Young Londoners joining the dole queue will be forced to work unpaid for three months or lose their benefits under a new scheme announced by mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Funded from the European social fund, 6,000 Londoners aged 18-24 in 16 boroughs will be made to do 13 weeks’ unpaid work as a condition of claiming their £56-a-week benefit if they have contributed less than six months of national insurance payments.

As well as charities, some will be made to work for businesses that provide a clear “community benefit”.

The scheme is expected to be running by the end of the year and the government hopes to extend it nationally. It will bring the total number of proposed or operational mandatory work schemes to three. One, the mandatory work activity scheme, which lasts for a month, was found by the DWP to have zero effect on chances of landing a job. It also had no effect in getting people off benefits over a six-month period and led to a small increase in those claiming sickness support payments.

Described as a “joint pilot” between Johnson and the DWP, the new programme will offer “intensive help” for those with little experience of paid work, including one-to-one CV advice “to help people boost their employability in an increasingly competitive jobs market”. [….]

What I think about this?

I saw this article written on Facebook and my initial reaction was that it was an excellent idea, but then I began to think, it depends what kind of work they would be volunteered for, I mean you don’t want major supermarkets to take advantage and just gain free labour in the form of shelf stacking and stock counting. it could be a stepping stone in the right direction as it could give the people claiming benefits a nudge in the right direction towards full time employment.

What do you think?