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General Discussion

Paul
Paul
21 Mar 2012 09:39

Should able bodied unemployed people do some community service each week to be eligible for unemployment benefit?

Libby
Libby
21 Mar 2012 11:12

Only if you want local wages to be decreased as a result of employers getting 'free' labour from the unemployed.

Paul
Paul
21 Mar 2012 11:28

Yeah good point. What if they did useful tasks that no one else does?

Such as picking up rubbish from the beaches.

Nelson
Nelson
21 Mar 2012 13:04

Paul has hit the nail on the head. Community service should be unpaid work to benefit the community - cleaning beaches, dredging brooks, removing graffiti, painting seafront/viaduct railings and posts, and other constructive stuff like that.

Lynne
Lynne
21 Mar 2012 14:31

Can I ask an obvious question here? Why not employ people to clean the beaches, dredge the brooks, remove graffiti, paint the seafront/viaduct railings and posts and other constructive stuff like that?

Paul
Paul
21 Mar 2012 15:13

Because some people perfer just to claim unemployment benefit than work.

Brazilnut
Brazilnut
21 Mar 2012 15:36

Paul there are alot of unemployed who would like to be employed, and if this was implemented correctly say a top up to jobseekers allowance if you did community work Im sure there would be some takers

Nelson
Nelson
21 Mar 2012 16:04

@Lynne. the public sector workforce is shrinking in order to address the deficit that the present national regime as inherited from the previous. whilst this is the case, then people won't be employed to perform such duties (important as they are). i think that brazilnut has got the right idea.

Lynne
Lynne
21 Mar 2012 16:15

Don't have a problem, in theory, with a compromise situation along the lines as suggested by Brazilnut.

But why do they have to be public sector jobs? I thought the private sector was supposed to be the knight in shining armour bringing and creating a load of new jobs?

Well, there you are somone, create a private sector company to do the jobs listed above and then employ people to do them!

See, there are jobs needing to be done, and people available to do them. All it needs is an entrepreneur to put the two together.

Anyone?

Nelson
Nelson
21 Mar 2012 17:26

But who will pay the private sector business?

Don Pearson
Don Pearson
21 Mar 2012 18:13

There is a scheme whereby those on benefits can undertake voluntary work.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Gettinginvolvedinyourcommunity/Volunteering/DG_064299

In order to take part people must continue to meet the criteria for the benefit, so jobseekers must continue to seek work and be available for interviews, Jobcentre reviews, etc.

The other day, my old adversary, Sir Snouts in Trough, MP (pronounced Snew St Trew) was muttering about compelling jobseekers to volunteer.

Lynne
Lynne
21 Mar 2012 18:39

@Nelson - ah! so you spotted the flaw! p'raps they could try asking for a loan from a bank?

******! voluntary work.

As far as I am concerned if people work then they should be paid for it - even if it is only at the lowest rate (which, given as how it seems public sector pay down here may be in for a hair cut, is probably what a lot of the work here will end up paying).

Economies don't get kick started by not paying people at all or, if paid, by paying them peanuts.

Nelson
Nelson
01 Apr 2012 17:10

Interested to see earlier today that some chaps were clearing away sand and stones from the prom that runs between Boat Cove and the Viaduct. Two of the middle-aged chaps were wearing hi-viz vests with "Community Payback" printed across the back. Make of that what you will.

ShePerez
ShePerez
01 Apr 2012 22:30

'Community payback' is community service done as a punishment for crimes, instead of a custodial sentence.

Being 'unemployed' does not make you a criminal, and does not make you less deserving of services than others.

bryony
bryony
04 Apr 2012 17:59

I don't think anyone would say the unemployed are less deserving of services and it is frankly unrealistic to expect a private sector business to suddenly create jobs where there is no money available to pay people to do them. All that creates is even more burden on the state to pay out even more money - if private enterprise just works for the government in whatever guise then that is still public money being used to fund that service. Private sector jobs are being created but the ones that will really help the economy to get back on its feet are ones away from public sector funding. But frankly that is another subject.

To get back to the original questin, as those who are unemployed are in effect being given money by the state, surely it isn't beyond fair to ask that a little bit is given back to the state (ie those taxpayers who are funding the welfare state). Whether this is helping with volunteer schemes (and there are plenty of those around) or lending a hand to keep the area they live in tidy (litter picking or a bit of gardening) and to do this alongside council workers.

Unfortunately as nice an idea as it may seem, by the time you have staffed it (because someone has to keep records), obeyed every H&S rule etc etc etc it becomes unworkable as a scheme that could be organised and enforced.

But I expect there are PLENTY of people receiving benefits of whatever sort who DO volunteer in many and various ways and in doing so they are contributing to society and helping the country run relatively smoothly. There was a survey a few years back proving the voluntary sector is worth many millions to this country in the money it saves in so many areas. So maybe it isn't something that needs worrying about, unless it would be to gently encourage a mindset for more people to see that as a good thing to do, alongside job hunting and all their normal daily life kind of things. After all many people in full time employment still find time to help out at projects/voluntary stuff, so why not those who do, maybe through absolutely no fault of their own, have a bit more time on their hands. And it wouldn't hurt to have it on a CV to show that they weren't just out of work and doing no work at all. Helping out shouldn't be seen as a punishment for the unemployed or treated as a stick to beat them with, but it can be a force for good if approached in the right way.

Community payback is a totally different thing and not the original question asked.

Don Pearson
Don Pearson
04 Apr 2012 23:30

@bryony

Good post.

According to the politicians the unemployed fall into two categories:

Those who are unable to work because of sickness or disability. On this basis, one might imagine that they are also unable to carry out much voluntary work.

Those who are job seekers. They are supposed to spend their time demonstrably seeking work and should not have much time left over for voluntary work.

Don

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