Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Work for your Benefit

"Work for your Benefit" is a pilot scheme cooked up by Yvette Cooper and the DWP aimed at people who have been out of work for two years. It's explained on the DWP website. It consists of "up to six months" of "intensive work experience which will help improve their employability." You may suspect that this is punitive, or pandering to the "make 'em work" brigade, but of course that's not how it's portrayed.
The two pilot areas are Greater Manchester and East Anglia, and the PQQ results have been published. Twelve providers have been successful at this stage in each area, and they include A4e as well as other companies like Serco and Seetec that we're becoming familiar with.
As the Indus Delta site says, "The future of WfYB is uncertain under a Conservative government, so shortlisted organisations will have to decide whether it's worthwhile bidding for the contracts." But even without a change of government, this scheme seems unlikely to survive. It's hard enough to find work placements for the recently unemployed, and any contract that depends on guaranteeing getting people into such placements is not very attractive.


  1. Lets hope this crackpot New Labour scheme never sees the light of day. I notice they never suggest anything to radical like job sharing

  2. There's a comment from Dan Owen which I'll quote without in any way endorsing his suggested methods: "This could be killed off even sooner, if victims in the pilot areas organised against it. I'm thinking bad publicity campaigns against organisations taking part, office occupations, bricks through the windows if necessary. If everyone considers involvement with dole slavery to be too much hassle - however large the government bribe - it will fail. Forcing an embarassing U turn is within our grasp if people have the balls for it as while the recession continues our numbers make us strong."

  3. I have some sympathy with the view expressed by Dan Owen, but draw the line at bricks through windows.

    Who'd ever heard of Fathers for Justice until they climbed onto the roof of Parliament and unfurled their banners - gets the attention of the media.

    Sit-in's,roof occupations and demos outside the providers offices, with lots of banners is the way to go. But make sure you contact the local news media first and try and get them to send a reporter.


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