Lincoln youths to protest over ‘unfair’ work schemes

Young people in Lincoln plan to campaign against the Get Britain Working initiative this weekend by protesting outside local stores involved.

They are questioning the youth unemployment section of the government scheme, which gives 18-24-year-olds an unpaid four-week placement at a store, but can still claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Jobseeker’s Allowance entails under 24s to £53.45 per week. Employers taking part in the scheme are not obliged to cover expenses such as travel.

By disagreeing to take part in the scheme, or finish the placements early, youths could lose the allowance.

The scheme has come under fire nationally, with chains such as Burger King, Superdrug, and Sainsbury’s scrapping it, and Tesco vowing to pay youths on work experience programmes.

Protesters in Lincoln will gather outside retailers such as Topshop, Primark, HMV and McDonald’s to pass on their message.

The protest is being organised by Lincoln Youth Fight for Jobs, with the support of Lincoln & District Trades Union Council and the Midlands TUC.

‘Forced to work for free’

Co-organiser Dave Tompkins of Lincoln Youth Fight for Jobs said: “These schemes force young unemployed people to work for free, and undercut the jobs and wages of retail workers.

“Instead of slave labour workfare, the government should invest in proper jobs on decent pay for young people.

“We have already seen Tesco and other multi-national companies pull out of workfare due to public anger.

“We will continue campaigning until the whole scheme is scrapped and the government invests in decent jobs and education to provide young people with a future.”

As well as Tompkins, Lincoln Youth Fight for Jobs member Alex Moore will also be organising the event.

Moore recently undertook a 330 mile march from Jarrow to London to mark the anniversary to the original Jarrow march and protest against youth unemployment.

Protesters will be meeting at the Stonebow on Saturday, March 3 at midday, then “tour” the all the chains currently partaking in the scheme in the city.

For more information, contact Dave Tompkins on on 07882 677 001.