Day 2: Stop Traineeships – workfare for young people

traineeshipsDay 2 of the Week of Action Against Workfare: from Boycott Workfare

Day One of the week of action against workfare and sanctions was great – with a LOUD noise demo at the workfare industry’s annual conference, hijacking its hashtag and actions in Cardiff and Germany! On Day Two, target the companies profiting from making young people work without pay on Traineeships.

Traineeships are about providing cheap labour, driving down wages, massaging unemployment figures and conditioning our young people for a life of poverty and jumping through endless hoops in search of a job.

They’re a fairly new scheme that targets 16-24 year olds with more unpaid work. Traineeships involve a work placement of up to six months for which the employer is not even required to pay travel expenses. The promise at the end of six months’ unpaid work? You may then be eligible to work for £2.67 an hour as an apprentice.

Used together, traineeships and apprenticeships have the potential to massively undercut the minimum wage on the high street and elsewhere.  The government is of course rolling out compulsory education for 17-18 year-olds and unpaid work looks set to make up an increasingly large component of that education. Benefits cuts for 18-25 year-olds are also threatened.

There are many companies happy to take advantage of young people and profit from their lack of opportunity and  today let’s take action against them. Contact them by phone, email or on social media.


Kwikfit’s hit the headlines for expecting 39 hours of unpaid work a week from its traineeships and advertising them across the UK. It’s already faced huge public criticism on social media. Let’s make sure it knows the pressure hasn’t gone away and it needs to pay the people who work for it.

You could comment by phone or email, on its Facebook page or Youtube channel.  They are on twitter @Kwik_Fit


This multi-national brand with $18.1 billion in sales in a year, is recruiting multiple traineeships in Blackpool to “prepare food and serve customers” for 21 hours’ work a week each. currently advertising for at least three placements, this shop is saving itself £3180 on the wages bill in the next two months. Let’s hope the young people weren’t planning on buying any Christmas presents.

Share your thoughts on Subway’s Facebook page or take a look at their contact details.  They are on twitter @SUBWAYUKIreland


Here is a luxury watch shop offering unpaid work for six months in its store in Westfield to young people when clearly it should and could offer them paid work and on the job training. You can contact Toywatch and let them know what you think on, comment on their Facebook page, give them a call on 020 3301 8744 or pay them a visit.  They are on twitter @ToyWatchWorld


Novotel’s 4* hotel in Southampton is also profiting from 42 hours of unpaid work in its kitchens each week. Its contact details can be found here.

Got a few more minutes?

Have a dig here and pick the companies you’d like to contact about their exploitation of young people to replace paid work.

Want more info on traineeships? Hear it from the horse’s mouth here and here.

Please also sign, share and tweet the petition calling for an end to all benefit sanctions without exceptions.

(Don’t forget @learndirect – sponsors of yesterday’s workfare conference when they were spotted as using traineeships – jv)

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


63 responses to “Day 2: Stop Traineeships – workfare for young people

  1. Thought i would give you an update of my condition since the joint theft of my subsistence by EMMA BRODRICK, a lying HCP, working for ATOS, and CHARLOTTE TRUSLER of Blackpool DWP

    BRODRICK’S lies took away my Incapacity Benefit and TRUSLER’S, my Disability Living Allowance……………………

    Notwithstanding, the government keep telling claimants that £71.20 is the amount of money needed to live on, yet i do not even receive this and was declared disabled for life after an accident at work…………….

    My hands are riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and i have problems wiping my backside. I wear disposable pads that hide the fact i cannot hold my bladder sometimes when rising from a sitting position.
    I purchase the pads and any medication i need from my own pocket, finding it cheaper than expensive prescriptions.

    Since my DLA has been stopped i cannot afford these “luxuries”, and have been stuffing old newspapers down the front of my pants.
    As a result of this i have become sore and developed thrush around my genitals. The tops of my legs have become red raw and a sickly sweet smell is evident.
    Behind my foreskin is also red raw and i am discharging liquid. When i urinate i get a burning sensation in my penis.
    I am not sure if the infection on my genitals is connected to having an ability to wipe my bottom properly, it could be a cross contamination of some kind.

    i have developed bad gumboils in my mouth. I am not sure if it is to do with my genital infection or eating bad foods.
    There are many fantastic adverts on our tv sets showing the finest of christmas cuisine, but this is a luxury that me and my family will never be able to afford. Todays menu will be the same as yesterday, an onion ring sandwich, and out of date at that…………………….
    The physical abuse that is being directed at persons with a handicap is no joke. The biggest perpetrators are our own DWP. It seems to have developed into a national sport where the criteria seems to include, who can do the most evil to someone in dire circumstances.

