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A trial scheme which has shown very good results is to be rolled out throughout the nation starting this month which would affect up to 50,000 jobless people.

Date: (11 June 2012)    |    

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The scheme known as ‘two strikes and you are out’ would force the jobless benefit claimants to work without wages if they do not turn up for two interviews or drop out of work programme.
They shall have to work up to 30 hours a week or their benefits would be stripped out of them.
The Job Centre staff has been given the power to force anyone claiming unemployment benefits to work mandatorily in the work programme to get them the feel of working nine to five.
But for those who seem to be lacking the will to search for work could be referred, to the scheme at any stage, even on the first day of their claim.
The unpaid work is normally with the charities or some kind of community service for example helping in maintenance of the parks, working in local sports club or doing maintenance for housing residents.
Refusing to participate or failing to attend interview after consenting would have their £67.50-a-week unemployment benefit stopped for a minimum of three months.
The trial run has shown that half of those claiming unemployment benefits would rather lose their handouts than do a spell of unpaid work.
Figures have shown that 20 per cent of those ordered to take part in four-week community projects had stopped seeking benefits at once and another 30 per cent were stripped of their benefits when they did not to turn up.
It is believed that many of those who stop claiming benefits were working in the black economy and would rather lose their welfare than give up their undeclared earnings.
The scheme, which is delivered by a range of organisations from the private, voluntary and third sector, is already underway in London, the East and Yorkshire & the Humber.
In a major expansion of the scheme, it will now be rolled out throughout the country.
It will cost around £5million because officials have to arrange work placements and monitor claimants’ attendance. However, ministers believe in the long haul it will produce big savings to Britain’s £100billion benefits.
The mandatory work activity scheme is different to the unpaid work experience for private firms, which critics described it as ‘slave labour’.
Employment minister Chris Grayling, will be unveiling the policy this week and aims at doubling the figure. Grayling said that the jobseeker would benefit from getting some experience of the work environment and it would bring a habit of work routine and induce work culture in them.