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JSA claimants work experience scheme - you outraged?

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  • View Poll Results: How do you feel about this scheme
    Its wrong
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    38.96%
    I'm ok with it
    47
    61.04%

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    (Original post by Suzanathema)
    Would you work a 40 hour week at £3.50 per hour?
    No I have a better job. I have skills that somebody values at greater than £3.5/hour. Unfortunately not everyone is as fortunate as me.

    I might well work at £3.50/hour for 40 hours a week, but it would depend. I would work in some jobs for free....
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    I don't understand how it is 'slave labour'. It's working for your money, like everyone else does. I think it's a good idea.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    No I have a better job. I have skills that somebody values at greater than £3.5/hour. Unfortunately not everyone is as fortunate as me.

    I might well work at £3.50/hour for 40 hours a week, but it would depend. I would work in some jobs for free....

    So if you wouldn't do it, why should someone else?


    You can't live on £3.50 an hour. Why do you think it's right to pay someone a wage that they cannot survive on?

    (Original post by izpenguin)
    I don't understand how it is 'slave labour'. It's working for your money, like everyone else does. I think it's a good idea.
    Oh, everybody else works full time for £50 a fortnight do they?

    That's news to me. I thought 'everyone else' worked for an actual wage. How silly of me.
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    (Original post by internet tough guy)
    Described by some as 'slave labour', its been on the news for a few days now. Just want to see how many here are against this scheme.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/17160065
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17163394
    As someone claiming atm, I think it's a great idea. People like me are only claiming because we can't find work - we want to work. So we work for some company, and the government pays us. If you refuse to do the work, the government doesn't pay you. The only difference between this and managing to get a job is that the people you work for aren't the ones paying you, so frankly I don't see how any one - like me - who's claiming and genuinely wants a job could be against it.

    Probably the first thing I've heard out of this ****ing government that hasn't had me frothing at the mouth. Guess even Tories can have good ideas.
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    (Original post by Suzanathema)
    So if you wouldn't do it, why should someone else?
    I already have a job that pays more than £3.50. If I did not have a job and was offered one for £3.50 I would probably take it (it would depend on commuting costs though)

    If you do not have a job and you were offered a job for £3.50 then I would argue that the latter would be preferable. Unless ofcourse you lose your JSA. Which I think should not happen. You should progressively lose your benefits as you earn more. That means you could get a low paying job, still be fine, and then work your way up. Rather than being put into the misery of permanent employment.

    I am far more compassionate than you, chiefly because I understand this


    You can't live on £3.50 an hour. Why do you think it's right to pay someone a wage that they cannot survive on?
    The amount you are paid should not be to do with 'survival' it should be to do with how productive you are.

    The difference in my opinion should be topped up by government.
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    It's a voluntary scheme so it can't be slave labour. I don't understand how people can say it is.

    It helps people get a job so its a good idea.
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    I think it should only be in the public sector, otherwise it's open to far too much abuse from private companies. Surely when a person is doing work for a private company for free but still receiving money from the taxpayer it just widens the gap? If the private company has a job they need to fill, they should just hire someone and pay them, no? Whether it's 2 weeks work or permanent, it's putting someone in a job and experience is experience.

    I do also think that some sort of work experience should be mandatory for long term JSA claimants. I know that the majority of claimants do not abuse the system and are trying to find work, but there is always going to be the minority who are claiming for the free ride and it's simply not fair to those who want to work and those who already work. Mandatory work within the public sector or for charities as volunteers maybe? JSA should not be raised in line with the NMW because it would take away the incentive to come off benefits and find paid work.

    Whilst we're at it, I think a flat rate for NMW should be introduced and the age tiers abolished. If an inexperienced 16 year old and an inexperienced 25 year old both work in the same position doing exactly the same job, I cannot in any way see how it is fair that one can legally be paid £3.68 per hour and the other £6.08 per hour. It should all be paid at £6.08 per hour regardless of age.

