‘Youth won’t accept slave labour’

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YOUNG Socialist editor Paul Lepper yesterday slammed the figures produced by the government for its welfare to work programme.

He said: ‘These figures expose the complete failure of the government to provide youth with any kind of future but slavery.

‘The plan of this scheme is to force young unemployed to work for next to nothing while private companies line their pockets, there are no long-term jobs on offer here.

‘This government must be brought down in favour of a workers government and socialism immediately.

‘Youth will not live with this slave labour!’

The figures showed that even by the government’s own standards the ‘Work Programme’ for the long-term unemployed has had a measly 2.5% ‘success’ rate.

It is not only not working, it is holding back jobseekers, the Public and Commercial Services union said in response to the figures.

Under the scheme, privateers and charities are paid to help find jobs for the long-term unemployed.

The Department for Work and Pensions data show the Work Programme, which has handed multi-million pound contracts to privateers such as A4e and G4S, is failing to get jobseekers into sustainable work.

With providers only managing a 2.5% success rate in the first 12 months, the performance is worse than the government’s own assessment of what would happen if it did nothing and allowed jobseekers to find their own jobs.

The PCS said the Work Programme should be scrapped and the work done by Jobcentre Plus staff who have a much more successful track record of getting people into work.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘These figures ought to bring shame on ministers who, for ideological reasons, have pressed ahead with the Work Programme against all the warnings raised by us and others.

‘The Work Programme is obviously fundamentally flawed and should be scrapped, with the work done by experienced Jobcentre staff who have proved far more effective at getting people back into work.’

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘These figures are compounded by the coalition’s onslaught on benefits which is creating a climate of poverty and desperation among those seeking work.

‘People want to work, but increasingly face a merry-go-round of insecure, low-paid, part-time work.

‘Scandal-hit companies, such as A4e, will not solve Britain’s long-term unemployment crisis.’

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘The government’s Work Programme is not working – it’s a dismal failure.

‘Far from being “early days” it has been running for more than a year. The government has to do more.

‘Unemployment is a personal tragedy, but it will also mean that thousands of families have a miserable Christmas this year.

‘The government could, and should, ease its hard and fast cuts, putting the brakes on the heavy public sector job losses which are also damaging the private sector.

‘No wonder economists are predicting the UK could slip into a damaging triple-dip recession.’