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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Slave Labour

I'm never very impressed when I hear on the news about these "schemes" for getting young people into work. Apparently, according to BBC Radio One Newsbeat, an experimental scheme will be introduced in London. This scheme will require anyone under twenty four who is out of work to work thirty hours per week for £56 benefits (I believe it's called "job seekers allowance").

Fifty-six pounds.

Let us work that out.

£56 divided by 30 hours equals... £1.80 per hour.

Are you serious?! That is nothing more than slave labour and certainly NOT a wage that anyone could live on! If you're putting these people into work for thirty hours per week - charity work was mentioned and I would assume basic shop jobs would be plentiful - when are they going to search for a job that they actually want? It's like saying that we have to work harder to get what we want when things are already difficult enough AND, to add insult to injury, it's as if young people are being punished for not being able to find a job.

This scheme could be good, however, if they directed people into work experience that would supplement their careers. Charity work, as a rule, is not going to supplement your career if you want to go into publishing or cosmetics production. Neither is working in a shop. It will just provide slave labour for the lucky overlord rubbing his or her palms together in glee and cracking the whip. Someone sent a message into Newsbeat saying that they took part in an unpaid internship that led to a (paid) job - that sort of thing is GREAT. That sort gives people a solid chance at a job once the internship/experience is over and perhaps will allow them to apply for a job within that company. They might struggle financially through it, but the options at the end are far, far better than this scheme that is currently being proposed.

No. Stop blaming young people for not being able to find jobs and HELP us to find work instead of beating us back and shoving us into minimum wage jobs! We just need direction, not ignorance! :-)

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