    Rant over
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    (Original post by Cowzo)
    It's a voluntary scheme so it can't be slave labour. I don't understand how people can say it is.

    It helps people get a job so its a good idea.
    It's not THIS scheme that people are saying is slave labour; politicians and the media have put such a slant on the issue to make it seem people are against ALL workfare schemes in order to dismiss them as 'communist', 'anarchist' and 'militant hard left'.

    There is a scheme is called Mandatory Work Activity, and is only applied as a last resort for jobseekers who are frequently turning up late and not adhering to their agreement.

    However, the main one people are objecting to is the Work Programme, this is mandatory for jobseekers aged 18-24 who have been unemployed for 9 months or more, or for anyone else unemployed for a year. Work placements on this can last for up to 6 months and are mandatory.
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    (Original post by A Mysterious Lord)
    However, the main one people are objecting to is the Work Programme, this is mandatory for jobseekers aged 18-24 who have been unemployed for 9 months or more, or for anyone else unemployed for a year. Work placements on this can last for up to 6 months and are mandatory.
    They tried to put me on this in June last year. Slave labour or lose your benefits. **** that. I signed off. Unfortunately not everyone is able to get by without their benefits so they don't have a choice. I'm surprised it has taken this long for people to kick up a fuss about it.
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    My friend owns a salon and he's thinking about sacking some of his staff so that he can get some of this free labour. He's also a Libdem councillor.
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    Wow, there's so much wrong in that BBC article, I don't know where to begin :confused:

    Firstly, I'm not sure why they're suggesting that Tesco and Greggs are so against this. They took thousands in to the original scheme and have only now backed out and claim not to support it because it was a PR disaster. Painting them as against this is very misleading. It was Waterstones and Sainsbury's that lead the way in removing themselves from the scheme.

    The four interviews are also misleading, but I suppose if they claim someone they asked on the street said it, they can't be held accountable for bad reporting.

    The original incarnation was that large profitable companies take on those on benefits. The benefit claimants received well below minimum wage and were informed that they if they pulled out or declined, their 68 pounds job seekers benefits would be cut. The reason I was against it is that creates a disincentive for companies to create jobs. Why bother advertising a full time position when you can take on people not subject to the minimum wage?

    The justification was two-fold. First that there was experience in it for those unemployed. The second was that there might be a job at the end of it.

    In the first case, that experience was things that didn't need much more than a few days to gain. Stacking shelves and operating the checkouts. The second, that there might be a job at the end of it was laughable if you see the few hundred Tesco took on after many thousands through the system (about 1500 a month iirc, compared to 300 given a full time at the end of it, not even for that month, but over the course of the entire scheme up until they dropped it). The resulting employment was low compared to the intake. That's a lot of free man-hours. This is even before we get to the forced training schemes that don't actually teach anybody anything.

    I'm all for gaining experience and I'm all for further training. However, the numbers that are successful in gaining work are so small that I'm not in favour of providing companies with a supply of empty cheap labour at the expense of someone who would have otherwise filled the position. The only counter I've heard from those in power has been 'not many people are annoyed, if you listen to them the country will face the consequences'. What consequences, nobody knows. The old 'you should be offended!' thing seems to be coming up a lot too and catching some people in its trap.

    I should add that some companies have a voluntary alternative that is often paid and tops up the benefits as some have mentioned here. Some of these have very high post-experience employment figures too, but it is a very different beast from the 'get Britain working' programme. They're not the same thing and shouldn't be confused with each other.

    Anyway, if you're interested in the issue, I would really advise doing some further research and taking a look at how many have already been through these schemes and the results. It's a biggie and has been going on for quite a while now. There's far more to this than the BBC article suggests.

    Edit - wasn't supposed to be quite that long.
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    They've basically thrown up a big middle finger at the minimum wage... of course it's wrong.

