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the void

holidayinnAn evaluation of the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) scheme, commissioned and published by the DWP, reveals that welfare-to-work companies are struggling to find enough placements for all those forced into unpaid work.

In a further blow to the DWP’s plans for mass workfare, this report was released before several major charities, including Scope, British Heart Foundation, Age UK and Cancer Research announced they were pulling out of the scheme.

Mandatory Work Activity is just one of several workfare schemes, and involves four weeks full time unpaid work for organisations which can demonstrate a ‘community benefit’.  The scheme is used as punishment for those claimants not deemed to be trying hard enough to find work by Jobcentre advisors.  Under DWP rules it is not possible to volunteer for the scheme.

The report states that 33,170 people began on MWA between May 2011 and August 2012.  Of these around 75% of…

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