Tesco now hiring - come work for free!

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http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/job-ad-protest-closes-tesco-store-8

A little article on a protest at a Tesco store over the issue.

Blablahb:

Shivarage:
You know... if the corporations just paid fair amounts to workers then there would be more money circulating and the recession would stop as investment would be secured by the available money to be made instead of it just sitting in a foreign, tax free bank

That's not the way it is. Business are compelled to invest whenever possible. Just sitting on a pile of cash makes for unhappy shareholders.

And what's fair? You get more than fair payment for most jobs, and bumping up the minimum wages a lot would be unfair as it would mean simple unresponsible uneducated work would start to earn more or almost the same as much tougher jobs. The minimum montly wage here is € 1446, and that is very comfortable. Most minimum wage households can easily afford luxury electronics and such, and if they use all manner of benefits available they can boost their income to over € 1800 a month.

That's about half of what I earned for serving in Afghanistan as a specialist in a command position that required rare academic skills. It's definately more than half of the starting salary I'll get once I finish my master's degree. It's utterly unfair they get that kind of money for a simple job, or no job at all.

In addition, in such a scenario the wage-price circle would just spin a little faster, and soon, inflation would've nullified the wage gain.

I do fear this is part of the problem, over the past few years, it seems the lower end of workers have been pushed into looking down on anyone not working or anyone who's on such low wages that they need to claim benefits, when really, minimum wage should be enough to live on without needing it.

I don't think you should be asking why minimum wage is so near your skilled and well qualified position, but why the upper wages are so astronomically far away. No-one should be working for such low wages that the government has to step in to fill in the gap. The company hiring should be paying enough that it's not necessary.

They're already doing what they can with 'self service' checkouts, automated services, robot phone lines and the like.

I agree that the gap between skilled and unskilled wages shouldn't close, but unfortunately, all the time unemployment is high, they can offer what they like seemingly. At present, Tesco are offering fuck all, safe in the knowledge that once someone signs up, under pressure, they can't back out.

Again, most people don't mind the basic concept, but we shouldn't be filling paid job positions, that's backward. We should be getting people to help their local community, etc.

SenseOfTumour:
I do fear this is part of the problem, over the past few years, it seems the lower end of workers have been pushed into looking down on anyone not working or anyone who's on such low wages that they need to claim benefits, when really, minimum wage should be enough to live on without needing it.

Part of the outrage about benefits on this side of the channel is because people can live well from that minimum wage, and still get such a lot in benefits.

My college funding for instance is € 256 a month. It strikes me as unfair that if I were to stop studying and go sit on my arse, my income would more than quintuple.

Most of them don't claim the benefits on such a scale though. Actually I've seen staggering amounts of people who don't know, don't care, or actually are too lazy to fill out a form to get more money.

SenseOfTumour:
I don't think you should be asking why minimum wage is so near your skilled and well qualified position, but why the upper wages are so astronomically far away.

Are they? I've seen management positions for which a lot of experience and a relevant study is required, and those are in the range of € 3000 - 4000 a month before taxes. That doesn't strike me as astronomically much.

Actually I don't think I've ever seen an employment add for any position that's astronomically much. The Interim CEO (who's going to get ditched in a few weeks) doesn't earn more than three times what I get as a security guard. And she's responsible for turning a low-quality shithole with problems with the health inspection agency that's seen most of its quality staff resign, be sacked or fall ill into a succesfull business while at the same time, funding is being cut, and squatters destroying the previous building are costing bucket loads of money. At the same time, a lot of staff is horribly inefficient, but sacking them would be utterly impossible for legal reasons, so she's stuck with them dragging the efficiency down.

Good luck turning that into a succes. I expect our centre to go under and get absorbed into the larger addict care organisation here within five years.


It's not the high incomes, but the minimum wage and asociated benefits that's very high. It assumes stuff like those people needing their own 1 family sized house even without having a family, their own car, weeks-long holidays abroad, a plasma television and a computer.

Computer aside I've never had any of that and I more than get by.

What's next, bringing back workhouses and debtor's prisons?

Blablahb:
*le snip*

You jealous of people getting a few more peanuts than you?

It's such a small amount of money compared to what the upper classes pay themselves for the same amount and difficulty of work, there's really no point

Way things are now, it's impossible to better your situation when you have no choice but to work all hours of the day just to get some food on the table meanwhile those wealthier are born into a much better environment for developing and have their parents connections to boost them into more wealth

Nothing will change as ability makes no difference if you don't have the time or connections to prove it

Shivarage:
You jealous of people getting a few more peanuts than you?

I was talking about how it is unfair how people get a huge income for no work at all, or very simple work. I have no idea how you make this out of it.

Shivarage:
It's such a small amount of money compared to what the upper classes pay themselves for the same amount and difficulty of work, there's really no point

Totally untrue. People with jobs with a higher salary do much more complicated and demanding work. The exceptions to the rule that more challenge is more pay are few and far between.

