Day 2: Stop Traineeships – workfare for young people


Day One of the week of action against workfare and sanctions was great – with a LOUD noise demo at the workfare industry’s annual conference, hijacking its hashtag and actions in Cardiff and Germany! On Day Two, target the companies profiting from making young people work without pay on Traineeships.

Traineeships are about providing cheap labour, driving down wages, massaging unemployment figures and conditioning our young people for a life of poverty and jumping through endless hoops in search of a job.

They’re a fairly new scheme that targets 16-24 year olds with more unpaid work. Traineeships involve a work placement of up to six months for which the employer is not even required to pay travel expenses. The promise at the end of six months’ unpaid work? You may then be eligible to work for £2.67 an hour as an apprentice.

Used together, traineeships and apprenticeships have the potential to massively undercut the minimum wage on the high street and elsewhere.  The government is of course rolling out compulsory education for 17-18 year-olds and unpaid work looks set to make up an increasingly large component of that education. Benefits cuts for 18-25 year-olds are also threatened.

There are many companies happy to take advantage of young people and profit from their lack of opportunity and  today let’s take action against them. Contact them by phone, email or on social media.


Kwikfit’s hit the headlines for expecting 39 hours of unpaid work a week from its traineeships and advertising them across the UK. It’s already faced huge public criticism on social media. Let’s make sure it knows the pressure hasn’t gone away and it needs to pay the people who work for it.

You could comment by phone or email, on its Facebook page or Youtube channel.


This multi-national brand with $18.1 billion in sales in a year, is recruiting multiple traineeships in Blackpool to “prepare food and serve customers” for 21 hours’ work a week each. currently advertising for at least three placements, this shop is saving itself £3180 on the wages bill in the next two months. Let’s hope the young people weren’t planning on buying any Christmas presents.

Share your thoughts on Subway’s Facebook page or take a look at their contact details.


Here is a luxury watch shop offering unpaid work for six months in its store in Westfield to young people when clearly it should and could offer them paid work and on the job training. You can contact Toywatch and let them know what you think on, comment on their Facebook page, give them a call on 020 3301 8744 or pay them a visit.


Novotel’s 4* hotel in Southampton is also profiting from 42 hours of unpaid work in its kitchens each week. Its contact details can be found here.

Got a few more minutes?

Have a dig here and pick the companies you’d like to contact about their exploitation of young people to replace paid work.

Want more info on traineeships? Hear it from the horse’s mouth here and here.


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Given that education post 18 costs £ks and 16-18 no longer has EMA, getting qualifications and training in a trade whilst claiming can't be that bad a deal... Let's face it a good trade (mechanics/engineering/plumbing etc) with crap pay while training is a totally different prospect to the entry level job Workfare from the likes of Poundland. Back in the day apprentices worked for peanuts - got days in the classroom at college - and then a job with wages when they qualified. If trainees are getting proper professional qualifications (not Mickey Mouse well done certificates) then this has to be a decent thing... Although it shouldn't take 6 months to decide whether to train somebody up - 6 weeks tops should show if the kids mean business and merit the investment.