Workfare: New scheme announced, yet the failure continues

In an effort to positively spin the government’s multi-billion pound policy failure, the DWP press office has let slip what all of us knew all along: the real aim of workfare – and all government welfare policy – is to deter and strip people of their welfare claims. Even after selectively releasing only some of its statistics, the government could only muster the following weak announcement:

‘A year after the payment-by-results scheme was launched, significant numbers of participants are spending at least three months off benefits according to the data.’

No mention of jobs because the Work Programme – and workfare – was never created to help people find work. Little wonder then that the number of long term unemployed stands at 99,700, up from 2010’s figure of 43,300. Perversely whilst politicians, the media, and Work Programme providers such as A4e blame the unemployed for being unemployed, they also demand more money, tougher sanctions, and blame the economy for the scheme failing.

Meanwhile, Work Programme costs continue to rocket. Attachment fees, the cost of sending people to private providers such as Maximus, now stand at £215 million, up from the £185 million originally forecast.

The government’s target was to use the Work Programme to get 40% of people into jobs, yet it struggles to reach 25%, and even then that 25% records anyone who has signed off for any reason. Let’s put this ongoing massive £5 billion plus policy failure in context: 28% of people are expected to find jobs without any help from the Work Programme or the likes of A4E at all.

Meanwhile, London is set to be the trial ground for another workfare scheme, targeted at young people: All who leave school are to be ‘forced’ to do voluntary and community work, before being able to claim Jobseekers Allowance.

Overlooking the fact that under-18s usually cannot claim Jobseekers Allowance, this pilot scheme – endorsed and pushed for by Boris Johnson – is to be specifically targeted at young people in areas where riots occurred last year. These 10,000 youths, who as yet are not even claiming benefits, will be expected to work with the elderly and carry out environmental work. That’s a workforce of 10,000 people doing jobs that should be paid. If they refuse to do so they will be barred from claiming welfare. Let’s say that again: They will be barred from claiming any welfare. But when they finish this ‘forced voluntary scheme’, they will not be offered a job.

Sadly, whilst commenting on the scheme, Labour’s London Assembly leader called the idea ‘laudable’. Unfortunate since it looks like collective punishment of all young people in areas where riots occurred.

That’s why this campaign – and people like you who make it happen are so important. This campaign continues to grow and go from strength to strength. Holland and Barrett pulled out because of you. Success breeds success, so lets all keep achieving, this week and beyond!

Get ringing! Running from Saturday 7 to 13 July, Liverpool Combat Workfare will be conducting a series of pickets and communication blockades against A4e, inviting you to join them in dial-up fun on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Brighton Benefits Campaign will also be clogging up A4e’s lines this Friday – keep an eye on their site for details!


Comments (4)

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Lord Stapleton

Scandalous! The statistics offer no explanation about the purpose of Workfare - securing people long term employment - but merely presents numbers coming off benefit at set periods, which could be due to all kinds of reasons. Chris Grayling did not want to reveal the truth in an attempt to buy himself more time, but what do you expect from a scheme that was delivered to the public without any clear information from day one?

I hope the government are collecting qualitative data as that will reveal the truth about this Orwellian experiment. I know from my experience of the induction day that if I had any other means of support I would have signed off simply to avoid such a demoralising experience, just as the other twenty or so people probably did as I never saw them again. They were the lucky ones!

Link to DWP statistics: (PDF: 45.3kb)


This 'government' is composed of pea-brained, moronic, terminally intellectually-challenged, cretinous, evil and twisted *****. Really, just how bloody THICK do you have to be to realise that the REAL reason why so many people in this country are unemployed is not because they are 'workshy' but because there are simply many more unemployed than there are real job vancancies to fill. If, I as a member of the public can understand this simple fact then why can't government ministers?

Personally, I am not a violent person, but I hope there are more riots and this unelected government gets kicked-out of office in the ensuing mayhem.


They're going to be forced to work with the elderly, among other things.

So what will be the cost of CRB vetting them to ensure they are temperamentally suited to carry out such work? Indeed, will they even BE vetted or will we have another "discretionary" waiving of this requirement from the Home Secretary?

To me, this sounds like the perfect way to increase the rate of burglaries as youngsters with little or no income are given opportunities to "case" the homes of the elderly and infirm.

Another half-baked CaMORONIC idea, fuelled by Boris the Buffoon.

Eric Greenwood

Apparently if you are not getting paid you dont need a CRB check. Dont know if thats true or not.