The government appears to have abandoned their previous plans for compulsory 6 month workfare placements for everyone finishing the 2 years on the Work Programme. There was no mention of it when they announced their post-Work Programme plans yesterday, which is a victory for all anti-workfare campaigns. By us all putting pressure on workfare providers there are no longer enough companies and charities who are willing to be involved to make such a huge scheme possible.
Unfortunately the government are planning to go ahead with their other plan of intensified Job Seeker Agreements and pointless activities for when we finish the Work Programme. They are threatening daily meetings with advisors and referrals to Mandatory Work Activity (which is already struggling to cope with current placements) – all coordinated by the sinister sounding “hit squads”. On top of this they are planning to throw another £30 million at the likes of A4e to provide “training schemes” which normally involve little training, and just provides another opportunity to sanction us.
Pushing people out of the welfare system is what this new scheme for people finishing the Work Programme is all about. As the Department for Work and Pensions admits:
“The programme comes after Jobcentres involved in a trailblazer found that claimants targeted by an intensive approach were much less likely to stay on benefit.”
They do not even pretend these measures are there to help people into work. Instead they are there to provide more opportunities to sanction us and to take away our only financial support.