DWP ‘make work pay’ claims ‘reeks of hypocrisy’, says SNP MP

The SNP has said that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rhetoric to make work pay “reeks of hypocrisy,” after figures revealed that the department has taken on over 27,000 people for unpaid work placements since 2011 – with no record of how many have then been offered full or part-time employment after the placement has ended.

In response to a Written Parliamentary Question from SNP MP Alan Brown over the number of people who have taken on unpaid work with the department, the DWP said, that since 2011, it has taken on 27,775 unpaid staff – with no information on whether or not they had gone on to full time employment or let go.

In Alan Brown MP’s own constituency of Kilmarnock & Loudoun, the DWP has taken on 55 unpaid staff.

Alan Brown MP said: “The figures detailing the scale of unpaid placements within the DWP, and the lack of any records as to how many of those placements have led to full or part-time employment, is staggering and reeks of hypocrisy.

“The grim reality is that whilst the DWP trumpet on about getting people into paid work, they have simultaneously taken on more than 27,000 people for unpaid placements – with not a single bit of paper to show how many have then been offered paid opportunities.

“The DWP repeatedly talk about making work pay and how work is the best route of poverty, yet the very same department is reaping the benefits of unpaid labour.

“If the UK government is serious about getting people into work and out of poverty, then they must get their own house in order first, and ensure that there is not simply a revolving door of unpaid staff, with no prospect or documents of future employment.”


Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employees of her Department based in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency have undertaken unpaid work periods in each financial year since 2010; and what the average length of those unpaid work periods was. (128345) Tabled on: 19 February 2018

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

1. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employees of her Department have undertaken unpaid work periods in each financial year since 2010; and what the average length of an unpaid work period in her Department is. (128080)
Tabled on: 19 February 2018

2. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have undertaken unpaid work periods within her Department since 2010 and have not subsequently been offered a full-time work position. (128082)
Tabled on: 19 February 2018

Answer:

Kit Malthouse: Below is a breakdown by financial year showing the number of unemployed people who have undertaken unpaid work experience in DWP since 2011 (these are not classed as employees). We do not hold data prior to 2011. Placements are usually expected to last between 4-6 weeks but can be less or more – with a maximum of 8 weeks.

2011-2012 = 834
2012-2013 = 1077
2013-2014 = 4066
2014-2015 = 7356
2015-2016 = 7428
2016-2017 = 4344
2017-2018 (to end of Jan 2018) = 2671

Below is a breakdown by financial year showing the number of unemployed people In Kilmarnock who have undertaken an unpaid work experience in DWP since 2011 (these are not classed as employees) . We do not hold data prior to 2011. Placements are usually expected to last between 4-6 weeks but can be less or more – with a maximum of 8 weeks.

2011-2012 = 4
2012-2013 = 2
2013-2014 = 0
2014-2015 = 8
2015-2016 = 17
2016-2017 = 13
2017-2018 (to end of Jan 18) = 11

We do not hold data on the number of people who have subsequently secured employment with DWP following the work experience placement.

The answer was submitted on 22 Feb 2018 at 17:07.