) have to do,

Community Payback is unpaid work like:

  • removing graffiti
  • clearing wasteland
  • decorating public places and buildings – for example, a community centre

You will usually work in your local area, and be managed by a Community Payback supervisor. You must wear a high visibility orange vest while you work.

You can expect to complete anything from 40 to 300 hours of Community Payback, depending on how serious your crime was.

You have to work 3 or 4 days each week if you’re unemployed.

The Community Payback work will be arranged outside your working hours if you have a job, eg evenings or weekends.

The sentence for being unemployed after 6 months if you’re under 21 is…..unlimited!

The resentment this will cause is not hard to imagine.

Unlike National Service it will not apply to everyone.

Just the poor.