Just as the title says, I really don’t think much of the “welfare-to-work” schemes Job Centre Plus are forcing down the throats of some job seekers. Sure, I get that there are plenty of people out there who need work experience, but I seriously disagree with the kinds of experience being offered and how it is being offered.
Apart from the general systematic confusion about forced and voluntary schemes, a segment I saw on Channel 4 News last night reconfirmed my suspicions that between Job Centre Plus, DWP, private businesses and the UK government – nobody in charge of any of this mess knew what was really happening or had a bloody clue as to what would be effective.
The stupidest part of the welfare-to-work scheme is the fact that it’s focused on the retail sector. One of the lowest paying areas of employment when you’re dealing with positions below management level.
Apart from the fact that most of the work these young people are being made to do would normally be done by paid people, it’s also work that in the next ten years could be automated in a lot of instances. It’s not skilled work and it’s not giving people the experience necessary to stay in work.
And what exactly is the fecking point in having graduates stocking shelves in big retail chains? Graduates who have tens of thousands of pounds worth of student debt that it would be better for the country’s coffers if paid back a tad sooner rather than later? Unless a retail job is management level, working in it full-time will not pay the minimum needed to pay back that debt.
And those people without degrees? What if their aspirations go beyond stacking shelves, which will probably be roboticized sooner rather than later?
Job seekers who have been unemployed for any length of time should be allowed to seek work placements in industries and professions that suit their career aspirations, experience and/or skill-set. They shouldn’t be penalised by Job Centre Plus for going on placements that they’ve sorted out for themselves. And people of any age should be able to go and get work experience. Proof of experience could easily be done via a scrapbook system if JCP really needed proof.
But because this government doesn’t care about anyone but themselves and their rich friends, I doubt this situation will be improved. I hate how this country is run by a group mainly composed of selfish, ignorant idiots.