    No doubt there will be people just waiting to ridicule what i write, these are the people who sit back and poke fun at those in the weakest position, those not able to fight back.

    Please feel free to ridicule, as it is you, and not i, who needs help badly. You have succumbed to the lowest base possible……………………….


    • Geoff, no-one on here will ridicule you. It’s little wonder you have infections the lack of nutrition means your white cell count will be too low fo fight off any bugs.All for the want of a pitiful sum of benefit money
      It’s a total disgrace that anyone should have to live like you do in what we’re constantly being told is “one of the richest countries in the world” Doesn’t look like it from here, and meanwhile Camoron’s brown-nosing the Chinese, no doubt planning to export even more of the precious few industries & jobs we have.

    • Unless a person has had the health problems you describe, they can sympathise, but never really understand. You must be in agony, mentally as well as physically. You must be at rock bottom, but all I can say is that there those of us out here who feel for you, you must know that. There should never be anyone ridiculing someone with the most awful intimate physical problems. When you’re denied benefits, it’s the last straw, to be told there’s nothing wrong, but you’re faced with the pain and problems every minute of the day. It really is devastating. Have you been to your MP’s surgery?

      The DWP / ATOS no longer allow urinary incontinence any ESA/DLA points in the descriptors. People don’t even understand that on IB / ESA and DLA there are no free prescriptions, so having a much higher level of need for medicines you have a much higher financial burden to get medications and supplies. (Except in Wales, any chance you could move over the border?)

      Can you contact your local council or the Red Cross for your supplies? Do you have support for your appeals? If you are appealing, then remember the Tribunal court can pay your travelling expenses – as long as agreed before hand – including taxis for long distance. And if you attend, you have much greater chance of success. Just to be able to look them in the eye. Hang on in there. Things can & must improve for you.

  2. Landless Peasant


    A4E welfare to work: Four more charged over fraud

    It is only because we are calling for the rich to have benefits withdrawn that they want to withdraw benefits altogether.
    The rich should not get a state pension either or job related state pension.

    • I had no idea who Jo Coburn was so I’ve just Googled her and she’s a BBC journalist. One group of parasites condemning another other group of parasites. You have to laugh really!

    • We cannot afford to stand and watch corporate theft of services we have paid for..and fucking non entity mouth pieces spouting propaganda ..about how we can’t afford the stuff we already thought we owned …..

      I thought we already passed the .we have had enough mark. How many times are we expected to do that and stand and stare like rabbits caught in the headlights angry but numbed into inaction

  4. Another French company!!!.

    “French private equity firm PAI Partners is mulling the sale of Kwik Fit”

    Big supporter of the SNP, what does that tell you!!!

  5. Thanks for posting these details for today’s part of the week of campaign. More power to your elbow to you and the other people organising these protests.

    Geoff – No-one here is going to laugh at your condition. Indeed, rather than finding it even remotely funny, I’m very certain that every person reading this will feel furious about the way you have been humiliated by ATOS and the DWP, all because of Cameron’s obsessive need to punish the poor for not having the millions he and his friends are fortunate to possess.

    There’s a parallel here between your condition and at least one of the cases of cruelty to slaves that led to the introduction of more humane legislation regulating their treatment, and then finally outright abolition. This was when a slave was put in the public stocks or cage for an entire week without release. The abolitionists and campaigners against this punishment not only criticised the barbarity of the punishment itself, but the additional humiliation it caused by preventing the imprisoned man from relieving himself properly, and soiling his own person. Such indignity was a cause of outrage in this case, and it should be so in this country, where the DWP is trying to reintroduce forced ‘slave’ labour through workfare and benefit cuts.

  6. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

    watch the hungry video in America, where they go our elected representatives like sheep follow.

  8. Sorry our NON -elected representatives.

    Keep up the good work JV – put pressure on everything the rich are receiving instead of them having the upper hand on the poor.

  9. Geoff No one should ever ridicule you! You are very brave to tell people about your experiences! I know that isn’t a lot of comfort, but people Do care, those who ridicule have probably not known suffering in their small lives.

  10. Pingback: Day 2: Stop Traineeships – workfare for y...

  11. richard johnson

    I am about to set up a name and shame website to include a photo of the disgusting member of dwp staff .The website will be on a mobile server so they will not be able to close it down and will be sending a leaflet to all jobcentres to let thier staff know about itAny comments on this project?

  12. Now I have seen it all… Fucking G4$ ambulances !!! Anyone tell me what planet I am on ?

  13. Only 1 non job in the city i live in

    Vacancy Description
    This Traineeship Opportunity is UNPAID Work Experience as part of an entry to work course.

