Protest Against Workfare Profiteers ESG on Friday

Youth Fight For Jobs are holding a Protest against workfare profiteers, ESG at 1pm on Friday (3rd August), at their offices on Galbraith House, Great Charles street in Birmingham city centre.

ESG group currently hold a contract worth £4m over four years, for the government’s “work experience” schemes in the West Midlands. In reality, this represents yet another stick for the government to beat the unemployed with, as those who have been claiming Job Seeker’s for over six months are forced into working for free for companies such as Tesco, WH Smith and McDonald’s.

The government have recently announced that the Community Action Program will be expanded, pushing 1 million people into 6 months of forced unpaid work. This will involve an individual doing 780 hours of community service – over twice as much as the maximum sentence of 300 hours allowed for community service when convicted of breaking the law. The expansion of workfare programs flies in the face of evidence from DWP which shows that the schemes do not help people get into work, and may actually reduce people’s chances of finding work – all at a huge cost to the taxpayer, and workers whose jobs are threatened or lost to workfare placements, as well as claimants who face sanctions of up to 6 months without benefits if they fail to comply exactly with the demands placed on them.

Birmingham campaigner Nick Hart said:

the only people who benefit from these so called work placements are large high street chains who are being paid to take on unemployed persons to carry out the work which helps turn a large profit for their shareholders. This is a practice that hurts both those in work by driving down wages and conditions and those out of work by replacing paid jobs with the choice of taking part in these schemes or risking losing your benefits

Recent protests against the use of workfare have seen companies like Holland & Barrett and Pizza Hut pull out of the schemes entirely, and continued pressure on the companies involved will see these schemes crumble further.

You can read more about why we support campaigns against Workfare in this post. To find out more about Youth Fight for Jobs and their “manifesto for the 99%” please head to their website.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Protest Against Workfare Profiteers ESG on Friday

  1. John

    If you’re on a ‘Work Experience’ scheme or a ‘CAP’ scheme, send an invoice every week for your wages (minimum wage), to both the Provider and the business exploiting you … Compensation for ‘forced labour’ should be forthcoming, as these ‘Forced Labour’ schemes breach Article 4 of the European convention on Human Rights.

    Compensation was paid for the PPI scandal, and Forced Labour is even worse, and is expected to reach almost £5 billion in wages held back by dodgy businesses and the government.

  2. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Protest Against Workfare Profiteers ESG on Friday

  3. Chris

    I received a flyer for this when I signed on today, holding it in my hand as I entered the job centre in Erdington, a woman working there took it from me and said “What is this about, the idiot has been handing them out all day”. Unfortunately I cant attend this as I will be at the Work Programme tomorrow, Ingeus Erdington if anyone is ever interested in protesting outside there. :p

    Cannot wait for people to wise up and realise what a waste of money this Work Programme is. I thought the government had made this work experience voluntary now? Can you not turn it down without being sanctioned?

    The whole thing is useless and unhelpful, not just the work experience. They’re so childish too, if you’re 10 minutes late they will keep you waiting for an hour while you look over and see them talking to colleagues and drinking tea. Not to mention the unprofessionalism, with Ingeus they openly talk about sanctions, I overheard 2 guys talking. “How many have you sanctioned this week?” “5 so far, I’m winning the race.” “Are you sanctioning Rob? He was so nice” “Yes” *laughs*.

    Sure, We dont want to become a generation of unemployed layabouts, but the fact is 99% of us are not layabouts, we’re searching hard for a job, but get walked all over.

  4. Pingback: Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Workfare Walk of Shame – Liverpool Sat 8th Sept

  5. Yvonne Lane

    It is good to see the young people of today fighting back. When I was a teenager, you could walk out of a job on one day, straight into another the next, and most school leavers would be guaranteed an apprentice placement. Then we had Thatcher and a whole generation of young people had no experience of an alternative government and voted for her. Now we see a situation where both regimes have seriously let young people down. Keep up the fight.

  6. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Workfare Walk of Shame – Liverpool Sat 8th Sept

  7. Reblogged this on Gogwit's Blog and commented:
    As Holland and Barrett and Pizza Hut, amongst other well known high street names, can attest, there really is no need, nor stomach, for Workfare here. It is a doctrinaire attempt to inject alien ideology into the British body-politic and as with many poorly thought through xenografts, being vigorously rejected by the host.

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