Under the guise of ‘helping the unemployed back into work’ the government is rolling out various workfare schemes that will provide free labour for their rich corporate friends.
Many charities and even trade unions – who should know better – have been hoodwinked into supporting these schemes. However, in March we saw the government forced on the back foot following revelations of widespread fraud at one of the main Work Programme providers and actions against high street companies involved in the Work Experience Programme.
The fact that many companies quickly responded by either withdrawing from the scheme or announcing that they were reviewing their participation shows how vulnerable the government’s workfare programme is at the moment. In addition DWP staff are now being told that referrals to workfare must be entirely voluntary on not just the Work Experience scheme for young people, but also the Sector Based Work Academies scheme and the Government’s flagship Work Programme.
Brighton Benefits Campaign has been fighting workfare since our first campaign against the Flexible New Deal in 2010. We have proved that acting against workfare gets results. But we can’t afford to be complacent – these changes are only temporary and can be easily reversed. We believe that it is necessary to build on the success so far, and break workfare before it becomes established.
We have therefore organised a conference to bring together campaigners, voluntary groups, trade unions & others opposed to workfare, to share experiences and information and to co-ordinate a sustained national campaign. All workfare, whether ‘voluntary’ or mandatory: is part of a concerted assault on welfare & public services destroys paid jobs, & undermines the pay & conditions of those already in work is an attack on real volunteering is yet another generous government handout for big business.
We invite your group to take part in building the fightback against workfare. More information here.
Full details & an online booking form can be found on our conference page here. If you would like more information please email or contact us on 07730 776471
Hoping to see you there.
In solidarity Brighton Benefits Campaign