Young unemployed people in London will have to do voluntary work or lose benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions scheme will target 18 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for at least six months since leaving education

Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions

Young unemployed people in London will be forced to do unpaid work with charities or lose their benefits, employment minister Chris Grayling announced yesterday.

A pilot scheme will target 18 to 24-year-olds in the capital who have not had at least six months of paid employment since leaving education.

The scheme, which will start in the autumn, will involve 6,000 Londoners in 16 boroughs, who will complete 30 hours of work for 13 weeks.

Placements will be carried out in "a wide range of sectors including charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations", the Department for Work and Pensions said in a statement.

The statement said that all placements were "expressly required" to deliver clear benefits to the local community.

A tendering process to recruit providers for the scheme has begun, the DWP said. It did not say how much the scheme was expected to cost, but the department has received funding from the European Social Fund to support it. Nobody from the DWP was able to confirm how much ESF funding it had received.

In February, many charities withdrew from a series of government schemes that required people to do unpaid work or lose benefits.

But later in the year, campaigners against "workfare" schemes revealed that many large charities have continued to use the schemes to staff charity shops.

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