Employers will not want to recruit people who are forced to work with them, the TUC has argued in response to the Conservative ‘workfare’ proposals.
Tory leader David Cameron yesterday unveiled a series of measures he claimed would get the long-term unemployed back into work. These included a two-year limit – currently three years – for Jobseekers Allowance claimants, a mandatory, year-long community work programme after that, and a network of ‘back-to-work’ centres around the country, where claimants would be expected to spend most of their working week.
But Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said the scheme will not save money, nor help employers’ recruitment.
“Experiences of workfare schemes around the world have shown that they fail to help people into work. In Australia, workfare has left unemployed people less likely to get a job. In New York, existing workers have lost their jobs to workfare temps.
“Employers aren’t impressed either. Which employer would want to recruit someone who has been forced into their last job? The Tories will have to pay for the work people are forced to do, on top of support services like childcare. So there is no chance that the Tories will find the £3bn savings they are looking for.”
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union also warned that Conservative proposals on welfare were “draconian, unworkable and would lead to large-scale privatisation”.