26 Feb '12, 4am

UK govt under fire over "slave labour" job scheme

UK govt under fire over "slave labour" job scheme

LONDON: Britain's government was accused this week of introducing "slave labour" through a scheme that can see unemployed youngsters lose their benefits if they quit a work experience placement. The ten-month-old voluntary programme, part of Prime Minister David Cameron's welfare reforms, is intended to help the record number of jobless youths improve their CVs and find work in a difficult economic climate. But opponents say people who quit halfway through their placements are docked two weeks unemployment benefits as punishment -- and that the scheme allows major corporations to exploit a large pool of free labour. The resulting furore has seen a number of big-name backers distance themselves from the scheme, including Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer, which was targeted by protests last weekend. Campaigners say the 34,200 youths who have taken part in the scheme...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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