For a long time now anti-workfare campaigners have warned that so-called ‘voluntary’ unpaid work on Jobcentre schemes is often forced labour in disguise. Such is the toxic environment in Jobcentres that those who refuse to take part in ‘voluntary’ workfare can simply be sent on a mandatory scheme instead.
Now George Osborne has let the cat out of the bag and in his speech yesterday signalled his intention to enshrine this vile practice in government policy. Starting as early as April next year in some cases, almost all unpaid work schemes will now be mandatory for the young.
Osborne will force all those out of work for six months and between the ages of 18 and 21 into Traineeships or Work Experience. Those who refuse will be sent on a Community Work Placement – 780 hours unpaid work – or face losing benefits completely. This is a huge turn…
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