Blablahb:
I was talking about how it is unfair how people get a huge income for no work at all, or very simple work. I have no idea how you make this out of it.
Totally untrue. People with jobs with a higher salary do much more complicated and demanding work. The exceptions to the rule that more challenge is more pay are few and far between.

hehe, 6 pounds an hour is "a huge income" xP

If you adjusted the minimum wage for inflation since the 1980's, the minimum wage would be 20 an hour at the very least, thanks for printing new money thus devaluing and not inceasing pay, the average worker doesn't even have half of the spending power he did 30 years ago

Also, people with high paid jobs are mere humans, there's no way they can be worth a million other humans, that's just nonsense

Shivarage:
hehe, 6 pounds an hour is "a huge income" xP
If you adjusted the minimum wage for inflation since the 1980's, the minimum wage would be 20 an hour at the very least, thanks for printing new money thus devaluing and not inceasing pay, the average worker doesn't even have half of the spending power he did 30 years ago

At 40 hours a week it's 240 pounds a week and at least 960 pounds a month, or € 1150. That's not all that much less than the € 1460 which is the minimal monthly wage here.

20 pounds per hour would be at least 3200 pounds per month or 38400 a year. That is a huge income, almost double the median income.

Shivarage:
Also, people with high paid jobs are mere humans, there's no way they can be worth a million other humans, that's just nonsense

Well, how do you measure for instance political connections? Just to name a quality that's hard to measure out. I've seen someone call the health minister at the time, and arrange him to come speak at some place within two weeks. When we went to a lecture of the same party, he approached our current PM Rutte who was still just party leader back then, and from their greeting I could tell they knew eachother. Rutte said something first and called him by his first name.

I don't have any mp's or ministers under speed dial, you? That guy can probably get more done than either of us as a result, and it would show in his salary if he were to become CEO of a large company for whom talking to the government directly is relevant.

Blablahb:
I don't have any mp's or ministers under speed dial, you?

i do. or at least my family does.

and the real question you should be asking is why are you making exactly the opposite argument that your own ancestors made in relation to pay and conditions ?

why are you arguing "downhill" ?

do you want us all to end up at the bottom ?

Blablahb:

Shivarage:
hehe, 6 pounds an hour is "a huge income" xP
If you adjusted the minimum wage for inflation since the 1980's, the minimum wage would be 20 an hour at the very least, thanks for printing new money thus devaluing and not inceasing pay, the average worker doesn't even have half of the spending power he did 30 years ago

At 40 hours a week it's 240 pounds a week and at least 960 pounds a month, or € 1150. That's not all that much less than the € 1460 which is the minimal monthly wage here.

20 pounds per hour would be at least 3200 pounds per month or 38400 a year. That is a huge income, almost double the median income.

And after income tax has been paid, you're left with about 800 from what you've been paid. If you've got rent or mortgage to pay, as well as gas, water and electricity bills to pay, then you can take that 800 and half it. Leaving you 400 a month, or about 100 a week to live on.

That is not a large sum of money. I've worked minimum wage jobs before, and trying to juggle bills, rent and food shopping is not fun. After I'd paid off all the necessities, I'd be lucky if I had enough to go out for a pint down the local pub. I didn't have enough money to save up for a nice HD tv, I didn't even have enough to afford an internet connection or TV license. Quite literally, I was living from paycheck to paycheck, and that is no way to live.

Of course, it's only getting worse now that the cost of living is going up, and even basic food items are getting more expensive to buy. I'm fortunate now that the job I'm working pays above minimum wage, otherwise I'd have no idea how to cope. That isn't hyperbole. That's me speaking from experience.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
And after income tax has been paid, you're left with about 800 from what you've been paid. If you've got rent or mortgage to pay, as well as gas, water and electricity bills to pay, then you can take that 800 and half it. Leaving you 400 a month, or about 100 a week to live on.

That 100 is more than I've made do with while studying actually. ^_^
It's these past two years I've had a bit more to spend because I'm eating up my pay from the army over 3 years, but before that I went with € 70 a week.

But I hadn't assumed there to be taxation of a minimum wage of any significant level. That must be different about the UK then. The first € 5000 is totally free of income tax and I had more or less assumed such a tax free sum to exist for the UK as well. The tax free sum leaves the effective tax rate for the minimum wage somewhere around 18-20% of their total income. Comparing: the top tariff is 52% and used to be 60%.

Sleekit:
and the real question you should be asking is why are you making exactly the opposite argument that your own ancestors made in relation to pay and conditions ?
why are you arguing "downhill" ?
do you want us all to end up at the bottom ?

Sorry, but how does this respond to my post? I was pointing out some principles behind payment of wages.

