Osborne’s headline policy of “Community Work Placements” is already in jeopardy as it is launched today, having failed to generate enough voluntary sector participation. Instead, organisations such as Oxfam and the umbrella body National Association for Voluntary and Community Action are marking the date by launching the “Keep Volunteering Voluntary” campaign. Community Work Placements are six-month unpaid work placements for unemployed people, part a set measures branded as “Help to Work”. The £300 million Help to Work programme is aimed at 200,000 Jobseekers Allowance claimants. Studies into existing UK workfare schemes in the UK have found them to have zero effect on helping people find work. The Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign, which has garnered support from tens of voluntary sector organisations, points out that six months is more than twice the maximum community service sentence. As organisations become more aware of how benefit sanctions affect homelessness, food poverty and rising use of food banks, they are rejecting schemes that threaten benefit stoppages for non-participation.
Boycott Workfare in Osborne’s flagship sinking as voluntary sector rejects role in scheme (BW)