Socialist Worker

Official: workfare isn't working

Issue No. 2331

The government’s work programme is officially a failure. The programme, more popularly known as workfare, was introduced a year ago.

Long term unemployed workers are handed over to fat cat companies who are paid to try to get them into work.

Many people have found themselves being sent on unpaid “work experience” stacking shelves in shops like Poundland.

Of the 837,000 people who started on the work programme just 31,000 found work. That’s 3.7 percent, or one in 25 people.

The government’s own analysis expected that without the work programme 5 percent of long term unemployed workers would find work.

Workfare firms are paid up to £600 for each jobseeker referred. So they have pocketed over £400 million in referrals alone.

They are then paid £1,000 to £3,500 for every jobseeker who finds work, and more if they keep the job for a year. The 31,000 people who found work will have earned them another £31 million.

At least half a billion pounds has been paid to the workfare fat cats. This could have been spent putting 25,000 teaching assistants into our classrooms. Major firms cashing in include G4S, A4E and Serco.

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Tue 27 Nov 2012, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2331
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