Work Fare

March 21, 2013

Aren’t we meant to learn from the lessons of the past? I read once that the definition of an insane person is someone who keeps repeating a behaviour expecting a different outcome, does anyone else immediately wonder about the Tories when reading these comments? In 1983 I left school straight onto the dole queue, shortly followed by a youth training scheme I worked for six months as a library assistant then a hospital receptionist, in both jobs I was guaranteed full employment after my six month stint, neither of these promises came to fruition. Both of these places just replaced me with a long string of other young hopefuls who didn’t get the reward of a paying job either. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed both jobs I learnt a lot and was sad to leave. 

Fast forward a few years and my two eldest children did their year ten work experience and as soon as they turned sixteen were taken on, they both worked through college and university like many others, gaining valuable experience as well as personally growing in confidence . 

Fast forward to very recent history, my youngest did her work experience gained glowing references just like her siblings and was promised a job when she turned sixteen, but guess what, she worked for Superdrug. So my daughter who wanted to work for Superdrug whilst she was at college was rejected. They didn’t need her they decided to go with the Workfare scheme and get their employees for free. I will be honest she didn’t take the rejection and disappointment well, she had worked hard and got on really well with the staff I suppose for the company it made sound financial sense but what about the goodwill, reliability and loyalty you get from staff that choose to work for you and that in turn are rewarded by a living wage. 

When the government and the big corporations decided that workfare was a good idea did they consider the bigger picture? No? Neither do I. It’s good to hear that Superdrug have decided to drop out of the Workfare scheme but I wonder how many of their workfare staff have been given full time jobs I suspect not many.


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Caroline Criado-Perez

A Pox on the Patriarchy


Lady things, explained.


"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

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