Why Labour should support work experience

February 28, 2012 12:10 pm

As a local MP I regularly get letters from school pupils looking for work experience in my constituency office. I am happy to help the pupils out in this way if I can. I noticed that the letters all have one thing in common – they are from the one or two fee paying schools in Wolverhampton or the grammar school. These schools are not in my constituency but in the wealthier, Western part of the city. I have nothing against these schools or these pupils but I wondered why I wasn’t getting requests from any of the state secondary schools in my constituency, all of which sadly score below the national average in exam results.

In response to this, last year I wrote to the local heads of the state schools saying I could help young people out with this work experience and asking them to let their pupils know the opportunity was there – an opportunity already eagerly being pursued by pupils who have probably been dealt a better hand in life than most of my constituents and who feel that working in the local MP’s office will be a good addition to their CV.

The value of work experience is clear to many motivated young people. They know employers are looking for candidates who have developed interests beyond their schoolwork and have some idea of what the world of work involves. That is one reason why internships in media organisations, law firms and so on are so valued. The thing which should cause concern is not that such internships exist, but that they so often go to those with family connections and that constituents like mine are too often shut off from them, not even knowing they are available let alone having a chance to apply.

Add to this the current levels of youth unemployment. Over a million young people out of work. In my own constituency 1500 young people on Job seekers allowance. Overall in my constituency unemployment levels of 12.6%.

What to do? There is much that needs changes to help the unemployed. National policy. International policy. Indeed the question of where future jobs and growth come from is one of the most urgent of this post crash age. But while fighting for broader change, individual politicians also have to ask what they can do here, now, for the people they represent.

I didn’t invent the idea of a local work experience scheme. I borrowed it from my colleague Siobhain McDonagh MP who had organised an excellent scheme in her South London constituency, in alliance with local employers and Job Centre Plus.

Before Christmas, I approached the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Black Country Job Centre Plus about organising a local Wolverhampton Work Experience Programme. The idea was to ask employers to provide places of at least six weeks to local unemployed young people and then make the list available locally. By providing a directory of available places and sending it to local young people we can break through the circle of places being offered on the basis of social contacts and get these opportunities to more young people.

Letters were written to local employers in the public and private sectors asking them to offer places. The local NHS offered 100 places, guaranteeing they would be additional to current staffing levels and wouldn’t replace any paid staff. The main local social landlord, Wolverhampton Homes offered places too. So too did engineering firms, music venues and other private sector employers.

All those offering places were invited to a local launch hosted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton last Friday. No one involved in putting this together is interested in exploiting young people. Everyone is committed to trying to do something to help young people increase their chances of finding work.

The highlight of the launch was the story of Jessica Williams, a young woman who had been through work experience with Wolverhampton Homes. Through it she got a temporary job with the organisation, then a permanent job. And she’s clear that the work experience was her route to employment.

And yet this has become one of the most controversial issues in the country. Major national chains like Tesco, Burger King and Poundland have drawn back from Government schemes. Why has a good idea become so controversial?

The argument is put that any work experience without payment in addition to benefits is exploitation. This is wrong. Provided choosing the place is voluntary and provided there is a reasonable time limit on the scheme it isn’t exploitation. On the contrary, it is opportunity as is recognised by those letters I get from the wealthier part of town.

It would be good to live in a world where everyone had immediate access to a paid job on leaving school or university. It is something we should strive for. But it is not the situation we are living in. Unemployment is at a 17 year high. So it is back to the here and now and what we can do.

Work experience is not the same as a paid job but it can help young people find a paid job. And it is vital at these times of high unemployment to avoid a lost generation of young people, losing contact with the world of work and being excluded from opportunity, particularly if that exclusion is done in the name of the right to work.

Where the government has gone wrong is threatening to withdraw people’s benefit if a placement doesn’t work out. Not all placements may be of good quality. If someone is treated badly or the placement is a complete waste of time, they should have the right to say no.

For employers, the truth is work experience is rarely a chance to exploit and more often a cost and a commitment. An untrained person has to be supervised and kept occupied. But there is something in this for employers too. They can get to know potential employees and that can lead to the recruitment of good new members of staff. That’s what happened with Jessica Williams and Wolverhampton Homes and it can happen with others.

The Government should act to fix the flaws in its approach and regain the confidence of employers in work experience. In Wolverhampton, we won’t be put off. The unemployment situation is too critical, the need too great, to end up in a situation where we would rather young unemployed people sat at home doing nothing rather than taking part in experience which might help them get work.

Labour is the party of work. Good paid work, yes, but also the chance to get that good paid work. Work experience is part of that chance. We should not turn our backs on it. Instead, we should make sure that as many people as possible have access to the opportunity it brings, the value of which for those with means and wealth is all too clear.

Pat McFadden is the L:abour MP for Wolverhampton South East

  • AlanGiles

    Mr McFadden is all for others working for nothing, so I assume he would do the same himself, and never take advantage?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5581730/MPs-expenses-Pat-McFadden-claimed-thousands-on-stamp-duty-and-furniture.html 

  • John Ruddy

    A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

    There’s a difference between work experience and the schemes the Government were trying to pass off as such.

    Did you know that an analysis of this workfare scheme showed that people who went on these placements were actually slightly LESS likely to find proper jobs than those who had stayed on the dole? It seems that having to work 40 hours a week for your JSA means they didnt have time to actually SEEK work. You know the S in JSA.

    By the way, how did it work out after sending those invitations to the local state schools? I was looking forward to that bit, but you seemed to have forgotten to tell that story.

  • Brian

    I cleaned shit tanks on submarines in Rosyth Dockyard,but guess what Pat?……………………………….I was paid for my labour,fairs day pay for a fairs day work.

  • billgav

    Its stange how MPs give themselves a pay rise and generous exspense allowance and expect others to work for nothing.What next a tax break for employing servants

  • http://keithsww.blogspot.com/ keith s

    There is a lot of difference between school students doing a couple of
    weeks and unemployed people of any age being stuck full time in a role
    they don’t like for 8, 12 or more weeks.

    There is also a notable class difference. The well-off have internships in
    the media or politics, funded by the parents. The working class get coerced to work in
    retail.

    And the Labour Party supports this? Haven’t you come up with anything better?

    What is wrong with a purely voluntary scheme with the the unemployed person determining the choice, hours and duration? And what is wrong with paying someone a top up or the full rate for the job rather than handing cash over to Emma Harrison and friends? Or why not demand the reintroduction of EMA and extending it to those on placements?

    John Ruddy’s comments are correct. The labour movement fought long and hard for decent wages and services. If you allow the Tories to get away with coercing the unemployed, then attacks on workers will surely follow.

    And where is the TUC on this? There would have been a time when the argument would be for trade union recognised schemes, what now.

    • treborc

      The TUC are busy trying to stop a number of Unions saying good bye to labour.

  • Redshift

    This is frankly an unbelievably stupid article. As a Labour Party member, I am ashamed to believe that one of our party’s parliamentary representatives could be this much of a moron.
    You take school children on for two weeks work experience. This acts as more or less an insight into working life. It is educational. There is a broad range of employers you can do this with and the pupils get a fair amount of say into what their placement is. This is for people who are not dependent on getting an income, they are children.

    The most controversial aspects of the work programme force people who are looking for work, who want and need an income, to work without pay for some of the largest, most profitable companies in the UK – usually doing the most low skill tasks. It is not educational, it doesn’t help them find work, it is exploitative and when employers have a rolling programme it is actually reducing the number of paid jobs, whilst undermining the pay and conditions of the other employees. 

    The Future Jobs Fund was a brilliant scheme that offered people who needed it experience – and they got a job for 6 months (even if only on 25 hours a week). As a Labour MP, you should proudly be defending this scheme and attacking the Tories for scrapping it. It is actually disgraceful that instead you would prefer to write this article. The Tories assumption (or the assumption they wish to propogate) is that people are unemployed because they are a lazy bunch of scrougers with no education or worthwhile experience. CLEARLY, IF YOU BELIEVE THIS (which your article suggests) YOU MUST BE OF THE BELIEF THAT WE HAVE 2.7 MILLION UNEMPLOYED BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A SPONTANEOUS WAVE OF FECKLESSNESS. 

    Only a few years ago(!) we had near enough full employment, now it is the highest since the early 90s. You are a clown if you think the problem is work ethic rather than a lack of jobs!

    • AlanGiles

      What can I say but hear, hear! to the messages from John, Keith and Redshift.

      This article would have been bad enough had it come from the most squeaky-clean M.P. That it was written by an expenses sponger makes it intolerable

  • http://www.theaccidentallabouractivist.com/ Bev Clack

    Pat, there is a world of difference between work experience and workfare. Work experience is usually in an area you WANT to work in. So I did work experience in theatre in my teens and early 20s (for which I was paid, even if not very much). Workfare is not about gaining experience in a chosen field. Look at the employers who are being used for this scheme. Where are the universities, museums, etc? Workfare is a patronising at best and cynical at worst way of addressing youth unemployment without putting money into developing future jobs. It’s important that Labour understand such distinctions, or we will end up repeating the mistakes of the past as well as the current government. 

    • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

      Bev, I don’t think there is any guarantee that the work experience young people get through school is directly linked to what they wanted.  Certainly that is my own experience.

      We do have, however, a huge number of NEETs in their late teens/twenties with little in the way of education, few if any qualifications and next to no work experience whatsoever.  They are limited in their chances of getting work as a result of a lack of substance on their CV.  I was always brought up to believe that any job is better than no job (and I did my fair share of awful jobs until I was able to forge the career I wanted), and in this case I think that any work experience is better than no experience.  I don’t think 6-8 weeks of unpaid work experience is going to kill anyone, and it might just give them a fighting shot at getting a paid, long term job at the end of it. 