Blablahb:
Well, how do you measure for instance political connections? Just to name a quality that's hard to measure out. I've seen someone call the health minister at the time, and arrange him to come speak at some place within two weeks. When we went to a lecture of the same party, he approached our current PM Rutte who was still just party leader back then, and from their greeting I could tell they knew eachother. Rutte said something first and called him by his first name.

I don't have any mp's or ministers under speed dial, you? That guy can probably get more done than either of us as a result, and it would show in his salary if he were to become CEO of a large company for whom talking to the government directly is relevant.

I don't know about you, but frankly I not only believe that such "skills" shouldn't be worth anything, I think they should be made a criminal offense.

No, no; I'm not joking. I do, in fact, believe that cronyism is worthy enough of eradication that it's worthwhile to involve the legal system.

Also, I found this particularly lulzworthy, it's the response I got from Tesco CS after writing to them to indicate -politely and in a gentlemanly fashion of course- that they can shove it up their arsehole, and had specifically included an expression of my utter lack of desire to be sent a bullshit marketing formletter as a response:

Tesco:
Dear [person we obviously take for a credulous moron]

Thank you for your recent email.

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.

Thank you for taking to time to contact us about this matter.

Kind Regards

Some Cretinous Fuckwit
Tesco Customer Service

*stabby stabby stabby*

EDIT: I've just noticed that whichever barely-trained monkey took a shit on the "send" key didn't even bother to edit it to take account of the passage of time; it still refers to the jobcentre ad debacle as having happened "yesterday".

Magichead:
I don't know about you, but frankly I not only believe that such "skills" shouldn't be worth anything, I think they should be made a criminal offense.

Then you don't understand how big companies are run. They operate on a level where standardised procedures sometimes aren't enough, and the interests involved become big enough that the government of a country should care what's going on there.

I'd like to walk you through one very concrete example of an actual case where this was shown, in a riot fought around taxes here:

A value added tax (VAT) is paid over all purchases here.
Companies must register their purchases and VAT
This is because they also pay VAT over their sales, and it's only levied over sales, and to do both sales and purchases would be too heavy a tax burden.
So the paid VAT = VAT over sales minus VAT over purchases = VAT tax.
Companies ussually get money back from tax services because of that.
Very important: It is obligatory to have proof of the VAT returns you claim. Receipts must be kept for 5 years, and it used to be 7. For a small one-man business, this already means a bunch of ring binders full of receipts.

Now obviously for big companies, that's utterly impossible in terms of bookkeeping. They'd need to hire pretty expensive personel to keep track of entire archive buildings full of receipts.

So a trend has been to outsource such to India. You send your receipts, they process and keep them, ussually on microfilm or something. Works like a charm.

Except that administration can never be shown rapidly. Yet, the term for that is at most two weeks after the Taxation Service demands to see it. So the rules don't work well with the current reality.

Taxation services in 2008 decided to check the books thoroughly on a few large companies. Royal Dutch Shell, Raet and Ernst&Young to name a few examples. Failing to shown their receipts they'd face paying all of it back and a fine on top of that. Yet, assuming none had committed fraud, they'd be looking at paybacks of tens of millions of euros that taxation services wasn't entitled to, a lengty protest procedure which involved proving the validity of the VAT returns again, and only then getting all of that money back.

So basically they'd be going through a lot of fuss and lose a lot of money, for no gain on the end of the taxation services.

It's not like the companies were unwilling to pay taxes, they'd gladly cooperate, but the Taxation Service in turn only thought in terms of procedure, and not in terms of gain in the end (which would be nil). It's a classical misunderstanding where both people want the same (pay the correct amount of taxes) but still manage to have a dispute.

The rules were written for a guy running a store with a few ringbinders he can pull out and show a tax inspector on almost a moment's notice, and they were applied to companies who have millions and millions of small purchases each year and would require whole buildings to keep it all in.


So a few board members with political connections frantically began pulling political strings, and pretty soon the Taxation Service was told to take it easy. The investigation still occurred fully and any irregularities were checked for, but because of a little leniency in the term of showing the receipts, a lot of fuss and wasting of money on legal counsel and such was prevented.

If they'd have had CEO's and boards filled with nobodies, the response of politics would've been 'draw a number and join the queu', and they'd probably still be battling that investigation out in court, something which would cost both the government and those companies money and time that could be spent better.

So that's why you pay people for having political connections, and it's not a bad thing either.

Blablahb:

Magichead:
I don't know about you, but frankly I not only believe that such "skills" shouldn't be worth anything, I think they should be made a criminal offense.

Then you don't understand how big companies are run.

I'm afraid you're making a mistake all too common among free marketeers, by confusing level of knowledge with level of support. I know perfectly well how companies are run, how markets function, and how insidiously both have taken control of our ostensibly democratic political system; that is the very reason why I have adopted the positions I have.

Mechanisms exist through which corporations can contact political figures, and even those fall well short of what I would consider to be transparent and fair, the idea that we should not merely ignore or overlook the genuinely subversive interactions between politicos and businessmen but should encourage such activities is, frankly, ludicrous.

