Queen Put at Risk by Workfare Provider
At 2300 Saturday 2nd of June 2012, a coachload of Tired, untrained and ill equipped people left Bristol by coach for London and the Queens Jubilee.
At around 0240 they were dropped off by the side of a road with their Baggage and Tents and left stood for more than an hour along with 80 other people.
Having Had no sleep at 0415 these people were told that at 0500 they would be starting a 16 hour shift.
No these are not migrant workers, these are Security Staff for the Queen.
Ages ranging from 16 to 50 with one thing in common. Unpaid and on “work experience”.
Almost all of those that left Bristol last night were still not SIA qualified, Some had been told they would be paid for working and that they should “Sign Off” benefits before starting, which turned out to be a falsehood, mistake or lie, I cannot say which.
But at the very least I can say that Tomorrows People, the DWP Service provider, who handle these people, are Failing them Badly.
Tomorrows people Placed young claimants on an SIA style course with a company who Break DWP rules and Regulations on working Hours, Travel distance and Responsibility for Training and Equipment.
For some this will be the First experience of work, for some it is the First time they have been away from home, for all of them it will be one of the most depressing and soul destroying things they will have done.
So “Why do they do it?”
All those people have been promised Proper paid work at the Olympic Games with pay of up to £9000 for doing it.
Well a carrot like that to people who may not have worked in a long time if at all can make them do the most stupid things.
Tomorrows people Need to sort out their so called subcontractor.
The Organisors of the Jubilee need to vet their security subcontracters more carefully.
And the DWP need to make sure that All those promised paid work during the games are given it.
Hopefully none of the untrained security staff who have all been up for more than 12 hours so far will be called upon to protect the Queen, because they will be unable to do anything due to exhaustion.
Last night I drove to a campsite just off the M11 and collected 2 of the people let down by CPuk, who, it turns out organised (if thats the right word) this clusterfck of Work experience.
When I arrived close to 2300 hours They were stood in a field soaking wet, shivering with cold and close to exhaustion. One was dressed only in Shirt and slacks as she had not been provided with any waterproof coat, save for a lightweight poncho and a hi vis vest for the jubilee event.
Some muppet had put up their tents with doors open and the insides were soaked along with their possessions, even if they had decided to stay they would have to have sleep in wet tents and sleeping bags.
At 0900 Sunday morning they had been given a paper bag with a Sandwich, Muffin and packet of crisps in and told ” dont eat that now its your lunch”. A paper bag, in heavy rain, 3 hours before lunchtime with no way of keeping it dry.
One of them had been refused use of toilet facilities and hadnt been able to P for almost 24 hours, she had been forced to change into ” uniform” for the event in the open as there were no changing facilities with other male staff refusing to give her privacy, ” I had to change next to a van in public and a bloody red bus stopped almost right in front of me”..
This is a young woman , First time in london, first time away overnight without a member of her family trying to comply with DWP rules.
Well as far as I am concerned she did herself proud. While others had given up and left in the morning , she stuck it through til after the Queen had passed and the crowd dispersed before asking for help.
She has taken a couple of photos and has agreed to send them to me when she wakes for posting.
She slept almost all the way back to Bristol last night, and when she was helped into her home byan elder brother she was obviously finding it hard to walk.
I had only had to drive up and back and I felt like crap when I got into my home 20 minutes later.
As an additional comment I hope that Prince Philip gets better soon.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/04/jubilee-pageant-unemployed for Press cover.
It is a shame however that contrary to Close Protection uk statement that training had been completed, I know that some staff had not yet been trained in First Aid ( a requirement) or taught how to safely restrain people without causing injury ( a requirement).
To say that this was to weed out those unsuitable for working in the security industry is pure BS. Close Protection uk wanted free labour.