Jobless graduates, beware: unless you do three months of unpaid work you will be prohibited from receiving benefits.
In spite of the Caitlin Reilly case
, which saw the geology graduate working in Poundland in what she dubbed ‘slave labour’, a new pilot scheme will see thousands of Londoners aged 18-24 working for three months before they are able to apply for benefits.
Unless they can prove that they have already had a significant job, thousands of young and employed Londoners will be expected to spend 30 hours a week on ‘community benefit’ work experience.
They will have to work in places such as charity shops and care homes before they are given access to their £56-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance, in a bid to prepare them for the jobs market.
Despite the fact that university students are frequently known to roll out of bed at midday and arrive (yawning) at their lectures in their tracksuits – or even pyjamas! – the reasons behind the scheme could be considered somewhat disparaging, with sources saying that it was designed to instil basic disciplines such as getting up in the morning and looking smart.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling insisted the scheme would prepare young people for the world of work and improve their career prospects. He said: “A something-for-nothing culture does no one any favours. It makes those who are doing the right thing cynical. And for those who head straight into the welfare state, it sets them out in life on precisely the wrong footing.”
BoJo, on a rare break from dangling on zip wires, voiced his agreement: “I would much rather people had the fun and the experience of work placements and the confidence that comes with it than being on benefits and doing nothing and seeing their self-esteem fall away,” the London Mayor said.
Here is a suitably quick guide on how to get a job fast to avoid having to work unpaid for three months and rely on benefits:
• Searching online is the way forward: it’s quick and easy, and you can even type in your post code and keywords tailored to your preferences, so that search results are more specific.
Sign up for email alerts on top notch job websites
, as this saves you the time and effort of sifting through jobs yourself.
Ask family and friends if they know of any jobs going – or ask them to ask around. Alternatively, get in touch with former employers or colleagues from any work experience you might have done, as they may have graduate jobs
up for grabs.