Burger King leaves work experience scheme for jobless

A Burger King restaurant Burger King said it withdrew from the scheme following "recent concerns expressed by the public"

Related Stories

Fast-food chain Burger King has become the latest firm to pull out of the government's controversial work experience scheme for jobless people.

It said it had registered to take on youngsters at its Slough headquarters but withdrew due to "public concerns".

Critics say the project is a form of "slave labour" because people work for nothing, while keeping their benefits.

The government said those campaigning against it should think carefully about the consequences of their actions.

Burger King said it registered for the voluntary Get Britain Working programme six weeks ago, but had not recruited anyone since.

"Given the recent concerns expressed by the public we have decided to no longer have any involvement in the programme," it said in a statement.

'Some commitment'

Participants continue to receive jobseeker's allowance (JSA) and may receive a contribution to travel or childcare costs.

But anyone who cuts a placement short after more than a week may have their benefits stopped for two weeks.

Start Quote

It's not slave labour or anything like that”

End Quote George Eustice Conservative MP

Tesco has offered to pay people on the scheme and asked ministers to remove the threat of benefit sanctions.

Rival supermarket Sainsbury's said the small number of its stores that took part in the scheme had since ceased participation, as it was not company policy.

Fashion chain Matalan said it had suspended its involvement pending a review and book seller Waterstones and electrical retailer Maplin have already left.

But Employment Minister Chris Grayling defended the scheme, saying half of those who joined had found a job, often with the company that placed them on work experience.

"All of the evidence we can see is that this does better than simply leaving people on JSA, it actually helps more young people get into work.

"I don't accept that the scale of the campaign is very large, it's a small number of activists who are deliberately targeting these companies and trying to destabilise them," he said.

Conservative MP George Eustice said companies considering leaving the scheme should not bow to public pressure.

"The truth is that the first step to getting a job and getting back into the jobs market is having some work experience and learning to work and turning up for work on time and being part of a relied on team," he said.

"And so I think this scheme's incredibly important. It's only for a few weeks. It's not slave labour or anything like that and I think that if it's to work... you do need them to show some commitment."

The programme is aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds unemployed for more than three months, but less than nine.

Participants have an unpaid placement for two to eight weeks, working 25 to 30 hours a week.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 604.


    2.7 unemployed, 400k job vacancies, you do the maths. Rather than bullying the soft target why not ask what this "Government" is doing to create jobs!

  • rate this

    Comment number 603.

    Let's be honest, this Conservative led coalition are one fag paper away from bring back the work house. To The Dark Lord Dave Cameron we all know what you stand for.. But Dave don't stop with just slave labour, why not make the children of the poor work for the children of the rich they will only need to be payed in B&B, David Cameron.....you are PRICELESS

  • rate this

    Comment number 602.

    I don't know of a single person who is on benefits and either can work due to disability or doesn't want to work due to work shortage.
    I think political media propaganda into the nature of the 'workshy' tells more about a right-wing agenda rather than an infrastructural actuality.

    As long as we have a Tory government we will have greater unemployment, this has been true for over 60 years..

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    I think you're politically motivated and therefore disingenuous when it comes to being objective to the true nature of most people on benefits!"

    Ditto to you. People in glass houses and all that....

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.

    I'm in my thirties doing unpaid work for an electrical contractor for a couple of days a week and the experience is well-worth the time I put in. Plus I have a reference at the end of it, which is almost as important as experience when applying for work as a subcontractor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    Chris Grayling
    "I don't accept that the scale of the campaign is very large, it's a small number of activists who are deliberately targeting these companies and trying to destabilise them,"

    Burger King
    "Given the recent concerns expressed by the public we have decided to no longer have any involvement in the programme,"

    Govt argument flame-grilled by the looks of things.

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    The Tories have historically been known to destroy the poor and working class of this country while protecting the interests of the elite. The Government along with the right winged supporters of this policy are very judgemental and will always attack the poor and vulnerable in society because it is easy for them to do since they are not living in their shoes.

