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Work experience schemes: Help us find out the reality for jobseekers

Are you a jobseeker who’s been put on one of the government’s work experience schemes? We’re keen to hear more of your stories to help us understand the reality for those on benefits

In the wake of Wednesday’s u-turn by the government on sanctions for people who dropped out of the voluntary Work Experience scheme, we’ve picked up on some interesting reports through Twitter.

Some jobseekers have claimed that after turning down a voluntary placement, they have very quickly been put on the Mandatory Work Activity programme – a compulsory scheme which requires jobseekers to work up to 30 hours a week for up to eight weeks. Refusal to participate can lead to benefits being suspended for up to three months for a first breach, and six months thereafter.

The programme cannot be used as a punishment, but can be given to any jobseeker unemployed for less than a year where their advisor feels it is appropriate.

I’ve managed to speak to a few people who say this has happened to them, but we’d like to see if it’s happened to more people.

If that’s you – or someone you know – please get in touch, either by email ( , phone (0203 3533 293) or if you’re happy for it to be seen publicly, @jamesrbuk on Twitter.

Discretion is assured –we won’t use your name or any identifying details about you unless you’re happy for us to do so. You can also fill out this form to tell us more:

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