    Barchester would like to help young people aged 16 up to 23 into Work, by offering quality Traineeship Work Experience Opportunities in Care within their homes across England.

    These positions are UNPAID but offer valuable work Experience opportunities with clear progression routes within the industry to those interested and a career in Care.

    Throughout the programme you will combine training opportunities with quality work experience in our homes. As well as the opportunity to gain valuable experience you will have the opportunity to complete courses that will be recognised throughout the industry such as; Moving and Handling, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Customer Service

    This Traineeship Opportunity is part of a full programme which will offer Employability skills such as Job Searching, CV writing, interview skills and Interview preparation. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to develop kills in English and Maths.

    Key Details
    Vacancy Title Health & Social Care Traineeship – Yorkshire & Humber
    Employer Barchester Healthcare Homes Ltd

    • Develop kills ? Sounds about right ..
      More crank science — training you how to think correctly to fit in with their master plan..

    • Care homes – another lucrative scheme to profit from misery its on the increase sadly.

    • I bet that one non job is for tea boy or girl for the local MP’s office.. offers voluntary work experience with a recognised qualification certificate to get a foot into the industry of tea making at the higher levels of parliament also on a voluntary basis for an even higher level of qualification for arse wiping skills. 🙂

  14. My dear geoff. Sorry for your grief ..but thank you for your input recently result and some of my digging a nightmare image of corporate greed mixed with crank science is now what we have for health and social welfare that and govt departments who abdicate all responsibility to citizens and ignore the law…

  15. Chewie

    Ignore then law then change it to what suits them – how do they get it through parliament, this power house of democracy lol?

  16. I fear protest alone isn’t enough, mainly because it will never prick the consciences of those who make the legislation because they have none unless it affects them directly.. their jobs etc, else they will continue to create spineless policies not affecting them or anyone directly around them. It’s shocking to know many people in this country still don’t understand or give a toss the affects of this Tory led coalition has upon those it’s designed to effectively destroy mind body and soul, that might be because it does not affect them.. maybe they have a good job with reasonable pay, but there may be a time when that is not the case and they will be in the same position as a good majority of those who come here and comment.

    I sense the simmering undercurrent on the streets and I would have no reason to think it’s not the same right across the country where people are suffering in many different ways, many of these people are not mentally or physically strong enough to fight their own corner and the Tories know this all too well as they smirk and light up cigars whilst glugging down another glass of the best champagne and looking forward to a Christmas and extreme self indulgence on all levels… money earned from creating misery, money from their “Hard Working People” of this country who may think at last welfare is being directed to the people who rightly need it as opposed to skivers… wrong on all counts…. it’s always been smoke and mirrors with the Tories and nothing changes.

    The next election is getting close but not close enough and to make matters even worse we don’t really have a party who might shine a light of hope that democracy can be restored as opposed to this current deep forest we are fighting our way through in order to maintain some resemblance of day to day living with some hope for the future. We can be assured there is no hope under the Tories now or for the future unless you are rich or aspire to soon becoming so off the back of a population of this country living in pretty miserable circumstances. It’s not a crime to be rich but it is a crime to treat the poor in the way this government has and get rich off their backs and soon people will start thinking “What are we getting out of this deal?”.. that is easy.. NOTHING and if they had their way and could legally do so they would make it a big fat ZERO.

    On a basic level it does simply come down to what is right and what is wrong in a country that likes to preach equality and democracy to the rest of the world and is happy to do business with china without wanting to mention their human rights violations.. when money is involved those things can be kicked to the side of the road. This is no longer the United Kingdom, it’s not even Great Britain soon it will be called British Consolidated, people will lose their identity as a nation because their arses will be owned by all number of other countries, if you can afford food.. how much of what you can afford to buy is actually produced in this country?… and if you seek the union jack on that food then how much more are you willing to pay for that peace of mind?.. if you can pay instead of having to resort stealing to eat and feed your family to survive!.

    Most people affected can see the picture forming here… this is not fear mongering or trying to whip up hysteria… this is the right to fight and defend one’s rights to live and breath without fear and to attempt to get beyond their problems and become part of a healthy as possible functioning society… some may say “NOT FOR THE TORIES” so they can choke it off and direct it towards their own agenda. Many people here have said the Tories need the poor who bust a hump for a few crumbs of pay… TRUE!.. they know we are the majority.. they know it and we know it… a clock can only work if all the cogs, and parts are working, one fails and the whole clock stops… they are the bejewelled face and hands and the exterior luxury of it all…. it’s time this clock not only stopped but was dismantled and rebuilt so it can begin to keep time and faith towards the real people of this country.. the people that make it tick… those with the compassion to think beyond merely their own selfish needs.

