Sunday, 17 June 2012

Springboard Charity Swindles Young Unemployed

Liverpool Jet Services, now Liverpool in Work, recently posted an ‘opportunity’ for Hospitality Training on their vacancies board. The opportunity is provided by the charity Springboard, who help “young, unemployed and disadvantaged people into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism”. One of the ways they do this is by-way-of a 3-week Summer School composed of pre-employment training followed by a 2-week work placement. This work placement is unpaid, the justification being [sic]:

“No unfortunately not however as this is a great prospects for both student and employer to establish whether each party is happy at the organisation this is a fantastic opportunity to make the role permanent then it will become paid.”

Springboard’s argument will, no doubt, be the pre-employment training and practical experience is sufficient reward, but as @Fight_Workfare pointed out, “part of ‘work experience’ is ‘wage experience’”.

The hospitality industry is well known for its high turnover, which is 'officially' 23%, (but can be as high as 60%) so they clearly have a recruitment problem. For charitable trust Springboard to tackle that recruitment problem by enticing “young, unemployed and disadvantaged people” with the possibility of making, as they so eloquently put it, “the role permanent then it will become paid” is disingenuous, misleading and is comparable to the Workfare schemes that currently feed off the unemployed.

The Summer School takes place across eight cities between the 2nd – 20th July, with the work-placement taking place between the 9th – 20th July. How handy that a recruitment drive by the hospitality industry coincides with it’s peak season. What better bonanza than an influx of new recruits for 2 weeks, and they don’t have to pay them anything except travel expenses?

A little more digging reveals Springboard’s Chairman is Stephen Moss, CBE. Stephen runs a nasty little company called Grosvenor Securities who provide, amongst other things, bailiff services. These medieval shitbags are sent all over the UK to collect unpaid utility bills, Council Tax and remove "unauthorised occupants" —specifically travellers— from commercial buildings or land. They also collect debts for “many household names, from pay-day lending companies to high-street retailers”. That pay-day lending company is Wonga have been in the news recently for sending out aggressive letters to people who can’t afford to pay the stomach-churning 4000% APR on poverty-driven loans offered by the scumbag sharks. The company chasing up Wonga’s terrified customers is none other than Grosvenor Legal, part of Grosvenor Securities.

So, on the one hand we’ve got Stephen Moss CBE doing a supposedly ‘philanthropic’ turn overseeing an unpaid placement scam at Springboard; and on the other, he’s chasing down the poor and happily displacing the travelling community via his Grosvenor Securities empire.

Springboard, although a charitable trust helping “young, unemployed and disadvantaged people into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism”, are quick to complement their nicey-nicey-helping-the-disadvantaged attitude with deference to the industry that has a big problem with staffing. But for two weeks in July, that staffing problem will be a distant worry as potentially 1000’s of unpaid workers swell the ranks of hotels, restaurants & resorts across the UK.

Peel back the charitable veneer, just slightly, and you see the extent and interconnectivity with which the have-nots are being constantly exploited. How much more do we have to take before we finally plunge our working-class teeth into the hand that is constantly tightening its grip around our throats?

Liverpool Recruitment for the Summer School takes place at:

The Liner Hotel
Lord Nelson Street
L3 5QB
on Monday 18th June
from 10am to 1pm.

Find out more about unpaid work schemes, experience & placements at Boycott Workfare.

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