      For me, workfare is the lesser of two evils as it gives at least the hope of a job to people who may currently have no hope at all.

      • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

        “any work experience is better than no experience”

        But people come of JSA at the same rate, whether on workfare or not*.

        This leads to the question: what is the purpose of the Tories slave-labour scheme? My answer is that it gives the appearance, at taxpayers expense, of the Tories trying to do something about unemployment.

        Of course, if they really wanted to do something they’d halt the disastrous policies that are destroying the domestic economy – in the last year more than 83,000 retail sector jobs have been lost from high streets.  And perhaps Labour should do more to highlight such consequences, and offer an alternative, rather than trying to find some justification for Tory policy.

        *http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/people-come-off-jsa-at-the-same-rate-regardle

      • treborc

        I’m on workfare have been now since it started, I was also on  Pathways to work, and the New Deal for the disabled .

        I’ve so far done well over six months of training, six months of training others, and to date have filled in other 2000 job applications and have so far had three replies .

        The Job center then stated they wanted me to fill in using my CV which is pretty dam full, without putting down or mention disability, I had nineteen replies two offered me a full time job, start when your ready, I went down with my advisor from the job center and they accused us of lying on the application and of course they slammed the door on us.

        It is depressing to be turned down once or twice but after six months I tried to end my life it got so depressing.

        And up until last year I was the disability sport coaching officer for the area , helping severely disabled have a bit of fun but my stroke ended that lot.

        I have not met to many disabled people who would not like to work, but of course the one thing which has worried us, if we take a job and the contract is as it normally is for twelve months we then have to go through the dam medical to get benefits for three months before we can start working again, this is done to stop the employer having to pay for any changes we may need.

        But never mind I’m sure labour and the Tories will sort it our one day

    • charles.ward

       “Look at the employers who are being used for this scheme. Where are the universities, museums, etc?”

      Ah look, a Job Snob.

  • Sheenaconnor1

    Mr McFadden, how can you say the Labour Party is the Party of work!! They did little to save the great industries of this country and if I remember rightly it was Neil Kinnock who turned his back on the miners in the  80’S who were fighting to save their jobs and their industry..You keep talking about the young people gaining work experience but do not mention those from the ranks of the unemployed who are in the 40’s & 50’s who have lost their jobs then sent to Tesco’s and the like to fill freezers with frozen chickens and stack shelves. Work that on the whole used to be paid work until the scheme came into being..Are you saying these people also need work experience as I would argue they know much about hard low paid work which I am afraid many MP’s don’t..You come across as yet another career politician who may have had to do a bit of voluntary work for the sake of one’s CV…unlike others who have to do it to live on…What has happend to a fare days work deserves a fare days pay?…You are not different to the Tories who are exploiting the poor at every opportunity and rewarding their rich friends with an never ending supply of free labour!!

  • JC

    So why don’t the local schools care enough about their pupils to arrange this themselves? As you point out, the private and selective schools do.

    • treborc

       It’s about getting the child out to look for his own work.

  • Jeremy_Preece

    I think it has been said in the comments below really. I hope that my Labour Party stands up for jobs and quality jobs at that. I understand the issues of work experince helping some into quality jobs, but the idea of unskilled work being carried out for nothing by the unemployed is blatant exploitation as well as helping to drive down wages.

    We seem to have come to the point where we are told that we are being undercut by China (with all of their human rights abuses) and by third world countries who can outdo us by employing slave labour, and sometimes child slave labour. It seems to me that the Tory answer is simply to replicate and turn Britain into a third world country, by driving down the wages of the working class, squeezing out the middle class and increasing the wealth of a tiny percentage of super-rich.

    I think work experince – in making unemployed work at unskilled jobs for nothing is a real step in that direction and therefore has a place only in Tory ideaology and not in Labour policy.
    I totally agree that being unemployed leaves a person out of touch with the world of work – and my solution? – i.e. give them a real job. Why not get the jobs in place and then say that unemployed are lazy – when there are plenty of jobs out there, not when real jobs are being cut, and many of the unemployed are those who were working yesterday, and would love to have their jobs back.

  • Jeff_Harvey

    The best “work experience” most people enjoy is receiving a wage for their labours. If multi-billion pound businesses like Asda and Tesco were truly public spirited they would, at the very least, reward every person volunteering to spend a month with them as pseudo-staff members appropriately, rather than give them a few hours instruction and have them shelf-stacking or collecting trolleys on an unpaid basis, for the duration, effectively as slave labour with no pay and no rights coupled with a loss of benefits if they fail to toe the line.

    Also isn’t it kind of funny that most of the businesses previously chomping at the bit to recruits youngsters eager for “work experience” were private profit-making businesses which allocated menial unskilled tasks requiring no training or skill to the “volunteers” which jobs would otherwise be done by paid minimum wagists? And what can any person learn in four weeks that will make any real difference to them as far as employment goes? Especially when “placed” with employers offering only unskilled McJobs?

    If today was first of April I would presume this article was a hoax.

    Though I’m writing these words on the 28th February, 2012, I still suspect a p*ss take. 

    To quote John McEnroe: “YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”

  • UKAzeri

    Further evidence of a serious amount of closet Tories in the ranks of New Labour .. sorry Tory lite ( where are my manners!!)
     
    At first the article seems to show a reasonable, balanced approach by pointing out that experience in the workplace provides a positive contribution to an individual’s career progress. DUHHHHHHHH!!! no need to patronise us mate!!
     
    However this MP ‘fails’ to see that what is currently available is STACKING SHELVES in a supermarket. We don’t need theoretical discussions, chatting crap is what the young can and certainly have mastered on their own!!! We need Labour Mps fighting for the common good of the people and not for higher retail prfits on the back of free labour.
     
     
     
    BTW how many young people are currently in internships for Labour MPs (naturally supported by their parents)?

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Labour are out of touch on this, and should stop crying.  There is nothing at all wrong with our young people doing work experience in return for benefits.  They should not be put of pocket (so travel etc paid for), but if what most posters appear to be arguing for is more time sitting on the bottoms in return for benefits money with no question, then that is just stupid.

    If I was in the position of a young person with no work, I would love to get some experience with Tesco or any other company.  I’d make myself the best work experience person Tesco had ever had.  I’d turn up early, stay late and do things 5 times beyond the call of my basic duty.  I’d make myself indispensable to the Tesco store, happy, cheerful and diligent.  I would look to see what could be improved, but suggest it to my line manager because going over his or her head is bad.  Anything so that at the end of my 4 weeks Tesco would offer me a permanent job, and from that I would look to get promoted and become a manager.  Because that is what life is about, not about sitting on your bottom whining.

    People get the benefits, and without the work experience still get the benefits. It is not a hardship to do some work for the same weekly benefits income. I would treat the 4 weeks as a fantastic opportunity to prove myself, not as some type of grossly unfair prison sentence.

    • UKAzeri

      You clearly never worked in tesco or have done a manual job…   
      you are either truly naive and have had a shielded upbringing or something far more sinister …

      • Winston_from_the_Ministry

        I have. Including a year in a Tesco warehouse.

        It’s preferable to unemployment.

        I also work in recruitment, so I can tell you what happens to CVs with no experience at all on them. They get binned.

        • derek

          Shite! all employees start as inexperienced  , it’s called getting a paid job.  Stop making things up, the ministry of  wonky thoughts. 

        • Jeff_Harvey

          But did you personally do any unpaid work for Tesco?

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            I had no reason to Jeff. I was able to get work because I know how to present myself and had already been working since 15.

            I have done plenty of unpaid work as an artist to build references and gain experience that I needed to progress.

            Is that wrong of me? Do you object?

            The point is these kids need a little bit of experience Jeff, they can’t get started on their own because nobody would normally take them on.

            And you would deny them it to score political points.

          • AlanGiles

            But art is a gift, a calling if you will, a creative urge.

            Poor Van Gogh didn’t sell his work, but I doubt anyone forced him to work in the village store as a punishment or a “learning” opportunity.

            I always remember one of my instructors telling me “people put the value on you that you put on yourself”. I never worked for nothing. Voluntary wok for a charity is another thing altogether, there is no way I would describe Tesco as a charity, unless it was to rehabilitate Dame Shirley Porter, that poverty-stricken pensioner that received monies from Tesco long after the Westminster council scandal

          • Jeff_Harvey

            I wouldn’t want my children to work for nothing, Winston, and therefore wouldn’t want anybody else’s children to have to do so either. If somebody pays these boys and girls a wage while on the scheme – either the employer OR the government – and the scheme was voluntary I would withdraw my objections immediately.

        • UKAzeri

          Stacking shelves is not preferable to unemployement!!!   :))
          Note – the kind of experience you had is not on offer – just stacking shelves !!!!

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

             I was picking things up instead.

            Woohoo.

            It certainly wasn’t the worst job I’ve had. But…

            As has been pointed out already. It’s not the actual work experience that a lot of these kids need. It’s learning how to behave in a work environment, getting into the routine, having to talk to strangers.

            Whether they’re stacking shelves or picking things off pallettes.

          • John Ruddy

            Except many of the people being forced onto this scheme (and they are, if only unofficially) are older people, with prior work histories.

          • Hugh

             The work experience scheme is only open to those aged 16 to 24. And if people are being forced into it then it is only unofficially because it is a voluntary scheme. 

          • AlanGiles


            And if people are being forced into it then it is only unofficially because it is a voluntary scheme. ”

            People who blackmail are doing so “unofficially”, but that doesn’t mean that it should be excused, or will be if the case goes to court. 

            If Grayling doesn’t  put up a more convincing answer than his “let’s be clear” rubbish on Channel 4 News last night, then it was time he was shunted off to the Ministry for Sport

          • Hugh

            “People who blackmail are doing so “unofficially”, but that doesn’t mean
            that it should be excused”

            No, but it does mean it’s not a convincing argument against the scheme any more than abuse of elderly patients is an argument against the NHS; it’s an argument in favour of ensuring people carry out their jobs properly.

