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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 July 2011

The Work Programme: is it only chasing people off benefits?

A job seeker, Coventry

I have been on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for 12 months. I finished education last year and have found it near impossible to find a job.

The Work Programme is defined on the government website for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as "measures designed to help in the government's key aims of fighting poverty, supporting the most vulnerable and helping people break the cycle of benefit dependency."

I can tell you what it really means - those who are part of this programme are being pushed into working 30 hours a week to 'earn' their benefits or face losing them entirely.

The average job seeker claims around 200 a month. 30 hours a week on the minimum wage for an 18 year old (the earliest someone can sign on) would be 639.60 - so job seekers are expected to work for a third of what's supposed to be the legal minimum.

We have not in any way been told what these jobs will be or will include - just a vague "something that will help the community". We have no idea what the working conditions will be, what training will be provided or what skills it will give us.

The hours of this community work are entirely non-negotiable. I am taking part in courses and placements in Teaching Assistance. I would have to give this up in order to keep receiving benefits.


March for Jobs!

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow crusade when 200 unemployed men marched from Jarrow in South Tyneside to London. Youth Fight for Jobs is marching to demand decent jobs with decent wages for all. We want real training opportunities, not slave labour schemes. Join us to say that workers and young people won't pay for the bosses' crisis!

Merthyr march for jobs

Merthyr Tydfill to Cardiff 4-6 August

Jarrow march for jobs

Jarrow to London

5 October - 5 November

Get in touch to take part or help organise or raise money:

www.jarrowmarch11.com

youthfightforjobs@gmail.com

020 8558 7947

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 July 2011:


News International scandal

Force Cameron out!

Get rid of Cameron, Murdoch and all they represent


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism stuck in a blind alley


Anti-cuts news and campaigning

'No cuts' budgets or 'parallel' budgets?

Legal Aid Bill - Access to justice is under attack

Immigration Advice closure shows need for industrial struggle

Stop Swansea coastguard closure

Southampton council workers' struggle continues despite imposition of new contracts

Labour takes axe to Sure Start in Liverpool


The NHS

Privatisation and cuts undermine the NHS

A day in the life of a student nurse: Overworked - but happy to help


Socialist Party workplace news

Bromley Unison reps resign in protest at union's disgraceful actions

South Yorkshire journalists start all-out strike

Strike solid at BBC Leeds office

Renationalise Bombardier to save jobs

London NSSN meeting - 'real debate' on preparing for coordinated action


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defending state education - Brighton academy victory

TUSC: Building an electoral challenge to Con-Dem and Labour cuts

Tolpuddle says: 'step up the action'

The Work Programme: is it only chasing people off benefits?


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Massive metal workers' strike


Selling the Socialist

Throw away the Murdoch rags!


Socialist Party review

Music review - "This place is coming like a ghost town..."


 

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Related links:

Benefits:

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleMajor attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

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triangleMonarch abdicates responsibility to workers

triangleCapitalism and human progress

Jarrow:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleYouth Fight Austerity

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