Further, the idea that the example you give is typical of the subjects and policies that this kind of clandestine cronyism revolves around is patently absurd. For every efficiency saving, there are dozens of tax evasions, frauds, corruptions of legal procedure, bribes, and other unsavoury incidents. The price is too high.

Magichead:
Further, the idea that the example you give is typical of the subjects and policies that this kind of clandestine cronyism revolves around is patently absurd. For every efficiency saving, there are dozens of tax evasions, frauds, corruptions of legal procedure, bribes, and other unsavoury incidents. The price is too high.

Prove it I'd say. Maybe in countries like Italy or Greece with a big culture and tradition of tax evasion, but efficient governments don't have that level of problems.

And suggesting throwing any form of communication between government and citizens out the window to combat it is silly. It's not even plausible doing that would fight corruption. Someone with a bribe doesn't pull a number and wait in line to be heard.

Actually there's evidence to the contrary. Bureaucracies in eastern Europe in socialist times used to be very rigid. The Czechs even nicknamed their country Absurdistan because the strange things the strict bureaucracy produced. Well, all those states aren't know as examples of good government, right? If anything their style of government helped bring them down by fatally hampering their economy.

Blablahb:

Magichead:
Further, the idea that the example you give is typical of the subjects and policies that this kind of clandestine cronyism revolves around is patently absurd. For every efficiency saving, there are dozens of tax evasions, frauds, corruptions of legal procedure, bribes, and other unsavoury incidents. The price is too high.

Prove it I'd say. Maybe in countries like Italy or Greece with a big culture and tradition of tax evasion, but efficient governments don't have that level of problems.

And suggesting throwing any form of communication between government and citizens out the window to combat it is silly. It's not even plausible doing that would fight corruption. Someone with a bribe doesn't pull a number and wait in line to be heard.

Actually there's evidence to the contrary. Bureaucracies in eastern Europe in socialist times used to be very rigid. The Czechs even nicknamed their country Absurdistan because the strange things the strict bureaucracy produced. Well, all those states aren't know as examples of good government, right? If anything their style of government helped bring them down by fatally hampering their economy.

I'd quite enjoy it if you can point to where I said that the solution to cronyism is "throwing any form of communication between government and citizens out the window". You're being really disingenuous here, actually, it is perfectly obvious, especially considering I made a point of mentioning the legitimate(though imperfect) methods which exist for such communication to take place in the post you're responding to and quoted, that my comments regarding criminality were regarding the examples you gave of businessmen using personal connections to gain undue access to politicians.

Prove it says you? Gladly, says I. Liam Fox. Vodaphone. Fortnham&Masons. The City. Cash for honours. Several episodes of the investigative show Dispatches over the last decade dealing with conflicts of interest in Parliament. The entire legislative process surrounding the Digital Economy Act. ATOS and their ties to the political establishment. Pick up a newspaper for crikey's sake, it's not even slightly difficult to observe the fallout from the rampant cronyism which infests our "efficient" governments.

I'm not quite sure where this little rant about socialist eastern Europe comes from; "not enamoured of unchecked capitalism" is not quite equivalent to "authoritarian socialist".

Magichead:
I'd quite enjoy it if you can point to where I said that the solution to cronyism is "throwing any form of communication between government and citizens out the window". You're being really disingenuous here

Hey, you're the one who said any form of influencing the government should be a crime. I'm not the one who equated all communication with the government with corruption.

Magichead:
Prove it says you? Gladly, says I. Liam Fox. Vodaphone. Fortnham&Masons. The City. Cash for honours. Several episodes of the investigative show Dispatches over the last decade dealing with conflicts of interest in Parliament. The entire legislative process surrounding the Digital Economy Act. ATOS and their ties to the political establishment. Pick up a newspaper for crikey's sake, it's not even slightly difficult to observe the fallout from the rampant cronyism which infests our "efficient" governments.

I'm not seeing any numbers regarding costs and gains to society there. You're just quoting a few anecdotes without even a footnote behind them.

You claimed the costs of people having and using political connections is always higher than any gains. That's a pretty specific burden of evidence. No need to dodge it.

Blablahb:
At 40 hours a week it's 240 pounds a week and at least 960 pounds a month, or € 1150. That's not all that much less than the € 1460 which is the minimal monthly wage here.

20 pounds per hour would be at least 3200 pounds per month or 38400 a year. That is a huge income, almost double the median income.

To be fair, when people have to depend on government handouts just to afford the necessities then that's how you know the minimum wage just isn't enough to live on (in my country a lot of them do)

and yes, 20 pounds or more an hour is what the value of the minimum wage was back in the 70's/80's, you don't think we are being screwed by businessmen wanting more and more profit for themselves?

