Workfare failed and the government know it!

Workfare failed and the government know it!

Workfare failed and the government know it!


Yesterday saw a major victory in the battle against the dreadful and failing Workfare schemes rolled out nationally in 2013.The Department of Work & Pensions has very quietly scrapped both their 6 month and 4 week workfare and mandatory work schemes. They will not renew the contracts with the different providers, effectively bringing the schemes to an end by 2017.

Under the Workfare scheme Community Work Placements which involve a six month’s forced full time work for the long term unemployed, whilst Mandatory Work Activity is a four week short sharp shock of Workfare used to punish claimants deemed to have the ‘wrong attitude’.


Rochster and Strood


This is not the complete end of Workfare, with some claimants still facing forced work on the Work Programme. The fight is not yet over, but the scrapping of the two key workfare programmes shows the power of collective action from groups such as Keep Volunteering Voluntary which saw many third sector organisations boycott the Workfare schemes.


Statics released by the government yesterday also show that fewer than 50% of those referred to the schemes actually started them. The Department of Work & Pensions is however failing to release the statics showing how many people progressed into full time employment as a result  of the workfare schemes.


Between May 2011 and August 2015, 303,130 referrals were made to Mandatory Work Activity. During this period, there were 130,190 starts on a Mandatory Work Activity placement.





It was a failure from the start and they knew that too!


The government ran a pilot scheme to see if the planned Workfare scheme would help get the long term unemployed into work. The pilot clearly displayed that those people who were forced onto mandatory work schemes had exactly the same level of successful job outcomes as those who did nothing at all at 18%. However the DWP still saw it  fit to spend £300 million of tax payers money to administer the scheme giving contracts to G4S and other private providers.


So what’s next?


A new Work and Health Programme replacing the Work Programme and Work Choice which will provide specialist support for the long-term unemployed and claimants with health conditions and disabilities



Staplehurst Labour Campaign


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