5 November 2013

Coming back to work after a family break in paradise might not sound like a great feeling but, for me, it’s one of the best. I love being in Manchester and getting stuck in with the rest of my team, especially as so much is going on at the UKFast campus at the moment.

It’s reminded me how working gives you confidence and builds a stronger sense of identity.

Reading about the criticism the government’s ‘back to work’ scheme is receiving after a graduate took them to court, it looks entirely negative. Is no one questioning the value of the positives the scheme has to offer? The young lady who brought the case against them believed that working for ‘nothing’ at Poundland was a breach of her human rights. Is this not a bit of a leap?

Surely, this kind of scheme is essential to get people up and out, interacting with each other and contributing to our society. Besides, they can’t argue they are not being paid as the job seeker allowance is a form of salary, albeit small.

If you sit at home, your confidence levels slowly deplete. Employment is falling in Britain, yet there are around 1 million young people not in education, employment or training! I read about a study that had surveyed a thousand of them and found that 40% felt like they weren’t part of society! It is so much better for morale to be out there doing something than stuck at home.

Can you imagine the difference a million people could make if everyone got up on Monday morning and went to work doing something that benefitted others? The whole country would be lifted.

Personally, I think the government should extend the back to work scheme further to make sure people can choose the area they want to help in. This way, it wouldn’t just be good for corporations but great for society.

We’ve really got an opportunity here to improve areas of Britain that are slumping.

If you saw the grand prix in Abu Dhabi, you’ll have noticed how well maintained the place was – from the roads to the flowerbeds. Couldn’t we do this for Britain, getting the unemployed out of the house, boosting their own wellbeing by contributing to society and making a difference?

I did some hard graft growing up and not always doing jobs I necessarily wanted to do but it gave me an understanding of what I did and didn’t want to do later in life.

So, what do you think? Is voluntary work for jobseekers exploitation or a chance to boost confidence and make the great in Britain even greater?

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