Saturday, 25 February 2012

Job Snobs

Many of you will have read in the press that some in the Labour party and on the far left have criticised the governments Work Programme because of its work experience element.

As part of the Work programme, which features tailored individual support like never before, those people claiming benefits are asked to do something in exchange for that money from the taxpayer. They work up to eight weeks for 30 hours a week in placements organised by the local job centre and at the end they may even be interviewed for a job.

Is that so terrible? Yes say some in Labour (who are always happy to pay lip service to welfare reform but never actually support it.) One of the most valuable assets a job seeker can have is work experience on their CV. I'm much more in favour of a young person spending those 30 hours a week getting into the habit of waking early, getting ready for work, and developing their skills than sitting them in front of their xbox for 30hours each week.

Getting work experience is good for job seekers but it's also fair. What has really frustrated me is that actually many of the objections seem to come from the fact some of these placements are in Tesco or Poundland. What absolute snobs. It's worth reminding those who protest at having to be 'forced' into working at such places that it's the workers of Poundland and Tesco whose taxes go to pay their benefits.

It's worth noting both the former boss of Tesco and of M&S both started their working life on the shop floor.

We have a tough challenge with unemployment and those who need help and support should get it, but until we scrap this stupid, inverse snobbish attitude that somehow its better to sit at home on benefits than work in Poundland we will have a long way to go.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that the issue here is one of snobbery for me.

    The companies that are benefiting from this source of tax payer subsidized free labour all appear to be national and international giants. These are the same companies that owe significant sums in back taxes or are given a favourable deal when negotiating with HMRC.

    Putting job seekers with people who've started their own business, the self employed and small business would not only offer a more inspiring environment to learn in but would support economic growth in the sector that provides the highest tax revenue proportionally. With the current economic climate being so difficult on small business would it not make more sense to prioritize these organizations and/or charities etc.?

    Maybe getting "big society" projects manned from this source of labour might be more enfranchising and worthwhile for the job seeker than shelf stacking? Seen as the tax payer is footing the bill shouldn't they get the benefit?

    With the rise of the internet and communications it is cheap and easy to organise projects of this size on a local level through the job centre, a small town like Hexham, rammed with local businesses that are no doubt struggling, would surely benefit socially as well as economically.

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  2. I'm not sure that the issue here is one of robbery.

    The companies that are benefiting from this source of tax payer subsidized free labour all appear to be national and international giants. These are the same companies that owe significant sums in back taxes or are given a favourable deal when negotiating with HMRC.

    With the current economic climate being so difficult on small business would it not make more sense to prioritize these organizations and/or charities etc.?

    ReplyDelete