Well, how do you measure for instance political connections? Just to name a quality that's hard to measure out. I've seen someone call the health minister at the time, and arrange him to come speak at some place within two weeks. When we went to a lecture of the same party, he approached our current PM Rutte who was still just party leader back then, and from their greeting I could tell they knew eachother. Rutte said something first and called him by his first name.

I don't have any mp's or ministers under speed dial, you? That guy can probably get more done than either of us as a result, and it would show in his salary if he were to become CEO of a large company for whom talking to the government directly is relevant.

Yeah... making connections isn't a "skill" you can learn, you just have to be born into the right social class or strike it very lucky, clearly you don't believe we should be progressing into a fair society and opportunity for everyone regardless of background... is it really better to degrade back to times of nepotism, skin colour, race and social class deciding a person's future? where does discrimination end once it starts?

Hmmm, I am an expat so see this all from afar.

But I do have some points and questions.

1. The compulsory part of the workfare scheme is only for one week as far as I am aware. One week doesn't seem like slavery to me and doesn't at all seem unreasonable. Especially since the benefits received are so - comparatively speaking (I live in Japan) - generous.

Brits are so privileged. You get universal free healthcare, housing benefit and unemployment benefit without time limits. In Japan you need to pay for medical insurance (even if you have no job) which covers only 70% of your bill; there is no housing benefit; and unemployment benefit lasts three months IF you have worked a year. You have to work another full year to be entitled to that three months again. Most other asian countries are similar or worse. This is what I mean by countries like Britain being VERY generous btw.

So it just seems to me that people describing one weeks compulsory work-experience "slavery" really do have a monumental entitlement complex, especially given how relatively generous the benefits received in the UK are.

2. Why are fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) wallowing on the dole? China currently has a massive demand for English teachers because their middle class - now the largest in the world - has a voracious appetite for English learning. Any graduate degree will do btw and you don't need a teaching license. Why aren't fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) looking beyond the UK and getting out, for example, to teach English in China? The employment situation sucks in the UK and that plum job in geology or marketing or the media is very unlikely without a 1st from an elite university, so why stay in the UK? Go on an adventure and do a job elsewhere for a few years until the situation improves.

Regards

Nightspore

Shivarage:
and yes, 20 pounds or more an hour is what the value of the minimum wage was back in the 70's/80's, you don't think we are being screwed by businessmen wanting more and more profit for themselves?

Uhm, no, facing as that wage is well over the median wage now, and recalculating it to that would instantly destroy the UK's economy and cause Greek levels of unemployment. After that, prices would skyrocket to compensate, and in the end people would be worse off.

Besides, the crises since those days have shown the wellfare pattern of the 70's was unsustainable. It was something that was possible temporarily by favourable economic conditions, a lack of a real Asian market, and incurring massive national debths.

Shivarage:
Yeah... making connections isn't a "skill" you can learn, you just have to be born into the right social class or strike it very lucky

So when you were born, you were taken to the Friends Office, where you were assigned friends and acquintances based on your parent's income, and you will be stuck with those the rest of your life? ^_^

Making connections is a skill. A pretty difficult one too.

Blablahb:
Uhm, no, facing as that wage is well over the median wage now, and recalculating it to that would instantly destroy the UK's economy and cause Greek levels of unemployment. After that, prices would skyrocket to compensate, and in the end people would be worse off.

Besides, the crises since those days have shown the wellfare pattern of the 70's was unsustainable. It was something that was possible temporarily by favourable economic conditions, a lack of a real Asian market, and incurring massive national debths.

... And you think what we have now is sustainable? the only reason for the crisis now is greed - back in the 70's and before, the highest tax bracket was in the 90%+ and the country propered, ever since Reagan the highest tax lowered and we took on that idea and is now 40% and look what happened - national debt had to be taken so the rich few could keep their hundreds of millions and just make the poor pay for it with their lives, it pays to be cruel and selfish

So when you were born, you were taken to the Friends Office, where you were assigned friends and acquintances based on your parent's income, and you will be stuck with those the rest of your life? ^_^

Making connections is a skill. A pretty difficult one too.

No, much easier just to choose a social club that excludes poor people and only make contact when they can make you more money

It is a skill in the same way playing a slot machine is a skill

Nightspore:
Hmmm, I am an expat so see this all from afar.

But I do have some points and questions.

1. The cumpulsory part of the workfare scheme is only for one week as far as I am aware. One week doesn't seem like slavery to me and doesn't at all seem unreasonable. Especially since the benefits received are so - comparatively speaking (I live in Japan) - generous.
...
So it just seems to me that people describing one weeks compulsory work-experience "slavery" really do have a monumental entitlement complex, especially given how relatively generous the benefits received in the UK are.