          • derek

            Hugh, what are you advocating here?
            If (dubious?) that 50% gain paid employment are you saying that the other unsuccessful 50% should spend a life time without paid employment. 

          • Hugh

            No, but if it did get 50% of the long term unemployed into work and you opposed it, it would be you advocating for people to spend a lifetime without paid employment.

            As it is, I’m advocating being clear about the facts: it’s aimed at young people; it’s intended to be voluntary.

          • derek

            No? I’ve always advocated full paid employment.

            Don’t abuse the youth with a false promise of  paid work and don’t incite unpaid work as a means of enthusing the youth, why not just make compulsory education last until your 24 years old and fill any staff requirements with paid employees.        

          • AlanGiles

            Hugh: You sound as disingenuous as Grayling and Byrne put together. Your “defence” sounds a bit like “I didn’t put that advert in that phone box and even if I did, I DO give French lessons”.

            Seriously you can’t have it both ways: if something is Voluntary then it is voluntary, if somebody is “mistakenly” told it is compulsory, they are being deceitful, devious and plain dishonest.

            But then both Grayling, and Duncan-Smith (and Byrne) were fiddling their expenses so who would expect honesty and decency from them?

          • Hugh

             I don’t think it’s dishonest at all to point out that Job Centre staff lying to applicants without minister’s knowledge is not really something they can be held fully accountable for. Of course, perhaps the incentives around the scheme made such an outcome likely, in which case you can berate them for incompetence, but it still doesn’t constitute an argument against the scheme in itself, only one to revise the way it’s implemented.

            It’s certainly a lot more honest than implying the scheme is deliberately compulsory and forcing older people into workfare.

          • AlanGiles

            Hugh: A lie is a lie, whoevertells it – no if’s no buts.

            Grayling claimed he knew nothing about it.

            How much credence you can put in the word of an expenses fiddler is a matter of opinion

          • treborc

             John that is workfare, which you have to do if your on benefits, this is not workfare as such “Yet”.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            I’d be very suprised if that was true, the scheme is only open to 16-24 year olds.

            Even the most elequent, well qualified kid Ch4 news could come up with to complain about it had to admit he had been told it was voluntary.

            Some of the communication however might need looking at.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        @ UKAzeri,

        I have done manual work.  From the age of 15 to 23 I worked 3 evenings and 2 weekend days a week at my rugby club, cutting grass, painting seats and clearing rubbish.  From 18-23, I also worked in the bar making and serving drinks.  While I was there, I also learned some basic IT and after a while made the WordPerfect files for the programmes, and did the manual calculation and filing for all of the receipts before the annual submission of accounts to the tax authorities.  I also went from the First XV of Los Colts to the 3rd XV (the top non-professional team) of the club.  I earned enough money to not ask my parents for living expenses while I went through medical school.

        What do commenters on this topic expect?  People to sit on their bottoms and get free money, or people to get off their bottoms and do something in exchange for the money?  It is only four weeks.

        • UKAzeri

            thank you for a candid reply.
          Please do note,   jobs you described above, are actually quite engaging and offer genuine experience that adds to both professional and personal growth.
          However stacking shelves is not one of them and if work experience on offer through current schemes had anything close to what you describe there wouldnt be much resistance…

          The idea of giving people work experience is sound but only when the job market is plentifull.  In the current climate its a version of modern day slavery.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            There is nothing at all to stop anyone in the UK going out and finding – or creating – such jobs.  I’m pretty sure that no part-time irregular job for a 15 year old existed at my rugby club until I approached the general manager and told him why he needed to give me some work, and why it would be beneficial for the club.  I didn’t have any particular connection with him, I was just a 15 year old who played open side flanker in the least important of the 15 teams the club then had.  He was a very self-important man who had played for Chile in some low-key international competitions in the 60s and 70s.  But, if you sought him out and looked him in the eye while you made your case, he would listen.

            So it is today.  You make your own luck, and if you cannot be bothered to try, luck probably will not be bothered to visit you.

          • UKAzeri

            well..  you bring cultural capital into the equation. Very important aspect that neither left nor right are keen to discuss. Ofcourse I am talking about class.

            I challange anyone to find a working class boy/girl with enough confidence, family backing and general positive attitude to be able to  ‘make their own luck’ so to speak.

            I appreciate that this is something  that is difficult to legislate for, especially in fiscally constrained times.  Yet it is a reality and it is my personal conviction that those of us who ‘know better’ or can see the reality of life’s unfairness so to speak, should at least be aware of their own luck and maybe strive to make society offer similar opportunties to others ( not handouts!!) 

            I would also add that personally, I place far more emphasis on education and cultural capital as a determinent of class than afluence. Hence my defintion wouldsee a sizable part of the working class as middle.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            There may be something in what you say, but I do not think it is a political dimension.  I was brought up in a poor district, by a father who is a doctor but who had deliberately chosen to reject a conventional career in favour of badly-paid missionary work.  

            It is self-confidence, but that is not only given to the middle and high class.  My parents did not particularly want me to play rugby or to join a club, and it was on the other side of the city.  I did not ask my father if he approved of me getting a job when I was 15.  I just did it.  My sister was much braver than me:  she applied for and was given a place at the Technical University in Madrid to study aeronautical engineering when she was 17, again without consulting my parents. My mother nearly had a heart attack.  My parents were dubious when I applied to the Chile / Yugoslavia scheme to join a hospital in Serbia when the civil war was being fought, but it was a tremendous opportunity for me.  Now my sister is back in Santiago and is the engineering director for her company, and she and I keep the Mission in credit, and are happy to do so.

            Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own lives and to be pro-active.  That is not cultural capital, that is just being normal.

          • UKAzeri

            Jaime , you have exceptional family history and if we take it as a standard then most ( not just NEETS etc ) have a some way to go  :))))

          • Dave Postles

             Nice interchange.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            That is kind of you to say it, but I really don’t see it that way.  I am however fortunate that I have a happy combination of parents with high expectations and a cultural background that also expects and rewards personal responsibility.  I am often told by my wife and also colleagues that I have a fault of transferring over-high expectations to others who for whatever understandable and real reason do not do what I think is normal.  I also fully expect my own daughter and son to confound me as they themselves become young adults, and then I will realise how I made my own mother and father feel.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1609680710 Debbie S Prehn

            please go away you pest

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Thank you for your advice Debbie.  Perhaps I’ll take it when you stop inviting the New World Order (your description) to start gassing the Occupy Portland protesters , and calling them morons, as per your last foray onto the internet.

            http://www.allthingsnow.com/day/gossip/shared/12329361/Portland-Cops-Say-Occupy-Protesters-Threatened-To-Assault-Workers-Vandalize-Pizzeria-Over-Breadst

          • treborc

             i was fifteen and ran the local hospital radio, but that was charity work voluntary work, and even to day many millions of children do charity work, for example my local football club which is part time, people cut the grass mark the pitch sell the tickets.
            Sadly once we start going down the road of working for  benefits that is a slippery slope

        • Nigel Boorman

          But did you do any unpaid work experience. You say that you earned enough money not to ask your parents for living expenses but someone on unpaid work experience would get nothing other than their benefits.

      • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

        “far more sinister”?

        Well, jaime claims to be an A & E medic posting here under his real name. However, there’s no one registered by that name, or similar, with the GMC.

        Jaime claims to have hacked this website to obtain an ip address (as I understand it, this is illegal). He’s also threatened legal action against another contributor who, jaime claims, had damaged his “professional reputation” even though the name he uses here seems to have no existence beyond LL.

        You can make your own mind up.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Slightly repetitive, Dave,

          1.  As I have said, it is a hispanicised version of my name.  I’m sure that you really are Dave Stone, but if you look about, many other people use some form of nom de plume.  It was a bit too confrontational of me to assume that other people could connect my real name to the hispanicised version, and despite being associated with 3 Nazi war criminals and repeatedly accused of murdering patients by a single poster, nothing was done apart from me incurring a legal bill to tell me information that I could probably have researched for myself.  So, I am sorry for over-reacting on that score.

          2.  No one as far as I can work out has hacked this website.  What has happened is that my IP address was posted, without any apparent reason, and I researched, and found the IP address – through completely non LL means – that did the posting.  My firewall also went electric and had some difficulty in beating off the pinging that my IP received.  A complaint was lodged with BT and with an ISP in the north east, but I have heard nothing back.  

          If you want to know how easy it is to discover other people’s IPs that do not involve “hacking” a website, there are many fairly simple ways.  What is more worrying is how easy it is to trace someone to a physical address based on their IP.  Try it for yourself.  Assuming you are based in the UK, open a window with Google Maps.  Click somewhere on the map, and ask for directions.  Google now offers “From your current location” as an option.  Click that and see how Google knows which house you live in.  That’s not Google technology working, that’s fairly standard stuff.  I find it all a bit worrying to be honest.

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            If there are, as you say, “many fairly simple ways” to obtain an peoples IPs then why, as you claimed, did you use security software to do it?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            There are 3 ways that I am aware of (there may be more – I am not an expert) to get someone’s IP:

            1.. Through an email.
            2.  Through a lookup on an internet forum.
            3.  Through them clicking on an offered link that returns a “file not found” or 404 internet page, but in the background generates an email to whoever set up the link.   

            I have some Mac-specific security software on my computer that keeps away the viruses, as you probably do for your own PC.  It has a “Log” function that records any inward connection attempts including the connecting IP, Port Address, packet size and descriptions of any .exe files that were tried to be uploaded.  It can do more, but I leave it set at the defaults.

