Bowing to public pressure, yesterday Holland and Barratt pulled out of the government’s workfare scheme, and now seem only able to afford to offer apprenticeships that pay £2.60 per hour. What they forgot to mention was that whilst using 1,000 unpaid jobseekers over the last year throughout its 250 stores, Holland and Barrett unexpectedly made a pretax profit surge of 19.4% to £60m.
Poundland, who are still in the scheme, have recently announced that profits are up 27% this year. The question is, with a potential workfare workforce of 2.6 million unemployed rising, and tens of thousansds of people already sent to work without pay, how many millions of pounds are all the other organisations profiting from workfare making?
In the meantime, why not pay a visit to some of the companies revealed today as part of the Week of Action?
Compass group – Leeds General Infirmary
Food Court at Leeds General Infirmary
Queensland Multi-Media centre/Bridge to Success
Ty Hafan charity shop
PKD Sporting Solutions Ltd
The Big Bargain company
Eleanor lions hospice shop
Princess Yachts (!) (Despite being listed as a “Work Experience” opportunity from the Job Centre here at a time, the company claim they have never been involved.)
If you’re hitting your high street to take action this week, here’s a reminder of some of the other places you might like to pay a visit:
Age Concern, Age UK, Argos, Asda, Barnardos, B&Q, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, Holiday Inn, Greggs the Bakers, Hilton Hotels, Marriot Hotels, McDonald’s, PDSA, Pizza Hut, Poundland, Poundstretcher, Primark, The Range, RSPCA, Salvation Army, Shoe Zone, Sue Ryder, Superdrug, Tesco, WHSmith, Wilkinsons, The Works.
The Arcadia Group is also involved. It includes Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Topman, Topshop, Wallis.
Sadly there’ll be others, so please let us know what you find out during the week. Our top tips for workfare sleuthing are here.
There’s loads of stuff planned throughout the week of action and more still to be announced, so let us know what you’re planning and send us your photos and stories afterwards.
Good luck everyone – we’re making a real difference!