Actually, it is the reverse. If you leave the job placement after 1 week then you are cut off from your benefits. Although it is not in this article, there have been a lot of allegations that many Job Centres are telling people who have expressed an interest in work experience (even in passing) that if they do not take up such a scheme at all then they will be cut off from their benefits. That's forcing people into a scheme (by lying) and then forcing them to stay by removing their only income (sounds a tad like slavery, no?).

2. Why are fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) wallowing on the dole? China currently has a massive demand for English teachers because their middle class - now the largest in the world - has a voracious appetite for English learning. Any graduate degree will do btw and you don't need a teaching license. Why aren't fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) looking beyond the UK and getting out, for example, to teach English in China? The employment situation sucks in the UK and that plum job in geology or marketing or the media is very unlikely without a 1st from an elite university, so why stay in the UK? Go on an adventure and do a job elsewhere for a few years until the situation improves.

Why are they wallowing on the dole? 2.6 million unemployed young adults might have something to do with that, or the piddly growth of the private sector (that was totally going to make up for the massive public sector job cuts, honest). The UK is fairly screwed in terms of getting people into work - and ironically this new "work experience" scheme really is not helping (as many high-street chains are offering these placements instead of actual jobs, and cycling through the unemployed). When you have someone with large debts due to student loans/CDL loans for Masters-and-higher qualification, they often cannot legally leave the country until such are paid off; and living either on the minimum-wage (at 6.08 p/h) or the dole (53.45 p/w max), they simply cannot afford to look elsewhere to work even if they were legally able to.

Nightspore:

1. The compulsory part of the workfare scheme is only for one week as far as I am aware. One week doesn't seem like slavery to me and doesn't at all seem unreasonable. Especially since the benefits received are so - comparatively speaking (I live in Japan) - generous.

first of all, what is stopping the company from just stringing unpaid person by unpaid person and never employing anyone again?
This destroys jobs because it disinscentivizes the employer from paying anyone a living wage, they don't pay any money unless they have no other choice, they are in it for personal profit so that's how we get them to co-operate

Brits are so privileged. You get universal free healthcare, housing benefit and unemployment benefit without time limits. In Japan you need to pay for medical insurance (even if you have no job) which covers only 70% of your bill; there is no housing benefit; and unemployment benefit lasts three months IF you have worked a year. You have to work another full year to be entitled to that three months again. Most other asian countries are similar or worse. This is what I mean by countries like Britain being VERY generous btw.

We know, this is why we don't want to degrade our quality of life to mere "living to work" types our ancestors worked so hard to get out of, if we don't fight then all the sacrifices our grandparents and their parents made will have been in vain

So it just seems to me that people describing one weeks compulsory work-experience "slavery" really do have a monumental entitlement complex, especially given how relatively generous the benefits received in the UK are.

Again... that's an anti-capitalist idea, the businessmen will be disinscentivised from doing their jobs if we just let them walk all over us, part of their high pay is because of the risk they take and by letting them enslave us that risk is taken away but they still sloppily reward themselves as if they took a huge risk

2. Why are fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) wallowing on the dole? China currently has a massive demand for English teachers because their middle class - now the largest in the world - has a voracious appetite for English learning. Any graduate degree will do btw and you don't need a teaching license. Why aren't fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) looking beyond the UK and getting out, for example, to teach English in China? The employment situation sucks in the UK and that plum job in geology or marketing or the media is very unlikely without a 1st from an elite university, so why stay in the UK? Go on an adventure and do a job elsewhere for a few years until the situation improves.

Money... the dole barely pays for your weekly food, how do you expect them to be able to purchase a plane ticket and buy a place to live in china until they start a job? the reason the government appear to be so generous is because the prices here are much much higher
Plus they have families and friends here along with the fact that working in china wouldnt pay anything compared to the same job here but because they aren't immigrating here, china's money would be worthless when they come back to visit - do you really think they could afford to get back at all?

Shivarage:
... And you think what we have now is sustainable?

Since it works. And not a thousands attempt to create a scapegoat for the Credit Crisis is going to change that. It didn't work it was about the witches. Not when it was about the Freemasons. Not when it was about the Jews. And neither will it when about 'the bankers' or 'greed'. Shouting populist slogans never fixed anything.

Austerity politics however has. For one thing a country won't end up digging it's own financial grave because it loves wellfare of whatever level already present too much to make the necessary cuts. Just be glad the UK had the foresight of making some of the necessary changes in the 80's, and not end up like Spain, Greece or Italy, overspending untill it's too late, and suddenly every working solution is really going to hurt.

Blablahb:
Since it works. And not a thousands attempt to create a scapegoat for the Credit Crisis is going to change that. It didn't work it was about the witches. Not when it was about the Freemasons. Not when it was about the Jews. And neither will it when about 'the bankers' or 'greed'. Shouting populist slogans never fixed anything.

Austerity politics however has. For one thing a country won't end up digging it's own financial grave because it loves wellfare of whatever level already present too much to make the necessary cuts. Just be glad the UK had the foresight of making some of the necessary changes in the 80's, and not end up like Spain, Greece or Italy, overspending untill it's too late, and suddenly every working solution is really going to hurt.