          • Dave Postles

            No, the normal way is through tracking and cookies and every web page you visit will capture you (as will Google) unless you use anonymous browsing (Tor) which will provide a random IP address of the numerical variety xxx.x.xx.xxx

          • treborc

            Phew this blew up all over kids working for nothing. lets hope nothing seriously important gets people going.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            Dave is definitely correct here.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            If anybody wants internet anonymity at no cost simply check out the TOR Project and use their modified Firefox browser to surf the web.

            Or go through a safe proxy server, virtual private network, or an use an unregistered mobile broadband dongle to get access. If the IP of your router can’t be found you’re anonymous.

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            You claimed to have used U.S. government software:  “used by many security companies which is how it is on my computer after my brother-in-law  installed it when he came to stay for a week.  He runs a security company now.”

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            And manufactured by a company, 
            Cintricity,  that seems to have no existence beyond your reference to it on this blog.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Yes.

            Cintricity is a small software company in Fort Meade, which is between Baltimore and Washington.  My brother in law told me it is a reseller of a US Government agency in Fort Meade.  The software is free, but his company and others pay an annual fee to access some database.

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            That’s Centricity – the healthcare software company.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Cintricity.  Not Centricity, which is a brand of General Electric, and completely caught up in the NHS IT “debate”.

            Cintricity gives you right-click options(on a Mac, anyway) for IP address, plot IP on Google maps and several others, and half a dozen monitoring options for incoming traffic.

          • Dave Postles

            2 is complete bollocks.  You visited my website to check up on me.  My website has a tracker.  You cannot trace your IP address to your house because it is DHCP – i.e.belongs to your ISP and is dynamically assigned.  If you trace the address it will simply take you to the node from which your ISP assigns the DHCP.  You didn’t need to find my IP address (also DHCP) because I posted it here on request and also my home address.  You really must stop telling these porkies.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Sorry Dave,  I found out the IP before you posted it.  And the server in Nottingham was not associated with the ISP in Rochdale.  The server was pinging, but the ISP denied that it was their’s, so all I could do was be a bit grumpy on the phone to the customer services desk.  If you personally had any fallout from that event, I am sorry.  BT got a copy of the .log file in PDF format, as did Zen Internet, and Cambs Police.  None of them ever got back to me, which is probably about normal.

            What did happen was you posted my IP (for reasons I don’t know), and within a couple of hours the firewall goes ballistic with a HP ProLiant server in a business park in Nottingham pinging my IP at 0.5 second intervals for 7 hours.  Maybe there is no connection, I’m sure that you are entirely innocent.  I probably put 2 and 2 together and got the wrong answer.  But at the same time that another poster was accusing me of medical murder and being a Nazi, I was not in any mood to be magnanimous.  Let’s not forget that the other poster is a lecturer in computer game programming, and probably quite capable of making some mischief with an IP address.  I went ballistic, frankly.

          • Dave Postles

             The reason I posted the DHCP address was precisely because you visited my website to check up on me.  You have a habit of checking up on people.  I’ve had no repercussions because, despite your accusations on here, I was not culpable.  I never received any apology despite obviously not being the culprit.  If you visit my website, you will be tracked – but it will be a DHCP address which cannot be traced to your house.  Connect through Tor if you don’t want to be tracked.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Dave,

            I’ll make a public apology here and now, which I should have done 2 months ago.  I’m really very sorry.

            It wasn’t you (your ISP customer services confirmed).  But there was a third party, who seems to have stopped posting here.  It is all in the past now, but I can’t help thinking that his task was eased by you publishing my IP.

            As for visiting your website, it was not to check up on you (I do that, but in your case many months before), it was because you posted an image of the front cover of a book and asked people to look further into whatever the original topic was.  I did that, I clicked your link…

          • Dave Postles

             O.k, mutual apologies then.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Thank you Dave.  It’s been something on the back of my mind for a couple of months. 

            Despite not having ever heard back from Cambs Police, or following it up, I have just now sent an email asking for the event to be dropped from investigation.  I have copied that email to Zen Internet.  I hope that removes any background anxiety you may still hold.  I make no such guarantees to the third party who it seems likely took an opportunity to make mischief.

          • Dave Postles

             BTW, I also told you that my ISP was Zen in Rochdale, so you did not have to discover that.  You forget to say that you claimed to have informed Cambs police.  Absolute bollocks again.

          • Dave Postles

             IP addresses: see what my trackers do!  Visit any website and you will be tracked and your IP address revealed.  If you don’t want that to be the case, use Tor (preferably with Linux Tails liveCD – crap interface, but does the anonymous browsing job beautifully).

          • Dave Postles

             Oh, here’s the tracker stuff:

            http://extremetracking.com/open?login=davepos

          • Dave Postles

             ‘ My firewall also went electric and had some difficulty in beating off the pinging that my IP received.’
            Another accusation against me which was a porky; if I’d pinged the IP address, it would simply have hit the node from which your DHCP IP was assigned, but I didn’t and I told you that I didn’t as I was asleep.  I have, however, waited for Cambs. police to contact me.

    • Jeff_Harvey

      If this was less silly I might have written more.

    • John Ruddy

      Have you even looked at the evidence?

      The facts are that people on this scheme are LESS likely to get a job than people who have “more time sitting on their bottoms”. That includes those people who do this demeaning work and then get a job doing the same thing at the end of it.

      Why do they? Because the people who have “more time sitting on their bottoms” also have MORE TIME to look for a job.

      If you go on this scheme, you better hope you get the job the company offers at the end of it, because if you dont, you’ve just wasted 8 weeks.

      • Hugh

         Could you link to that evidence.

    • AnotherOldBoy

      Quite right.  Unfortunately, those below are hopelessly narrow-minded and adopt a ludicrously snobbish attitude to work in supermarkets.

      • Jeff_Harvey

        If you were being honest shouldn’t you have said:

        “… ludicrously snobbish attitude to unpaid work in supermarkets.”

        • M Cannon

          They are on work experience and getting their full benefits plus expenses.  Good for them.

          Obviously you think it better that young people should fester and rot on the dole. 

          • Jeff_Harvey

            I believe that any government worth its salt should do its utmost to help create as many well-paid jobs as possible. I believe that people of all ages should be given every possible opportunity to learn and acquire skills that can help them secure the best possible jobs for themselves for their benefit and the benefit of our nation.  I believe that anyone that does any kind of work – however menial or unskilled – should be paid for their labours. And I believe that any company which can easily afford to pay a wage to every person that works for them, in any capacity whatsoever, and chooses not to because a rotten government legislates to enable them to exploit the dispossessed and the desperate is despicable.

            That’s what I believe.

            Don’t try to put words in my mouth again.

          • M Cannon

            I am not putting words into your mouth.  Merely explaining the effect of what you are saying.  Please try to avoid being discourteous.

          • derek


            discourteous.”  says the workfare supporter??????

            Go suck a cactus! 

          • AnotherOldBoy

            Charming.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          So what is the benefits for?  Free money, no effort expected?

          What is the difference between £50 for no work, and £50 for some work?  Apart from a huge amount of self-respect, and the chance to prove to a potential employer that you have something special about you and merit permanent employment?

          • derek

            Er! if you ever do get, you’d better call a doctor fast.

            Tell us? son of a preacher man, will the basket magically fill with food if we pray hard enough?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            No.  You need to work to fill your basket.

            The old man is not a preacher.  He’s a missionary who runs an opthalmology practice in a poor suburb of Santiago.

          • derek

            Hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I did want to type a single “?”, but Disqus insists it needs more characters to reply to you.

          • derek

            It’s paid for? 

            Jeez! In days of old and knights were bold and Jaime’s were not invented, they’d screw a hole in yonder wood pole and had to be contented.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I know that you make sense to yourself, and it is probably very funny in your head, but for once, could you weight comprehensibility in favour of wit?  Just say what you mean and that we can understand, without trying to make some pun.

            Either that, or don’t bother.

          • derek

            “?”

          • derek

            OK, your a right rubber, a durex of a man, a slippery customer if ever there was one.

            A Fucking hypocrite that need a slap, all you do is blow smoke up your own holy arse but I guess your just a rebel without a clue.

            I don’t give two Fucks what or who you think you might be, all I know is your a first class pleb, full of bullshite got that! Dr evil!!!!!

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Thanks for the considered response, Derek.  And Alan Giles for the “Like” to Derek’s post.  And indeed anyone else who “Likes” Derek’s response.

          • geedee0520

            Nice. In the spirit of informed discussion.

            I think you’ve described yourself perfectly as ‘a durex of a man’ in this tirade.

          • AlanGiles


            I find it easier to believe in an unsophisticated, child-like view of God, angels and miracles”

            Lot’s of people do,Jaime: they are called Blairites, and they believe that one day his earthly son, David Miliband will come to earth in a flaming chariot, with Liam Byrne and Pat McFadden sitting at his right hand

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I acknowledge that deliberately out-of-context quote there Alan.  The of the rest of the unquoted piece is clear that a childlike view – a view I left behind me in childhood in favour of a more nuanced view – is still more sensible than conventional “the maths does not add up, but we don’t care” approach to funding left wing ideas.

          • AlanGiles

            Jaime, Whether or not you have Christian beliefs, surely the question of  whether it is morally right for a multi-national company which forever boasts at the enormous profits it makes to take advantage of people, young or old, to expect them for work for nothing (that they get their benefits is neither here nor there). The point is this money-grubbing company is exploiting people, using their labour and not paying for it.

            This is a question of ethics and honour, and it should’nt matter whether you are on the left or right.

