In the interests of fairness and letting everyone decide for themselves on the rights and wrongs of the workfare programme, we are publishing the following statement from Tomorrow’s People and we await with interest a statement from Close Security UK, which we will also publish.
Posted on Tomorrow’s People website on June 6, 2012
Abi Levitt, Director of Development said:
“What happened to our clients on their arrival in London was totally unacceptable and is contrary to the Tomorrow’s People way of operating. We are very concerned at Close Protection UK’s lack of care for our clients and lack of attention to their safety and wellbeing. We are urgently reviewing our involvement with Close Protection UK (CPUK).
“CPUK has been working with us in Plymouth and Bristol for the past six months. They have been involved in pre-employment training specifically for the security industry and supporting some of our clients through their NVQ qualification. Those clients need practical work experience and when CPUK offered the opportunity for stewarding work at the Jubilee event, our Employment Advisers notified appropriate people on the programme. None of these clients was obliged to take part and each has done so of their own choice.”
CPUK provided each person taking part with work boots and clothing, return transport to Plymouth and Bristol, all meals and accommodation at a fully equipped camp site. Most importantly, applications have been made for each participant to receive an SIA security card – essential for those working in the security and events industries. CPUK is covering the £255 pp cost for the SIA card, which is valid for three years. This collaboration with CPUK means that some, if not all of those participating in the Jubilee work will be selected for a paid contract at the London Olympics.
For the clients over 25 taking part, it is not in their interest to be paid for short term work if they are receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), because they would have to sign off the benefit when they take on a position and back on again immediately after. The clients taking part who were under 25 are part of the modern apprenticeship programme and therefore came off benefit to take up these employed positions as they are being paid the standard apprenticeship wage.
With regard to the specific incident, we have been told by CPUK that there was a timing error which meant the coaches transporting clients from the South West arrived in central London two hours early – at 3am rather than 5am. The coach company insisted that participants disembark and there was no one present from CPUK to deal with the volunteers until they arrived at 5am as arranged. Until then there was no shelter or toilet facilities available.
We are working with our staff to review of all aspects of the situation and to offer support to the clients involved. We are also in dialogue with CPUK to ensure that if our clients participate in any future work experience with the company that all measures are taken to guarantee their safety and security.
Notes to editors
Tomorrow’s People is a national employment charity which since 1984 has helped nearly 450,000 long-term unemployed people on their journey back to work. The charity helps those furthest from work to get and keep a job. Up until the recent economic down-turn 90% of the people we helped to find work were still there after three months, and 76% were still employed after a year.
Tomorrow’s People believes strongly in the value of work experience as a way of helping people to build the skills, confidence and CV they need to get into the workplace and we work in partnership with businesses around the country who help us prepare our clients for the world of work through work experience.
Director of Development Services
020 7832 2851 or 07789 688544
0207 947 5313 or 07917 682675