— angry1 (@angry113) August 17, 2015
Once again the DWP have been reduced to a laughing stock on social media after their online campaign to promote unpaid work became dominated with comments from those opposed to workfare.
The #WEcan campaign aimed to enourage employers to provide unpaid work experience placements for young people. The DWP had also hoped that young people would post up ‘workies’ – apparently the work version of a selfie – on social media alongside their experiences of unpaid work placements. It turns out though that the young were too lazy and feckless even to bother doing that. Minister for Employment Priti Patel must be furious. It wasn’t like this when she worked for the tobacco industry encouraging kids to take up smoking.
Instead what happened is that the hashtag was dominated by people furious at a government that seems obsessed with forcing young people to work for no wages. Alongside this many people used the hashtag to pledge to boycott some of the companies named as being involved in workfare, such as @marksandspencer, and @Halfords_uk.
Amusingly the DWP also invited people to laugh at them on facebook, where unfortunately for the department the #WEcan hashtag is already in use by the Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada. The DWP’s social media team get paid real money – our money – for this bungling shit.
In what seems like an attempt by the DWP to muddy the waters the #WEcan campaign promotes all forms of work experience, including short placements for schoolchildren or paid internships as well as workfare schemes. This led to some of the organisations backing the campaign complaining that they only do nice work experience and they don’t support the nasty stuff. These organisations should be at the forefront of challenging the government about ever more exploitative Jobcentre enforced workfare which can now involve 780 hours of forced, unpaid work. Instead they are quite happily helping the DWP rehabilitate workfare with gushing tweets about how wonderful unpaid work can be. So fuck them, they are on the wrong side.
The DWP have now resorted to drafting in Jobcentres to tweet furiously and try to rescue the campaign. Make sure it doesn’t work and tell @WEcan what you think of workfare using the hashtag #WECan. Please spread the word.
Here’s what some people have said so far:
— Rubbish Rider (@RubbishRider) August 14, 2015
— SanctionTheUK (@SanctionTheUK) August 16, 2015
— Paul Rogers (@paulrogers002) August 15, 2015
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