            Frankly I wouldn’t have done it, and if I were the companies concerned I wouldn’t expect people to do it, even if you are protected by a government fig-leaf it seems extraordinarily cheap and unprincipled

          • Jeff_Harvey

            The difference is that these young people are NOT helping charities or non-profit making organisations committed to doing good in the community but for ruthlessly competitive private profit making companies who COULD afford to pay every single person working for them a more than adequate wage. The fact that they don’t choose to as far as young people on “work experience” goes is therefore, by definition, exploitative since the young people involved will not be sitting in classes learning anything useful or working towards some qualification or acquiring marketable practical skills that may subsequently help then secure gainful employment but helping out on the shop floor as workers, carrying out menial duties for no wages and little or no prospect of employment at the end of the ordeal.

            Work experience is not a recruitment drive. It is government sanctioned exploitation of the young and guileless by the powerful and profit making, pure and simple.

            If schemes like this actually led to jobs for a majority of participants offers of placements by participating companies would diminish and eventually vanish as those companies filled all suitable unskilled vacancies with recruits from the scheme.

            This isn’t going to happen.

            The scheme is designed to promote a continuous flux of youngsters into and out of the scheme, time after time, with many of the young unemployed repeating the experience time after time, without ever getting jobs, as if they’re trapped inside a revolving door.

            Why is this the case do you suppose?

            I’ll leave it to you to join up the dots.

          • AlanGiles

            Jeff, I don’t know if you heard Any Answers? last Saturday on Radio 4 (25th Feb), but this question of Tesco came up and a woman who worked for “Connections”(?) which aims to place young people in PAID work said that all a lot of these companies do is take somebody on for the period laid down, and then let them go and take on some more for the next period – so few if any of the poor little devils will actually get real jobs anyway. 

            Anyone who wants to hear the programme should go to bbc.co.uk/radio4 and click on Listen Again and find Any  Answers.

          • geedee0520

            It’s ‘Connexions’ which a quick google will show what they do (seems to be different in different locations)

            I had dealings with them 3/4 years ago when I was recruiting staff for my business specifically either unemployed or ‘disabled’ or both.

            They were useless – didn’t send me a candidate and seemed to be entirely duplicating others in what they did. More interested in their own  relationships with other job centre type organisations than anything else.

          • treborc

             Every single one of then use the Job centre computer and they can only offer what is available, hence last week it was sales in Boots perfume department, I know that job had gone because I had been sent to the same job a year before, and they did not want a bloke sixty in a wheelchair.

            But all these companies are on band wagons

          • Jeff_Harvey

            Yep.

            This Work Experience thing is like a more perverse version of the Intensive Activity Period associated with Labour’s very own New Deal and Flexible New Deal programmes where employers received financial inducements, i.e., were paid by the DWP, to offer the long-term unemployed similarly useless work placements, Alan.

            Sad to say I’m pretty sure that the Labour Party would be doing something similar to the Coalition Work Programme, or worse, if it had won the last election.

            Depressing, eh?

            But there you go.

          • charles.ward

            “The difference is that these young people are NOT helping charities or
            non-profit making organisations committed to doing good in the community …”

            The private sector does good in the community by providing goods and services that people want.

            “… but for ruthlessly competitive private profit making companies who COULD
            afford to pay every single person working for them a more than adequate
            wage.”

            I sometimes think that some of the more rabid comments on this site would not be happy until no company made a profit at all.

            If these schemes did not exist the employers would not consider employing the long term unemployed with no experience.  They would simply employ someone with experience.  If you want to tackle long term unemployment you have to give companies an incentive to give those with no experience a chance. 

            “Work experience is not a recruitment drive. It is government sanctioned
            exploitation of the young and guileless by the powerful and profit
            making, pure and simple.”

            Funny how so many of those on the scheme get a job at the end of it.  You seem to think that the employers never intend to offer jobs at the end of the scheme but this is contradicted by the evidence.

            “If schemes like this actually led to jobs for a majority of participants
            offers of placements by participating companies would diminish and
            eventually vanish as those companies filled all suitable unskilled
            vacancies with recruits from the scheme.”

            Or perhaps the increase in productive labour would create growth and more jobs.  You know, basic economics, which you clearly don’t understand.

          • AlanGiles


            The private sector does good in the community by providing goods and services that people want.”

            Oh come off it Charles. You make them sound like a charity. Companies like Tesco actually cause a lot of unemployment and the destruction of small businesses by muscling in and using their buying power to undercut the smaller concern. They do this not to “do good” in the community. They do it for themselves.

          • charles.ward

             You are confusing good intentions with good results.

            Although private sector companies exist to make a profit, to do this they have to provide a good or service that is cheaper or better than those of its competitors. 

            Although people in smaller town centre shops have lost their jobs many people are employed by the supermarkets.  Also, as I calculated in the comment thread of another article, supermarkets will save me (and many like me) about 3.5 years of my life.  This can only be considered  “good” for me and millions like me.

            It’s not difficult to think of organisations with good intentions that do a huge amount of harm.

          • AlanGiles


            Although people in smaller town centre shops have lost their jobs many people are employed by the supermarkets”

            Yes – often for nothing as we are currently seeing. A lot of people have lost full time fulfilling work and some have found part-time jobs on supermarket checkouts and shelf-filling where they are spoken to like naughty children by their “supervisors”.

            So that’s all right then?

          • charles.ward

             Talking to people who work for town centre retailers, I don’t think that they are (or were) any better than employers than the supermarkets.

            Nostalgia is a powerful thing, some people even look back on coal mining as a good job (most of whom never went down a mine in their life).

          • AlanGiles

            Have you actually heard how some of the jumped-up little supervisors talk to the “ordinary” staff? – especially younger staff?. Most smaller companies have better relations with their staff. And no I am not nostalgic for coalmines and I never worked in one

          • Dave Postles

             Coalmining
            I have actually been down a pit (Silverhill Colliery) and my dad worked at Snibstone after returning from WWII, but I would not be so presumptuous as to pontificate whether it was a ‘good job’ or not.  I’ve known many miners in my time working in the North Midlands and S. Yorkshire and, whilst recognizing that it was a dangerous job (accidents and pneumoconiosis) , they were a proud lot and full of the dignity of their work.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            Too bonkers to bother with I’m afraid. And premature. The next full moon isn’t due in the Northern Hemisphere for a good nine days.

          • charles.ward

             I see you have resorted to your standard reply when you can’t address the substance of an argument.

          • AnotherOldBoy

            You do not do Mr Harvey justice.  He has two fallback positions.  One is to say his interlocutor is mad.  The other is to say he is a Tory.  Although maybe he thinks that all Tories are mad and all lunatics are Tories? 

          • Jeff_Harvey

            Actually I think that people who completely misinterpret and reinterpret my position in completely crazy ways ARE probably a little touched, whether they happen to be Tories or not.

            For example nowhere in anything I wrote did I attack the private sector. The only point I was trying to make is that employers should ALWAYS pay staff for their labours whatever they do while under the aegis of the company and for however long.

            Always.

            If I was as nutso as Charles Ward seems to be I might have deconstructed his comment and responded by writing a commentary including nonsense like, “So are you actually saying that, because the private sector is so vital to the future of our country, that we should supply the private sector with an army of unpaid teenagers in order to help cut its overheads and therefore help it grow?”, which of course he didn’t explicitly say but which, if I were a mentalist, might have projected over his comment in order to falsely make a point.

            In reality I couldn’t care less what people write or say on their own behalf but do care when they choose to misinterpret my own opinions or distort what I have written or said for their own purposes.

            Anyway, no more time to comment further because I’ve got to attend to some PAID work I’m undertaking on behalf of the PRIVATE sector.

            But before I go I’d just like to go on the record to state publicly that in my opinion not all right-wingers are necessarily certifiably insane – in my opinion some of them are pathological liars and unbearably stupid too.

            Any interested parties should read this comment quickly before it gets deleted.

          • charles.ward

             I must be mad, I don’t understand why the moon would be full in one hemisphere but not the other.

            New list of things Jeff_Harvey doesn’t understand:

            1) Basic economics
            2) Basic astronomy

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            “So what is the benefits for?”

            It’s simple really. Benefits are there to provide a basic income for those who’ve been thrown out of work as a consequence of systemic economic failure and, more recently, because of Tory economic policies.

          • Stan

            Aren’t you eligible for benefits if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions? So people on benefits are only drawing out from the pot what they have been paying in to.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            Benefits exist to support those who cannot support themselves because they are elderly, sick, disabled, dispossessed or denied the opportunity to secure gainful employment because of prevailing economic conditions or because society has failed them. 

            Benefits are rights bestowed by civil societies on their most put upon citizens because the suffering those citizens would experience without help from the State would be intolerable to the population of any modern civilised nation. 

            Benefits are NOT wages NOR are they earned.

            Benefits are a RIGHT not a CHARITY.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

            When I was unemployed through much of 2009 I claimed benefits and yet I was neither elderly, sick, disabled, dispossessed or denied the opportunity to secure employment: I simply hadn’t found the right job for me yet.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            You’re called David – your name isn’t Legion!

          • Stan

            Why do we have a National Minimum Wage? It’s to stop companies like Tesco paying people £50 a week  for menial work like stacking shelves. However, now they have the “Work”fare programme, they don’t need to pay as they get the taxpayer to pay their cheap labour for them.

      • UKAzeri

        Have you worked in one?

        • M Cannon

          I have had a number of jobs which make working in a supermarket look glamorous.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            How many of your jobs were unpaid?

          • AnotherOldBoy

            None.  But I have never signed on either.  These people are getting paid.  And many of them end up getting proper jobs too.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            So it’s one rule for you and another rule for other people, eh? You HAVE to be a Tory!

    • derek

      Funny how it’s usually those who earn the most that want to oppress those who stand to earn ziltch, Zippo, Zero………….Nought!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1609680710 Debbie S Prehn

      moron

  • derek

    So It’s Pat the back of the rich and fill any vacant paid positions with non-paid employees.
    So Pat the Cat wants the very profitable tesco to lick up the cream from slave labour.

