Young unemployed Londoners to be forced into unpaid work

Young unemployed people in London will be forced to do three months of unpaid full-time work or face having their benefits cut, under a new pilot scheme. The plan was unveiled in a joint announcement by the government and the Mayor of London.

Under the pilot, those aged 18–24 who had spent less than six months in employment since leaving education would have to work unpaid in order to qualify for their jobseeker’s allowance. They would do work experience placements in charities or social organisations such as care homes for 30 hours per week over a 13-week period. They would also have to spend 10 hours per week searching for a job.

The government said the purpose of the scheme is to help young Londoners to ‘improve their career prospects’ and ‘enable them to contribute to their communities’. The Mayor added that early intervention will reduce the ‘risks of benefit dependency’.

If successful, the scheme would be rolled out nationwide in 2013. The London trial is funded by the European Social Fund.

Source: Press release 28 August 2012, Department for Work and Pensions
LinksDWP press release | Guardian report | London Evening Standard report | Telegraph report