It's not working though... hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and there are at least 2.5 million unemployed in the UK alone...

Sad thing is that the population who are just entering the real world after finishing school or whatever are now having to pay for a crisis they didn't cause and those who did are away with all the money as multi million/billionairres and no punishment

I suppose that's an acceptable sacrifice, right?

Edit: btw, greece Italy and Spain didnt get into the mess by overspending itself, they just gave too much money to their upper classes for being unproductive and let them off with too many tax exemptions, nothing to do with the population -just a government corrupted by businesses

Nightspore:

2. Why are fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) wallowing on the dole? China currently has a massive demand for English teachers because their middle class - now the largest in the world - has a voracious appetite for English learning. Any graduate degree will do btw and you don't need a teaching license. Why aren't fresh graduates (like Cait Reilly) looking beyond the UK and getting out, for example, to teach English in China? The employment situation sucks in the UK and that plum job in geology or marketing or the media is very unlikely without a 1st from an elite university, so why stay in the UK? Go on an adventure and do a job elsewhere for a few years until the situation improves.

They might not want to live in a foreign country and culture. They might have lover(s), friends, and family they do not want to leave. They might not want adventure. I don't consider any of the above sorts of reasons to be unreasonable - we should not have to put all considerations second to a requirement to work.

You have successfully gone abroad and I know others who have, but equally I know plenty who tried and found it a miserable experience for various reasons.

Shivarage:
It's not working though... hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and there are at least 2.5 million unemployed in the UK alone...

And that's proof of it not working... how? You might've noticed there's a pretty big recession going on. Unemployment rises.

The UK isn't doing bad, considering how big the financial industry is there, and that's one of the sectors hardest hit.

Shivarage:
Sad thing is that the population who are just entering the real world after finishing school or whatever are now having to pay for a crisis they didn't cause and those who did are away with all the money as multi million/billionairres and no punishment

Yes, it's all the fault of [fill in scapegoat], and if you killed them all, everything would magically fix itself.

Shivarage:
Edit: btw, greece Italy and Spain didnt get into the mess by overspending itself, they just gave too much money to their upper classes for being unproductive and let them off with too many tax exemptions, nothing to do with the population -just a government corrupted by businesses

Prove this silly assumption I'd say. Especially since there's proof to the contrary. Greece for instance has refused to plan for the pensioning of the babyboom generation, and has a very very low pension age (57 years, not counting early retirement options). What they also did was a high minimum wage that eliminated many jobs and created inequality between those in service to the government and those earning their own income, plus very strange bonuses, such as a pay bonus for showing up at work on time. Plus the culture of tax evasion that exists in all layers of society.

Blablahb:
[I'm alright Jack, fuck the rest...]

yep... not much point in continuing further, failure should be rewarded in your book and you suck up to rich dicks because you want to join them

Seen it all before...

OK, re my earlier post: I rechecked the facts. The confusion is that there are two different policies that seem conflated and confused in this debate. One is the work experience program and the other is an entirely different program for long-term unemployed who are not deemed to be doing enough to find work. Yeh, I was a little confused between the two.

I was talking about the work experience program and I now understand it better. So let me try again.

1. The work experience program.
You can quit within the first week if you don't like it and there will be no danger to your benefit claim. This is even more generous than I first imagined because it makes the scheme entirely voluntary.

Not slavery at all. What is all the fuss about, then?

Now it does seem that some jobcentre advisors apparently didn't explain that one could pull out within the first week with no loss of benefits. Such advisors should be punished and retrained for this. This is what Cait Reilly was going on about - the voluntary nature of the scheme was misleadingly or mistakenly presented as if it were compulsory - and that is a poor reflection on shoddy training and confused implementation among jobcentre staff rather than on the scheme itself.

It also seems the Tesco fiasco was a clerical error, again by jobcentre staff. (They are not looking like a very professional bunch, are they?)

It is also a bad reflection on the coalition government for not making sure this was implemented in a manner that avoided such appalling errors of implementation.

However, if properly and honestly implemented, is this scheme such a bad idea? I personally think not.

But that's all academic now because Cameron and his mates are so shockingly inept that they single-handedly wrecked a scheme that could have had some merit otherwise.

2. Slavery in the UK
The minute people start using the word "slavery" in relation to a voluntary work experience scheme in the context of the very generous British welfare state and within the context of modern British representative democracy with its clearly defined and protected human and civil rights is the minute I am left scratching my head in incredulity. Slavery? Really? In modern Britain?

