Latest Public Sector News


Benefits concern for work experience scheme

The employment minister is meeting firms taking part in the Government’s controversial unpaid work experience programme today, after ongoing criticism from protestors who have branded it ‘forced labour’ and decisions by some companies to quit the scheme.

The work experience programme is aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed for more than three months but less than nine months. Participants have an unpaid placement for two to eight weeks, working 25 to 30 hours a week.

Young people can take part whilst retaining their jobseeker’s allowance, but stopping the placement short after more than a week could result in benefits being cancelled for two weeks.

The Department for Work and Pensions says between January 2011, when the scheme started, and the end of November 2011, 34,200 people took part, of whom 220 had their benefits docked.

It is this compulsion element that has worried some companies, with high-profile names like Burger King, Waterstones and Maplin having abandoned the scheme and others reviewing their involvement.

Grayling said that half of those who took part in the scheme found work, often with the company that placed them on work experience.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We are offering young jobseekers the opportunity to get invaluable work experience which plays a vital part in helping people get into the jobs market.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

National policies won’t fix local problems

National policies won’t fix local problems

Andrew Carter, the recently-appointed chief executive of Centre for Cities, argues that the new government will only succeed if it focuses on implementing policies that are adaptable to place-based more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Innovation in commissioning services

26/06/2017Innovation in commissioning services

Malcolm Harbour CBE, who wrote Parliament’s first report on innovatio... more >
Engaging the voluntary sector: how to make devolution a success

26/06/2017Engaging the voluntary sector: how to make devolution a success

Paul Winyard, senior policy officer at the National Council for Voluntary O... more >


HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital&rsq... more >

most read

the raven's daily blog

Councillors celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2017

19/06/2017Councillors celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2017

A number of local government leaders and figures have been named in the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list. The list recognises the achievements of people across a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

15/06/2017Challenges remain

As PSE went to press, we were days away from finding out which political party or parties would be leading the country following Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election for 8 June.  Whoever enters the door at No.10, irrelevant of their political colour, is faced with serious challenges, from social care to the NHS, housing to the economy, and, of course, the all-consuming and imminent Brexit negotiations which will have ramifications for generations to... read more >