Work ethics

CONTROVERSY is brewing over the government’s work experience programmes following the ruling that some of its back-to-work schemes amount to “forced labour”.

As has been shown, some people are being assigned pointless job placements, without any remuneration, as a condition of keeping their benefits.

The government says it wants to assist those who are serious about getting into work. But it also needs to show that it is ­serious about encouraging a work ethic and that surely includes instilling the principle that work has a value.

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If we are to give people – and particularly young people – a meaningful work experience, it should be through a proper paid job.

It does not need to be a permanent job, but one that genuinely gives the employee’s working life a kick-start. The sense of reward that comes, in part, from being paid for your efforts is fundamentally important to anyone’s motivation to strive to do more.

I am delighted that there is a growing number of businesses which not only recognise this, but are also prepared to give young people such an opportunity through a programme I’ve set up, called Hand Picked.

These employers have 
committed to giving a young person, who has struggled to find a job, three months’ paid employment and a chance to prove themselves.

At the end of the job they will be given a reference by the business owner and support in finding a permanent position.

For the young people who do not have stand-out CVs, it’s a way to increase their employment chances, while learning comprehensively what it means to have a job.


CR Smith

Gardeners Street