    When in government Postman Pat wanted to sell off  royal mail, he must of had further plans to have mail delivered by non paid staff.

    • Peter Barnard

      In fact, Derek, I don’t know why we don’t go the whole hog on this and actually charge people for the invaluable experience that they gain through “work experience” – just as the parents of apprentices had to pay master craftsmen in days of yore for training and developing their children in the necessary skills.

      • derek

        @Peter Barnard, LoL!It must have been over a year ago when you coined that phrase about “workhouse Britain” again @Peter you got it correct, no more council homes! unaffordable universities, unpaid work, Feck, the buggers will start a war next and expect the undeserving to die Happily for a tin of bully beef.    

  • Dave Postles

    Why do young people from the state schools not apply for your work experience/internships?  The answer is because they spend all weekend working for money in retail to pay their way through AS and A2 and through the summer to save to go to university.  They have no time for unremunerated work.  It was so in my day and it is even more crucial now, with the loss of EMA and the cost of higher education (like residence/rent).  The same problem obtains through their higher education: whilst the affluent can use their time as they will, those from lower income groups struggle to work for money and to do their academic work.  The odds are (shelf-)stacked against them.

    • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

      Not true Dave, when I was at school we had no EMA, me and most of my friends had weekend jobs and we still found time to do voluntary work to help with our CVs.

      • Dave Postles

         Jonathan R.  Not true for you and your friends.  Others will have different commitments.  I take some trouble to get to know the young people working in various Costa outlets.  Confronted by the cost of HE now (the basic living expenses away from home), they keep their noses to the grindstone working for money at every opportunity. 

        • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

          Of course people have different experiences, but it really isn’t that much different to when I was a lad in the mid/late nineties.  You needed an education so you worked hard at school.  You needed money so you worked hard in your job ( I worked a lot of hours every week for very, very little pay – at one point just £1.80 an hour!).   And you needed a good CV so you worked hard in your voluntary stuff.  Of course it’s hard, but the alternative is to not bother and damage your life chances.  I think most kids are pretty resilient and understand you have to work hard – so you just get on with it.

          • Dave Postles

             Suppose you are involved in school sports or competitive board games or other societies which all require training and games – and then you are involved in those for local clubs?  There are, as I say, different commitments.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Without wanting to sound like a  goody two shoes kid – I was far from that – I was involved in sports teams and school plays throughout my school days.  There are plenty of hours in a day, you just have to have the motivation to use them instead of sitting around on a computer.  Maybe if Facebook and the Xbox had been invented back then things would have been different for me and the people I knew, but I always found it possible to study hard, do paid work and be involved in lots of character building extra-curricular/voluntary stuff too.

          • Dave Postles

            Then our experiences are different and so, I guess, are those of many others (graduated 1970) – perhaps there were fewer hours in the day back then.

          • Alexwilliamz

            I bet you were always playing computer games and on facebook Dave. No hang on a minute.

          • Alexwilliamz

            You are amazing. I bet you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps too. So basically you are saying everyone should be amazing like what you are, anyone who fails to meet this standard deserves coercion and a good flogging, until they can turn themselves around. Perhaps Usain Bolt views everyone else’s attempts at running in the same way.

            Sorry being a bit nasty there and you may simply be incredibly humble and you do not realise that you were clearly naturally motivated and one presumes well guided as a youngster. Many people may not share these atributes and advantages, that is not to say there should be no expectations for them, but  we perhaps need a variety of opportunites and chances for people to become active and productive members of society. Workfare seems a very odd scheme, but if we take the arguments being put for it perhaps the solution is for the state to provide permanent work experience for everyone through the creation of a variety of jobs to fit the different skills and needs of this potential workforce. You could, I don;t know, pay them all a decent wage, offer 3 days a week work for everyone. They could then acquire real work experience for their cvs, at the same time providing a mass of manpower to transform the country’s environment, services and care sectors at the same time. With this work experience (otherwise known as a job) they could build self esteem and migrate to better or full time jobs in the private sector.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            I’m far from any of the things you sarcastically described me as.  I don’t think I was much different to anyone else to be honest.  Maybe we were just taught the values of getting up off your arse and making things happen, instead of hoping that the Government would provide us with a life.

          • Alexwilliamz

            All I’m saying is that your upbringing is commendable, but how do we deal with the discrepency between an upbringing like yours compared to that of many others. You do ound like you were brought up in a bubble sometimes. I am also think that young people don;t all grow up at the same rate and share your responcsible atititude. I wouldn’t want to reward them but neither would I want to punish them. Finally your final comment belies the sort of nonsense debate that goes on in whcih the alternative to your virtuous approach is an absolute polar opposite, which is not the case. Do you not recognie that you were fortunate in the way you were brought up? Do you not recognise this might not have been the experience of many?

          • Alexwilliamz

            I’m intrigued what did you need the money for?

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            some books etc but mainly saving to go to university. of course a small amount went on social life as you’d expect at that age, but mainly from age of 15 onwards I was saving for Uni.

          • Alexwilliamz

            So this wasn’t money you needed for clothes or travel etc. Excellent that you had foresight to save towards uni at such a young age, but my epxerience is that is quite unusual, and I get the feeling that anyone without your foresight should be damned?

      • AlanGiles

        Jonathan When I was at school I had a paper round – but I was paid for it. It was only about 5/6d a week (25.5p), but papers were smaller in those days – no glossy supplements at weekends. Still I wouldn’t have done it for nothing.

        Voluntary work is another matter – but it should always be done for the right reasons. Not to “help with our CVs”,  but because you believe in what the organisation does.

        Leaving school at 15, I had some low paid jobs, but they were in connection with my technical college work, and this helped give you some feeling of worth, as well as being of real practical value to the work I wanted to do.

        No employer would have expected you to work for nothing – especially not large organisations. It just wasn’t done. Standards should have risen over 50 years, not lowered.

        • treborc

           I was in the ATC Air Training Corps so had to do my bit on Friday Saturday and Sundays, plus I played football for the local club, and then had to  pop down Friday night  to get the club ready for labour party meetings. I had no time to do odd jobs.

  • AJF

    Couldn’t agree more.  I did work experience with my local Labour MP when I was at University (through no family connection), and certainly wouldn’t have the job I have now without that experience.  

  • treborc

    This is about schools which is different then  working for benefits, all my grand kids have done this over the past year, one did a week in the McDonald’s, the other worked in a bar for a day washing up, the problem is garages and manufacturing that are left cannot offer these positions because of the health and safety. they actually did nothing at all for the week but did find it boring.

    When I helped out at a school my job was looking for employers willing to take on the 60 kids, most refused as did the local MP who would only take on people who were going to go to Universities and taking politics, why I have no idea.

    before everyone  goes off  half hearted this is part of the Labour parties education that children do a taster for a week.

    The kids in Wales of course now get EMA for going to college and the college does the same thing.

  • Marga

    Comrades that  a against slave trade please go to boycottworkfare.org about the day of action, this saturday.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

    This initiative is no more slave labour than it was when I started volunteering for the charity I now work for.  By offering my time and skills I helped the charity, but I also helped myself both from the point of view of rounding out my CV and from a self-esteem/worthwhile point of view.

    I understand the reticence toward the idea of people “volunteering” for big business, rather than charity, and we need to work to ensure that there can be no opportunity for the unscrupulous use of volunteers to supplant the use of full time staff, for example.  However, by standing against something which may help to get young people out of the vicious cycle of worklessness leading to unemployability, we do both them and ourselves a great disservice.

    • treborc

       Yes but a charity you do not normally expect to get paid David, I  now help out at two charities an  hour each week, and I worked at a special education school  teaching wheelchair sports, non paid and I get non disabled kids to help me, but that is not working in Tesco who can afford to employ people if they have jobs.

      But how many people are they talking about labour talks about 100,000 we have well over a million now.

      My Tesco has made  many people redundant last month we are told to up the profit margins, so I suspect they were getting ready for the first intake

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

        I would strongly recommend that anyone looking for a job considers volunteering for a charity, but the fact is that there are not always such roles available for everyone: if Tesco can supplement this with voluntary roles and they can be shown to be non-exploitative then we should support it.

        As a point of fact, the low point of unemployment in 2007 was still well over 1 million.

        Is that a fact about Tesco making many redundancies last month?

  • Francis Deutsch

    It is one thing to offer a 16 year old a couple of term time weeks work experience, and quite another  to force young adults to ‘volunteer’ at pain of loosing all or part of their meager unemployment benefit.
    The latter is humiliating,  especially as voluntary work which the unemployed finds himself does not count, indeed it might cause the loss of benefit if  it makes the beneficiary  unavailable instantly to accept employment.
    Viewed overall, the scheme is designed to enlarge profit margins without any substantial regard for the young person. 

  • GuyM

    I can’t say I’m overly keen on unpaid work experience that seems to be (although might not be)  a conveyor of unpaid cheap labour for commercial organisations.

    However, if the individuals taking up the placements do so voluntarily and feel they get some benefit from it then I don’t see what business anyone has in telling them they shouldn’t be doing it.

    Also as someone who has hired a lot of people over the last few years an applicant with this sort of work experience is ahead of one who has done nothing but sit on benefits and wait to see what turns up.

  • Alexwilliamz

    Yet another depressing comment from one of our own MPs. What is it they said about the soldiers during the first world war? Lions led by ????
    Nothing like a solitary anecdote (Jessica Williams) to make the case for an entire scheme. How about workfare was arranged so that at the end of the process, if the worker has shown themselves competent and reliable they get given the job they have been doing for nothing? Or were we assuming that after someone has done workfare for Tesco, they would then be ready for Sainsburys to employ them? Seems strange for companies to provide experience and training so their competitors could employ them? Or how about pumping money into charities like the Prince’s trust who already provide excellent projects that provide young people with experience and training?