In my opinion "slavery" is one of those words - like "Hitler" or "fascism" - that should only be used in certain contexts in which the potency and seriousness of such an expression is preserved. You have to exercise a bit of judgement of course, but when most of us think of slavery we think the sorts of conditions endured by slaves whipped and worked to death in Athenian silver mines in ancient Greece; of the intolerable conditions endured by the P.O.W slave labourers used to build the death bridge over the river Kwai in Burma; or the appalling injustice meted out to black slaves in Europe and North America.

To describe working voluntarily for a few weeks or a few months stacking shelves in "Pound-savers" or "Tescos" under the same term used to describe the examples above is seriously not on; you weaken your argument by being so hysterical imo.

3. Going to China
I gave this as an example only. There are many other options internationally for young British graduates.
Some of you gave reasonable objections to why some graduates may not want to leave the UK for China, but other objections seemed a little off. I shall list them.

1. Having student loans or bank loans does not prevent you leaving the country btw. I left the UK with both student loans and bank loans no problem.
2. Can't afford the plane fare. Many of those jobs pay your return air fare and set you up with accommodation etc.
3. When I left the UK back in 2001 I was able to secure a small loan from my bank by showing them that I had a guaranteed job offer in another country, but nonetheless needed some cash to pay set-up costs. That was with an existing student loan, a credit card, bank loan and very iffy credit rating. The job acceptance letter is what secured me that small loan. I think it was for 2,000 pounds back in 2001. I only really needed a 1,000 but was playing it safe.
4. The pay in China is actually VERY generous. Unqualified English teachers get generous holidays; many get free or subsidized accommodation; and pay is more than what a native Chinese university professor earns.

Fair enough, you have a sick father or mother and you don't wanna leave. Or you have just met the love of your life and you don't wanna leave. There are reasonable exceptions for preferring the UK on the dole to paid work in another country. But there are many graduates who just sit around moaning about how the government aren't doing enough when they should really be considering what they can do for themselves. Because if you are waiting for any of the UK parties to save you from the dole then you are in for a very long wait indeed. As such, I think a reasonable option is to leave the UK for a few years.

Imagine a CV that shows several years experience working in China compared to one that shows two years sitting idle on your arse in economically depressed Britain waiting for the government to sort out yer woes: now who would you hire?

Regards

Nightspore

Nightspore:
OK, re my earlier post: I rechecked the facts. The confusion is that there are two different policies that seem conflated and confused in this debate. One is the work experience program and the other is an entirely different program for long-term unemployed who are not deemed to be doing enough to find work. Yeh, I was a little confused between the two.

None of us are confused really, we just grew up in a different time

It also seems the Tesco fiasco was a clerical error, again by jobcentre staff. (They are not looking like a very professional bunch, are they?)

welcome to the real world, connections and selfish nepotism gets you the best job regardless of ability, you fuck up in a high place then you have many scapegoats at your disposal

It is also a bad reflection on the coalition government for not making sure this was implemented in a manner that avoided such appalling errors of implementation.

But that's all academic now because Cameron and his mates are so shockingly inept that they single-handedly wrecked a scheme that could have had some merit otherwise.

Clearly you don't know the UK government that well if you think it's a phenomenom that they fucked up

To describe working voluntarily for a few weeks or a few months stacking shelves in "Pound-savers" or "Tescos" under the same term used to describe the examples above is seriously not on; you weaken your argument by being so hysterical imo.

We have a modern view of the world, we are trying to make progress, it is bad enough that the banks were able to fuck up their jobs and still take millions in bonuses but the last thing we want is for the poor to be forced to pay for mistakes they had nothing to do with.

We want to make progress as a society as the cost of living here is so high and wages have stagnated while their value has died by at least 50% in the last 30 years as new money just keeps getting printed

What are we suffering to pay for if our country is so shite? just look at the norwegian countries that literally spend all their spare money from high taxes on prospering and social equality, they would never put up with it if they didn't have such a high quality of life

3. When I left the UK back in 2001 I was able to secure a small loan from my bank by showing them that I had a guaranteed job offer in another country, but nonetheless needed some cash to pay set-up costs. That was with an existing student loan, a credit card, bank loan and very iffy credit rating. The job acceptance letter is what secured me that small loan. I think it was for 2,000 pounds back in 2001. I only really needed a 1,000 but was playing it safe.
4. The pay in China is actually VERY generous. Unqualified English teachers get generous holidays; many get free or subsidized accommodation; and pay is more than what a native Chinese university professor earns.

Key phrase "back in 2001" times have greatly changed, my friend

if pay in china is so generous, how come you aren't an english teacher there? it's very easy to tell others what to do

Of course if you were in China then you couldn't access this website

Imagine a CV that shows several years experience working in China compared to one that shows two years sitting idle on your arse in economically depressed Britain waiting for the government to sort out yer woes: now who would you hire?

That depends on whether said employer is a complete douchebag you wouldn't want to work for anyway, they don't have a right to own sla... employees, if they really care then they will understand your predicament and why you made the choices you made - for example, you REALLY DID have someone special you just didn't want to leave behind?

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