National day of action against 'workfare' schemes
3 March 2012
Today is the national day of action against 'workfare' schemes. Given the concern expressed about these schemes, we thought it would be useful to restate our position.
Capability Scotland does not have contracts for any 'workfare'
schemes which demand that people undertake unpaid placements and,
if they refuse or leave early, have benefits docked.
We also do not have any plans to undertake, or get involved
with, contracts of this nature.
Checking the records across our 19 shops, we have discovered
that a small number of people (less than 5) have been placed with
us by companies which do have links to workfare schemes. The local
shop managers were unaware of the nature of the schemes operated by
these companies when they agreed to the placements.
We'll be ending those agreements, and speaking to each of those
on placement to see if they would like to be offered alternative
options with us.
We believe that the principles of work experience, and
volunteering, give people the opportunity to learn new skills and
we support anyone who wants to do so.
But we don't believe it's in the interests of people to be
forced into unpaid work experience (sometimes known as mandatory
work activity, or MWA) with the threat of losing benefit if they
refuse or leave a scheme early; and Capability Scotland does
not support such schemes, in principle or in practice.