Friday, February 17, 2012

Tesco latest PR re workfare

(1) How can you justify...

H Peter,

JobCentre Plus yesterday wrongly advertised a short work experience placement at Tesco as a permanent, unpaid job. This has resulted in widespread misunderstanding of our position. We are happy to re-state the facts:

- Tesco has been working in partnership with JobCentre Plus for many months to offer work experience opportunities lasting up to four weeks for young unemployed people who are struggling to find jobs. No one is under any obligation to take part in the scheme, and JobCentre Plus has assured us that all of those who have come to Tesco have done so as volunteers. Tesco would not take part in any mandatory scheme. This is all about helping young people who want to find a job.

- We would never offer longer term work on an unpaid basis. The Department for Work and Pensions has acknowledged that the advertisement was an error on the part of JobCentre Plus. Work experience at Tesco should, wherever possible, be a pathway to a paid job with Tesco. That has already been the case for 300 work experience participants with us so far and we hope it will be for many more people.

- We understand the concern that those who stay in the scheme longer than a week risk losing their benefits if they drop out before the end of their placement. We have suggested to DWP that, to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature of the scheme, this threat of losing benefit should be removed.

We remain committed to offering long-term, sustainable and rewarding paths into employment for thousands of young people.

Peter – Customer Care

7 minutes ago · Like

Several posters on the comment thread beneath the story about disabled people being required to do unpaid work have asked for more details of the Department for Work and Pensions' plans. So that readers can see for themselves what the DWP is proposing, we've been working this afternoon on getting the documents online – with some annotation from reporter Shiv Malik – and these will be on the website imminently.​global/blog/2012/feb/17/​newsdesk-live-blog-february​-17-tuition-fees?newsfeed=​true

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