Work experience or just unpaid slave labour?
Work experience, or voluntary work, is often a good way of not only gaining new skills and making your CV look better, which in turn helps to impress an employer, but it also helps those who have been unemployed a long time to get back into the routine of working again.
It is also a way of getting themselves noticed for their skills and hard work to others who maybe able to help them get their 'foot in the door' as they say, with a firm that provides a similar kind of service to what they have had experience in under such schemes. What better way to get a job in a shop, for example, if they have good work experience working in a retail environment for a period of time first? However although a good idea not everyone likes the idea of working everyday for no pay.
If such work experience resulted in a job offer at the end of it then of course that would be a great incentive for taking part in such schemes but without such an incentive then those taking part in such a work experience scheme will of course naturally feel that they are being used as cheap unpaid workers. This situation is made all the more worse if job seekers are forced to take part in such things or face benefit cuts, (sanctions), if they refuse.
When such work experience schemes first started many retail shop chains, businesses and the such like were persuaded to take part but when shouts of slave labour and legal challenges with regard to people's individual rights came along employers began to realise that their reputation was being put on the line regarding the claims that they were exploiting such unemployed people as they were seen as very rich business men and women that was making even more profit from unpaid workers and was not providing the chance of training or even a chance of a full time paid job at the end of it.
As this situation became more and more highlighted many realised that taking part in such schemes was becoming 'poisonous' to their reputation and so as a result they stopped taking part to avoid such problems.
In conclusion therefore only pre-employment training within a business with a 'training allowance' wage, until such training is complete, is the only practical way forward for both firms to avoid the risk of such problems and for the unemployed trainees to gain worthwhile skills with hopefully a job at the end of it all.
Doing things this way is nothing new. That was how people got a job back in the 1960's and 1970's even though they had no prior training in, or experience of, the work involved but not only did it work it worked very well and it also reduced the skills gap problem.