    • AlanGiles


       What is it they said about the soldiers during the first world war? Lions led by ????”

      Donkeys.

      The problem with the likes of Mr McFadden is that his sort are’nt even donkeys – they are poodles of the “anything you say, Tony” school. Lickspittle careerists.

      I think we ought to make Mr McFadden do some unpaid work – perhaps in DFS – and no, McFadden you can’t have any free samples! :-)

      • Jeff_Harvey

        Better watch yourself, Alan. One of my comments about Pat McFadden has been redacted. What I wrote was 100% true AND supported by a link to a newspaper article.

        So much for free speech.

        • AlanGiles

          Hi Jeff, I reckon they’ve been reading T.S. Eliot again “humankind cannot bear too much reality”

  • treborc

    Funny that I did the same when they came for repairs, great job, perfumed and bloody horrendous.

  • Jilwater

    What an old fashioned, quaint idea.    Work experience, two words that should be banned as nothing more than an elaborate excuse for the elite to exploit those less fortunate.

    Each year, thousands of Year 11 Students are put out to tender for ‘free’ under the guise of work experience.   This happens in communities where there is little work, this program must go forward without the student having any ‘choice’ in the matter at all.     What happens next, is those that can sign on with mum and dad and those that can’t end up stacking shelves for two weeks with no job at the end of it and no future prospects when they could have been in school learning, being educated.    It has always been considered a program that does nothing more than farm out teens to local communities for free labour.

    Now we have the Tory government thinking this is a grande idea, exploit the young even more.   Unemployment would not be so high if the Tories did not cater to corporate interests.   Perhaps the money paid to A4e to humiliate and degrade people would have been better spent on educational and training programs.   Perhaps the money handed to large corporations to subsidise the work program would have been better spent, again, in training and education.    It is all about education and when we are a country that kicks their young to the curb at 16 years of age without a full, broad education, take away future opportunities in education akin to the Victorian era, then we are going to have a country full of unemployed youth and the future is bleak indeed.    This isn’t rocket science, education, opportunity for youth grows an economy, when a government feels it is necessary to put taxpayers money into the already wealthy coffers of big business while exploiting the next generation there is a very very big problem.     It isn’t moral, it isn’t ethical and it is very corrupt.    Everyone knows it, so why defend it?    Why not stand up, take responsibility and actually propose programs that move our youth forward instead of back to the Victorian ages.       That’s the difference, there is no morals in politics, when we get some, our economy will grow.  

  • http://twitter.com/LSMcKnight1 L S McKnight

    The evidence from the DWP’s own research is the at least one company used workfare to cover Xmas, others use it to avoid paying overtime and there is evidence that in some companies they are laying off paid employees. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that workfare schemes benfit either the recipients or the economy. I am only too willing to provide the evidence but then I would be doing it for nothing but it seems someone paid over 60k to represent the public doesn’t actually worrry about lttle things like facts.
    I live in Scotland and maybe a look at the polls will show the effect of the policies that Labour have beeen following.

  • Tim

    The principle is very simple. Any work/labour performed toward profit from invested capital must be valued and paid for. Unpaid work is a violation of all principles for which the labour movement and the Labour party in the UK should stand, and have historically stood.
    Mr. McFadden’s views are an absurd corruption of these principles. Let him resign his paid seat and volunteer his views to those who will listen and believe him. Better still, dismiss him from the party. If we rename slavery as an internship or work experience, is it no longer slavery? The Labour party has always been a movement supporting proper pay and viable employment. Mr. McFadden seems to prefer semantics to salaries.

  • RealLife

    A bit of work experience when you are being adequately recompensed for travel and NOT Compulsory is what is being asked for.  If Tesco have space to give someone work experience, they should employ someone instead of using our money to prop up Tesco profits.

    As for having some shelf stacking experience to help a CV, don’t make me laugh, recruitment agencies have about 3 jobs per page that are actually real, Ive worked in this industry.

    The problem is kids leaving school going to employers who want experience.  Tough do it the same as every other generation, give them a job to get them to gain experience.

    You want to move from being a PA to shelf stacking and thinking that this is a good thing, then keep thinking that way.  I hope you are never in that position.

  • GuyM

    Whether people in Labour like it or not, there is a serious problem with the “soft skills” that many of the 18-25 age group don’t have.

    A report this week had one large employment company trying to train their younger job seekers to not talk in “txt” when at work as employers are fed up with it.

    The inability to turn up on time, do a full week, make eye contact, not see Monday as an extension of the weekend, the shocking levels of English and Maths in too many school leavers and the horribly over inflated expectations mean that if a bit of work experience provide a few “soft skills” then it wold be a good thing.

    I generally follow a policy of not employing anyone under 25 as it is often more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve n idea if it was left wing or right wing education policy to blame, but either way we are now in a position where far too many school and even university leavers are more trouble than they are worth to give a first job.

    That’s the message from many employers and business groups and politicians really ought to start taking notice.

    • derek

      Is it a teacher or pupil or parent issue? surely if children attend school for say 6 hours per day someone should be their to encourage that at least an hour per day is spent reading, doesn’t what anything will do. The education point is separate from the no pay issue of work.

      All of us have to start employment greenfingered after school, many youth take up positions in McD’s or retail, you seldom see anyone above 25 in those positions, work should pay, a mutual agreement of hours done in return for pay, it’s almost or should be the 11th commandment.  

      • GuyM

        The education profession has all children for a minimum of 11 years, soon to be 13. If they are really of the opinion that 11 years of teaching is inadequate for 20% plus of school leavers to be able to read, write and add up half decently then I despair at them.

        Parents you can’t do anything about very easily, but a professional body like teachers really ought to have a higher success rate for basic skills acquisition as well as some of those “soft skills”.

        “Work should pay” can mean many things, including work experience.

        So long as it is voluntary, what is your objection to a 21 year old say taking up a position for a month to boost their CV and job prospects? Surely that is their choice, not one to be proscribed by anyone?

        • derek

          Say a 21 year old from a single parent background, where picking are mean and have been for the entire 21 years, so the 21 year-old try’s to gain some additional monies to fund his further education and help mum with the household costs, do you grudge that one month pay for duties delivered?

          • GuyM

            Or do you force employers to only offer paid jobs and end up with no paid job or work experience being provided?

            Employers get no real benefit from going through all the paperwork and H&S etc, plus management and admin costs for a stream of 1 month work experience placements.

            I’ve had work experience people in my departments and they take up a fair amount of time managing, there is little real benefit to the company.

            And I wouldn’t pay someone simply because of their background, just as I woldnt give preferential treatment in job interviews or university applications either because some one had a less than ideal start in life.

            I started work behind a bar and doing silver service as a student (pay was £2 per hour), before getting my first job post graduation in a post room of an engineering firm and working my way up (£3.20 an hour 4 years before minimum wage).

            Those who want to get on will get on, those who sit about waiting for bleeding heart stories to win the job interview for them won’t get anywhere. Life is tough and too many current school leavers are too fragile and full of unrealistic expectations.

          • derek

            I’m stipulating the normal way of life? hours done in return for pay.

            Glad you recognise the H&E requirement.

            Time and motion do apply, time is money in business, however training good pay and conditions are more favourable and not depreciated but positive in going forward.

            I’m not asking you to employ or pay because of circumstance, I’m asking to pay the rate expected.

            Yeah! I recognise the hardship of poor pay, most of us do? but it’s pay for work done.

            I’d say 2.7 million want to get on and earn but the jobs aren’t there? no one is suggesting employers wear their hearts on their sleeves? just asking them to recognise the customary practice of pay for hours accrued.

            School leavers are school leavers, the longer their kept out of work or abused by a reverted government the more they’ll go astray.

            I think your blinkered and have narrow vision, stuck in the rut and merely agreeing with a set of political  ideas, your closing the book without reading the final chapter, odd and out of touch, keep the book open, don’t just give up on the youth of tomorrow, embrace them, give them the chance to earn, who know’s they might just surprise you?

  • john_zims

    A very well constructed article.

    Most young people will tell you the reason they can’t get a job is because they don’t have any experience,this scheme takes care of that and as the results clearly show 50% of young people going through these schemes end up with a permanent job.

    What other job schemes have a 50% success rate?

    As for the fact they aren’t getting paid,you can equally argue they are receiving benefits that they haven’t contributed to.

    Maybe the opponents of the scheme including the SWP would let us know their proposals or maybe it’s just to let young people  laze about at roam the streets. 

    • GuyM

      Yep, funny isn’t it that the SWP admit the protest movement was a front for them to get involved and yet Labour lap it all up. They are in the bizarre position of thinking no work experience opportunities is better than voluntary ones.

      It rather sums up the policy muddle Labour are in on so many topics.

      • AnotherOldBoy

        Better an equality of misery than that some should get work!

        • Jeff_Harvey

          Better an equality of sobriety than some should get drunk!

          This was a public service announcement on behalf of the Temperance movement, as meaningless and pointless as the one that precedes it.

      • Jeff_Harvey

        Better watch yourself, Alan. One of my comments about Pat McFadden has been redacted. And I gave a supporting link to a newspaper article as well.

        So much for free speech.  

        (Twenty seconds later.)

        Oh, it just gets better and better!

        Before I had a chance to reply to a comment by Alan Giles HIS comment was deleted and MINE promoted so that it now look like a reply to my old friend GuyM’s post above!

        What a laugh.

    • Jeff_Harvey

      You’ve been listening to Iain Duncan Smith you silly boy. Everybody knows Dunko is one of the stupidest men in politics, practically innumerate, and can’t count to twenty without taking his shoes and socks off to access his fingers and toes.