    On a simple level.. as kids do you remember when you were naughty when out playing with friends and you did something bad?… what did you fear and hate the most?.. yes, when those that naughtiness affected turned up at your front door and your parents or guardians were confronted by it resulting in YOU the instigator(s) being punished for your naughty actions. When it comes to the Tories people need to read between the lines a little.. the Tories have been naughty.. very naughty indeed.

  17. What happens if you do a six month “traineeship” and don’t move into a (not very much better) “apprenticeship” or a job? Another “traineeship”? Some kind of “educational” course? Or some kind of “work experience placement” aka workfare? I mean it is conceivable that if the Tories get their way that hundreds of thousands of young people might spend six or seven years doing “traineeship” after “traineeship” mixed with workfare after workfare while not being counted as being unemployed.

    And how many will fall through the net into the abyss if no “traineeship” or “apprenticeship” or workfare can be drummed up for them time, after time, after time? What happens if access to social security for the under 25s is made conditional on them always being in education, training, or work if there is not enough education, training, or work to accommodate all of them?

  18. This is outrageous! My 17 year old is already worrring if we can afford bedroom tax if she goes to university…! Another lost generation. Do scammeron.And co not realize this young generation is unlikely to vote for them??

    • And Geoff I have one word 4 u… RESPECT!!
      U r amazing…!

    • No! Do not let anyone tell you that your daughter’s room will be considered unoccupied if she goes away to university. It’s not true and if someone tells you otherwise they are LYING. If the course is less than 52 weeks a year then the bedroom is NOT UNOCCUPIED.

  19. Jaguar Land Rover’s at it as well- you would have thought they could afford to pay young people a decent wage, as well as provide them with training but no, they want a freebie:,+England&from=ifa&utm_source=publisher&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=newifa

  20. Savers are doing traineeships as well.

  21. richard johnson

    sorry only just read your comment and yes the website will be up and running in a few weeks.That will make the basterds think twice about sanctioning also it is very easy to get a photo of your scum of a jcp advisor.another good idea would be to incorporate voice recording of them on the website for all to hear

  22. richard johnson

    I have nothing to lose !
    have been inside max security prison and classed as a nutter
    Fight the bastards and don’t give up

  23. Not so sure about voice recording for all to hear especially if they are taking delight in sanctioning someone at the time, they will carry these things like a badge of honour, maybe’s not such a good idea.

  24. Chewie

    How did atos manage that?

    • @fawkes first it was a DDOS attack where the site traffic over loaded… Then they claimed the disability group used their logo. Ie copyright problem. ..atos pay ppl to snoop and report on anything negative said about them….they then use legal and illegal action to silence criticism ..

    • @ Fawkes I have replied and posted the relevant link to that action see below..

  25. Richard Johnson

    I had a friend that ended up in a top security prison on remand and was released when found innocent, but I visited him and met some of these so called dangerous prisoners who were more humane than this lot running the country, some like my friend were innocent and had been framed, but a prison that is not run humanely will not produce humane ex offenders.

  26. Just been and blasted @kwik_fit on twitter. I used them for the last MOT on my old banger – they failed it on work they did the same year – so they had to put it right and pass it free of charge. No wonder if they are using kids on workfare to do the work.

  27. Apprenticeships are at the heart of our drive to equip people with the skills that employers need. They are rightly popular both with businesses and with young people. But when I speak to employers, they consistently tell me that they are concerned that young people often lack the right skills and attitudes when they apply for an Apprenticeship or other jobs. This is perhaps not surprising – too many young people have little or no experience of seeking, or being in, work. At a time when young people are competing for jobs against adults with more skills and experience, we risk younger people being passed over for these opportunities. That is not right. We know that many young people, including those who are currently not in education, employment or training, are highly motivated by work, or the prospect of it. We need to ensure that young people are well equipped with the skills to impress potential employers and to secure and succeed in jobs, including Apprenticeships. Many providers already offer excellent activities that aim to do just this. I want to build on their experiences to develop a successful new Traineeships programme in England. I want this to offer a combination of substantial work placements, work skills training and English and maths, to support a significant number of young people into Apprenticeships and other employment opportunities. This document is not a formal consultation but rather a starting point for discussion. It sets out our aspirations for Traineeships. I am keen to hear from providers, employers, other partners and young people themselves about what we can do together to ensure that this important project succeeds

    Forward of January 2013 discussion paper by skills minister on traineeships and apprentices..

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