Work Program officially does more harm than good; only 3.6% of participants secured a steady job compared to a predicited 5.5% if the program had never existed.
The Work Program is one of five government ‘workfare schemes’ that force unemployed people to work usually menial jobs for no money. Benefit caimants are threatened with poverty and sanctions if they refuse to participate and given the vaugue proise of a ‘real job’ at the end of it. The statistics for the first year of the program shouldn’t be suprising to anyone, least of all the government, whos own research predicted this outcome!
Getting people to work for free during a time of high unemployment means the few jobs that would have been available to unemployed people are instead given to workfare placements. Sure you get a bit of ‘experience’, but after your six months of unpaid work will your employer really want start giving you a wage when they can just rely on the government to force more people to do the work for free?
Workfare isn’t cheap either, the guardian recently reported it was costing more than the entire bill for Job Seekers Allowance. If you already have a job you can still be affected, the surplus of free temportary labour that workfare provides allows employeers to cut down on staff overtime, give less work to those on flexible contracts, and drives down wages for everyone.
With all these negative points, why would the govenment start the scheme in the first place? Well one answer is rigging statistics, if someone is on a workfare scheme they are no longer ‘unemployed’ so the employment figures look a hell of a lot better. More than though its simply its a con. The private agencies running the schemes get millions in tax payers money, and whilst one or two have faced charges of fraud its far more wide spread than a couple of bad apples. All the free labour for large companies is certainly saving some fat cats a lot of extra money to go towards their bonuses aswell.
Ofcourse all of this hasn’t gone unnoticed, the scheme has been wildly unpopular and attracted massive negative press attention, and hundreds of demonstrations around the country. Boycott Workfare, SolFed, Afed and others have all played their part in forcing large companies out of the scheme due with pickets and occupations, we think its time to kick the scheme while its down and end workfare once and for all. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, see you on the streets soon!
Heres our own Leaflet: from earlier this year predicting this: Anti Workfare Leaflet