# 34 (2013) Back To Work
It is a horrible fact of life that the less you have to do, the less you want to do. I am afflicted terribly by this problem. Once I’m busy and work is buzzing there is no stopping me but when I run out of projects to keep me inspired and enthusiastic it’s frightening how quickly I stagnate and lose motivation.
And this is one of the reasons I was interested in the Job Seekers Allowance vs Volunteer Work battle that’s been going on lately with out of work geology graduate Cat Reilly. My personal feeling is that as Job Seekers is a payment to keep the bills ticking over whilst you look for work (which is what wages do whilst most of us are waiting for life to happen) there should be some onus on the recipient to earn it. So my initial reaction was, like many people, cheeky sponger!
|Success in the courts but still out of work (source)|
However. That it is big multinational companies such as Poundland taking advantage of wage free staff through this scheme (particularly when the protesting party was already doing volunteer work far more important and useful) is a moot point. The ethics behind the Back To Work Scheme, that it gets people up, out and earning their ‘pay’, can’t be argued against as a good thing surely?
But there are so many other places where these people would be better placed. Either with needy organisations who survive off volunteer generosity such as charity shops where nearly all the staff are volunteers now, libraries or community projects that really benefit the local area. In return these organisations would give genuinely valid experience and a job reference.
The scheme should work, but as usual it’s been badly thought out with no real consideration for the people who use it. The job centre alone is a depressing and largely ineffective place in my experience and this scheme does nothing to improve its image. It stands to reason that it was put together by people with no grasp of what goes on in the real world. So much could have been avoided by a more considered approach.