Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A commentary on resistance to the UK’s Work Experience programme: Capitalism, exploitation and wage work

an article by Chris Grover and Linda Piggott (Lancaster University, England) published in Critical Social Policy Volume 33 Number 3 (August 2013)


In this commentary we focus upon resistance to the UK’s Work Experience programme that aims to help the young unemployed secure paid employment. The programme hit the news headlines in February 2012 when the group, Right to Work, forced concessions from the UK’s Coalition government that removed sanctions for Work Experience conscripts who left their placement after a week.

The paper critically engages with the Right to Work’s demand for ‘real jobs’, paying at least the minimum wage, suggesting that such demands are in danger of buttressing capitalist exploitation, rather than providing an alternative to it.

The paper argues a more radical approach is required if the role of policies, such as Work Experience, in the societalisation of capitalist accumulation is to be avoided.

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