    It's even more ridiculous that the 'work experience' is in the private sector.
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    (Original post by Dr. Bassman)
    They've basically thrown up a big middle finger at the minimum wage... of course it's wrong.
    ''The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying, employers must discriminate against people who have low skills'' - Milton Friedman

    That is because the minimum wage is part of the problem.

    It is a terrible law. It hurts the most vulnerable in society. It causes persistent unemployment. This means young peoples skills do not improve and they actually get worse. This is because when you are in work you get better at your job. Therefore their productivity will never improve. This means they will not get higher wages, over time, that pay more than the NMW. They are just left in a state of servitude to the state.

    The NMW is not there to help the common man, it hurts the commom man. It is there to protect trade unions from competition.




    Please spread this knowledge and alleviate the youth unemployment problem.
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    Polly Toynbee's all for it: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion...s-1280874.html
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    its hardly slave labour as theyre getting paid for it with the JSA ... its better for the economy and the person to work for the money thats being hurled at them.
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    (Original post by SilverArch)
    I'm against companies such as Tesco using it. They have massive profits - they can afford to actually employ people on full wages to do it. Such companies use JSA people to to the work of the full time employees, and cut the employees wages as a consequence. Which is just wrong, and will end up increasing unemployment not decreasing it. Giving companies incentive to lay off their employees so they can get cheaper workers from the government is not going to help the situation in any way

    Small business, charities and similar that cannot afford any more paid emplyees, I'm fine with. Hopefully the experiences will look good on CV's
    I read in the Metro (sorry cant remember when- it was within the last few weeks) that a quarter of the people who went through this scheme got a job. If this scheme was limited to charities and small businesses who couldn't afford to hire someone then you would have more people unemployed than now
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    (Original post by internet tough guy)
    Thats what I don't get, why not just limit this scheme only to the public sector. That way, there won't be criticisms of big companies making extra profit on the back of taxpayers' money, and there won't be concerns that this will put off firms from hiring actual paid workers.
    Because the intention is to get them a job not a reference.
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    It is voluntary not compulsory...how can a voluntary scheme be slave labour? Just don't say yes!
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    Wouldn't mind compulsory work experience, but there are problems with it now;

    The JSA is not a minimum wage, and certainly not based on the hours done by these workers;

    The government pays these companies for this out of tax funds,

    They displace paid workers, and a large employer can just keep a 'merry-go-round' of placement staff to cut costs.
    There is no formal development of skills, just vague notions of "teaches them how to get out of bed and look smart herp derp". Funnily, they arent so keen on them learning the vital skill of receiving the correct pay.

    I think that it would be better for the economy, to suggest to the unemployed skills that are in short supply, and train them appropriately so they can do this work.
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    (Original post by Richiboi)
    I think that it would be better for the economy, to suggest to the unemployed skills that are in short supply, and train them appropriately so they can do this work.
    Firstly, how does anyone know what skills are in short supply? And those skills that are in short supply are hard to gain (that is why they are in short supply). Physics Phds are in short supply, so should we train up some of the people on JSA as Physics doctorates?

    Secondly, the government does not have a very good record when it comes to training and education. There is a reason why people are on JSA. And one of the main ones is a poor education from the state. It is positively laughable to think the state could actually train people on JSA when it can barely teach students. Firms do a much better job of actually giving people practical skills. There is a reason why firms reject people because they do not have relevant work experience.


    This program is not a good idea though, in the sense that there is a much better alternative. Abolish the NMW. Abolish JSA. Replace the system with a negative income tax. That means you get a certain amount of money and as you start to earn money you get this money taken off progressively. So if you were on £3/hour you would still get benefits to top you up. If you were on $£5/hour you would get less benefits than the person on £3/hour.

    This would mean people would be able to take on low paying jobs, get skills, not be in crippling poverty (because they still get some benefits) and eventually move up the ladder rather than being stuck in a poverty cycle where they cannot get a job because they are, unfortunately, not worth the NMW.

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Updated: February 29, 2012
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