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Forced to work for six months for no pay

In November we reported on a new workfare scheme that the government is “piloting”. Now hear from someone who has been “volunteered” for it:

I did a Mandatory Work Related Activity as they called it for 4 weeks in May, and I’m still signing on now, so a fat lot of good that did. I was told that I wouldn’t have to do it again, but lo and behold, I been ”volunteered” (the dole offices words not mine) for what they’re now calling a Community Action Programme. I’m working side by side for 30 hours a week for the next 6 months with people doing the exact same job and hours, but while they’re walking away with £180 in their pockets I be coming home to my £65 a week dole money.

As I was told this Monday, I will be expected to show real enthusiasm and keenness ”just in case there’s a slight possibilty there could be a job at the end of it” (the dole office’s words again!!). Failure to do so will see my benefits cut or even stopped.

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Why We’re Supporting Boycott Workfare Campaign In Birmingham | Birmingham Against The Cuts

[...] coalition. Worryingly, there are now moves being put into place to create placements of up to 6 months for long term unemployed. During the period you are working for the company, you receive your benefits and travel expenses. [...]