    Tories= Spawns of Satan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 597.

    Another excellent scheme killed off by left wingers and various do-gooders. These schemes are not, nor were they ever meant to be, permanant jobs. They are purely for work experience only. Your chance of getting a proper job are greatly improved than if you just sat on your backside in front of the tv forever and a day. Ask any employer if you don't beleive me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 596.

    quite often there is not a job available but one created for work placement, what is the answer, let those who are work shy sit on their butts being paid for by the rest of us because they claim to have no skills for work, or get them out at work placement so they have job experience, too may youngsters are bought up thinking they are entitled to endless welfare without effort on their part

  • rate this

    Comment number 595.


    I haven't seen anyone make that claim, but it is the case for many people. Just because some claiming unemployment benefits are happy to stay in that situation and abuse the system, doesn't mean they all are.


    Define 'some'.

    I think you're politically motivated and therefore disingenuous when it comes to being objective to the true nature of most people on benefits!

  • rate this

    Comment number 594.

    I think if the government had kept it to charities there wouldn't be much of an issue, but with private companies your left to wonder if they need the workers why don't they advertise to fill that position?

    Also how would you feel about working for the equivalent of £1.30 an hour? where someone is doing the same job as you is earning 6 TIMES as much????

  • rate this

    Comment number 593.

    As soon as the media pick up on the fact that the guidance was changed secretly (they even kept the version number the same), this will be all over the headlines. Someone found the orginal document in the Google cache - ha ha he he!

  • rate this

    Comment number 592.

    I've worked at a local jobcentre sending ET's & YTS's on unpaid work experience & employers will exploit them for cheap labour.I've seen it first hand.1 trick is to tell the 'trainee' there maybe a job at the end of it & if they work hard they may be taken on.In reality there isn't a job at the end, the employer uses any excuse they want & get another one to take their place & tell them the same

  • rate this

    Comment number 591.


    Not Really - I work extremely hard all week to provide for my family so slouching around for a few hours reading the news articles cant hurt..

    All these 100's of thousands of people should be getting the benefits and priorty in the job queue not the wasters..

  • rate this

    Comment number 590.

    If we're always going to have supermarkets and other retail, then why not automatically give everyone a turn at doing 8 weeks.

    But let's differentiate between the individual and the greater picture of macro economics. Know the difference

  • rate this

    Comment number 589.

    They are not working for nothing they are working for their benefit money.
    It seems to me to be more about getting people into the routine of work (which many have never had) than exploitation .It's difficult going from being able to get up when you want to being on "the clock"
    These are abled bodied NEETs, would you rather they sat at home playing Xbox?

  • rate this

    Comment number 588.

    566. I tend to agree that if people are going to have big families they need to work to support them but then why are we busy allowing the super rich to hoard wealth in tax havens. This wealth should go in part to creating jobs you claim you want people to do. Cameron is not only out of touch clearly he is in his job for a fight which is not the qualities we expect of a PM.

  • rate this

    Comment number 587.

    If Tesco 'employ' a 16yr old on this scheme for the designated 25hrs/week Tesco saves the £92 this person would receive if actually employed for the same time period. So if they 'employ' 1000 in this age group each week for a year it'll save them £4.78m per year (£7.9m per annum if the people are all aged over 21.) Perhaps this shows just how 'generous' Tesco were being?

  • rate this

    Comment number 586.


    The liberal left on this HYS would have everyone believe that 100% of all people on JSA are fine upstanding individuals ready & willing to find work!"

    And the right would have everyone believe all employers are wonderful cuddly people who would never play the system for their own gain, are not greedy, and provide all possible amenity for their staff.

    Both are equally wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 585.

    Marty79. You are an idiot and one ignorant fool. There are plenty of well educated and well experienced people who have lost everything at no fault of their own, that now rely on JSA just to survive. Stop generalising all those on benefits as criminals and spongers. You truly are a fool. You need to stop watching Jeremy Kyle, and educate yourself on the issue of economics and unemployment.


Page 16 of 46


More UK stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.