      Check out the following link:

      Why the 50% “success” rate is no success at all

      • Redshift

        The 50% success is bollocks because the work programme lasts for 2 years once you’re on it. Regardless of whether they have actually helped you find work in that 2 year period – if you get a job, then you count as part of the success of the programme. 

        The taxpayer is being taken for a ride. 

        • Jeff_Harvey

          No. Big concerns are taking the tax payer for a ride by getting their payroll subsided by the State NOT the unemployed. By refusing to pay their staff living wages large companies force their workers to rely on welfare to provide all manner of benefits and top-ups necessary in order to live, e.g., tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefit etc. Under these circumstances the welfare bill will always keep increasing year on year because so many people still require support from the State whether unemployed or living in working poverty.

          Using the unemployed as unpaid chattels is, I suppose, the logical next step for companies who are already shamelessly reliant upon indirect State subsidy as far as their payroll goes.

          Here’s the agenda so far:

          First: Pay minimum wages that have to be topped-up by the State.

          Second: Ignore minimum wage legislation entirely and, in point of fact, pay NO wages whatsoever to certain categories of temporary staff who are undergoing “work experience” with the State picking up the tab completely while the temporary staff continue to exist in penury.

          God only knows what the next development might be! Butchering the young unemployed à la Sweeney Todd and putting them in pies on offer for sale on the cold shelves of certain public spirited supermarkets I wouldn’t wonder!

    • Redshift

      The 50% figure is bollocks. Technically speaking I am part of that 50% that they succeeded in getting into work. 

      They didn’t help me. Over a 4 month period on the work programme, I had one induction meeting where they subjected me to a literacy and numeracy test despite the fact I have a masters degree (obviously, I got the top level possible), followed by two months later by a frankly pointless one-to-one interview where they more or less admitted they couldn’t help me. 

      However, simply because I got a job off my own back whilst still on the programme – I am somehow counted as part of their success. They got paid quite a lot of money by the taxpayer to do fuck all in helping me back into work. 

  • DR Suusi Watson

    what ever happened to a fair days pay for a fair days work?

    The Labour Party has comprehensively betrayed the young people in this country, with tuition fees, rewarding the captains of industry for exporting Jobs to China. Failing to supervise the banks, and bankrupting the country. Slave work was introduced in the new deal.

    The Conservatives and the Liberal democrats are NO better.

    None of the MP’s learned anything from the MP’s expenses scandal, and we the electorate should have voted out the incumbents, the sitting MP’s, as they forfeited the right to represent us. 

  • Pingback: Chris Grayling meets businesses to reassure them about work scheme « « News in BriefsNews in Briefs

  • derek

    Only 20% of our population are employed in engineering, yet engineering will deliver tomorrows new automated car, phone, ipad, computer and if you want through nuclear fusion solve the energy crisis, engineers will help design and create tomorrows crops, the world population needs engineered food to feed it. From deep sea explorations to outerspace exploration, engineering will be the blue print to deliver. Invest create the jobs that pay and pay well where top ups aren’t required, the technology is just awaiting to spring out, lets get on with it and stop all this tripe about holding back the years and instigating more fear.  

  • AlanGiles
  • WhoStoleTyke

    Anyone attending work experience MUST be paid for so doing. If they are working for free, then the company in question is exploiting them. The Tories are always saying “Work pays”. Okay, so let’s see ‘em put their money where their mouth is, then!

    • treborc

      So did Labour. I know! I have been on numerous work experience under Labour

  • John Ruddy

    Polly Toynbee came up with a good argument today on BBC Breakfast.
     
    In many of these stores, there are already many workers who are on part-time contracts who would like a few extra hours. Some of them are even on zero-hour contracts with no guaranteed work.
     
    Isnt this scheme actually preventing them from doing that extra work and thus earning enough money to suport their families?

    • AnotherOldBoy

      The ludicrous Polly Toynbee is in favour of Workfare if she approves of the government but against it if she does not: see http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/the-tories-were-right-workfare-really-works-1280874.html

      No, the scheme is not preventing part time workers from doing extra hours. It is enabling those who have no work experience from becoming candidates for full-time vacancies.

      Ms Toynbee has never had a good idea in her life, save that (i) she did not send her children to the local state schools in Lambeth and (ii) she bought a nice villa in Tuscany.

      • AnotherOldBoy

        Sorry, I may have overstated the extent to which Ms Toybnee did not send her children to state schools.  Two out of three were partly educated in the private sector.

  • Andy Walker

    It is a real shame to see a Labour MP side with big business against the working class. Workers must always be paid at least the mimimum wage by their firm when “training” at shelf stacking otherwise bosses have an incentive to churn workers on these forced labour schemes to boost profits.

  • SJP

    The problem for me with the Governments plan is that large companies are advertising full time work experience jobs. If they have the need of extra employees then they should hire them properly. This scheme will take paid jobs out of the market and deprive people of paid jobs. Think back to the youth opportunities scheme, where firms took them on for 6 months- got rid of them – then took on a new yop!!

  • John Ruddy

    I see Pat has joined the likes of Luke Bozier in terms of Labour people being quoted approvingly by Government ministers. How does that feel Pat?

    • AlanGiles

      I really feel that some “Labour” MPs would be better doing the decent thing and resign from the Labour party and to stand for their old constituencies in the Conservative interest.

      In the case of Mr McFadden, in addition to his love of Heal’s furnishings, he was a great cheerleader for privatising the Post Office.

      A few de-selections wouldn’t come amiss – I would start with Birkenhead

  • http://twitter.com/thomastoscani Thomas Toscani

    “Provided choosing the place is voluntary and provided there is a
    reasonable time limit on the scheme it isn’t exploitation. On the
    contrary, it is opportunity as is recognised by those letters I get from
    the wealthier part of town.”

    The Workfare scheme is *NOT* voluntary.   Here is the proof:

    =======================

    Workfare document:http://i.imgur.com/bGkDz.jpgMore Workfare documents, which have since been doctored:https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/dwp-rewrite-history-mandatory-work-disappears-from-the-work-programme-providers-guidance/Public Interest Lawyers say it is mandatory:http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/news_details.php?id=231ExcellentThe Citizens Advice Bureau says it is a mandatory scheme:https://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_money/employment_index_ew/government_employment_schemes.htm#Compulsory_schemesGeorge Osborne writes in the Telegraph:Mr Osborne also warned: “Young people who don’t engage with this offer will be considered for mandatory work activity, and those that drop out without good reason will lose their benefits.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/8924626/Autumn-Statement-2011-young-jobless-will-get-work-experience.html

  • redllewellyn

    “Good paid work, yes, but also the chance to get that good paid work” doesnt this kind of rely on the idea that the work is there and we are just too lazy to go and find it. as if in 2008 a mass wave of lazyness swept the country and the infection is spreading at an alarming rate. Please this is a political and economic problem stop trying to make out that this is us being culturally disposed to be job snobs or slobs.

  • AnotherOldBoy

    I think you are confusing two different schemes.  The one which is the subject of the piece above is voluntary as the link you give to the CAB confirms.  There the CAB explain:#

    “The Work Experience programme

    The Work Experience programme is for people aged 16 to 24. It aims to give you experience of a working environment and lasts for between two and eight weeks.

    If you’re already claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and take part in the programme, you will still get JSA and must continue to actively seek work as normal.

    Although Work Experience is voluntary to join, it becomes compulsory once you have accepted a place. If you are 18 or over, this means that if you fail to attend on the first day, lose your place due to misconduct at any time, or leave after the first week, without a good reason, your JSA can be stopped. You can leave during the first week without your benefit being affected, unless you fail to attend on the first day or lose your place due to misconduct. If you are aged 16 or 17 and you are a benefit claimant, your benefit will not be affected if you leave a Work Experience placement before completing it.”

    In fact, it is never compulsory at any stage.  But if those who choose to participate drop out at various points they may (not will, may) face sanctions.

  • AnotherOldBoy

    Very large companies always need new employees.  But they may not want to look to recruit from those with no experience of work.  That is the value of the scheme.  It is an excellent scheme which deserves every encouragement.-

  • treborc

     Income support is a benefit and is paid to those who have not been able to pay into that pot, the idea was those that have worked would get a higher benefit in JSA or IB or ESA, but labour decided that was now evil.

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  • News Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Are you campaigning in Scotland today? Send us your stories (named or anonymous) to elections@labourlist.org – and we’ll run the pick of them on the liveblog. Thursday, 18th September, 8.30: Today is the day: polls opened an hour and a half ago, and will remain so until 22.00, for people across the Scotland to decide whether they want to remain part of the Union or become an independent country. 97% of the electorate (4,285,323 people) are registered to vote – the […]

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  • Comment Featured Scotland Please don’t go

    Please don’t go

    I’m pretty well known for writing from a personal perspective. So I thought a column comparing the pain I feel about the referendum to the pain of my divorce would be easy to write. maybe a little trite even. How can this compare to that kind of personal pain? Well, it does. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. I feel like a lover treading on eggshells desperate to please. I really, really don’t want Scotland to leave me. So yes, […]

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  • Comment Scotland Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    “Solidarity” has always been a special word for me. But it has never been an easy one to define. Loyalty, unity, mutual support; all of those come into it but none of them quite sums the word up properly. Somehow solidarity is the “whole” that is more than the sum of its parts. But however difficult solidarity may be to define, you know when you see it and you know it when you experience it. As a trade unionist and […]

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  • Comment Bring your old football kit to conference

    Bring your old football kit to conference

    Every football fan has got a favourite football strip. That kit your team wore when they won the Cup, or the first game you went to, the season you got promoted, or the first year you had a season ticket. I’ve got more football tops than I’d care to admit – Athletic Bilbao, Kaizer Chiefs, Brazil, Scotland, South Africa, for some reason Motherwell and Middlesbrough. I also have a couple belonging to a team from Glasgow that play in green […]

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