Virgin Give The Game Away: Unpaid Worker Schemes Bring Corporate And Commercial Opportunities

I am not surprised that Branson’s Virgin brand is also cashing in on the explosion of unpaid labour. Despite Branson’s hip image, his company never paid anything more than average wages and their was criticism of the way his companies operated when he was recruited as the supporters of either the Major or Blair administrations. I also remember reading a book by the artist, who designed the collage, mixed typeface covers of the albums of the Sex Pistols and the other Punk bands. He was very unimpressed with Brandon, particularly by his informal use of his first name when they met, despite not knowing him. The punk illustrator said that he thought ‘I’m ‘Mr’ (whatever the chap’s name was: I’ve forgotten) to you’. This shows that the Pistols were right: never trust a hippy.

the void

traineeships Virgin Media are the latest company to sacrifice their public image to benefit from unpaid workers on Government schemes.  According to the company, employing young people on Traineeships and paying them nothing can bring “corporate and commercial opportunities”.

The shocking admission comes in a leaflet advertising the Traineeship programme (pdf), which can involve up to six months work without pay.  They have been designed to ‘prepare’ young people for an ‘apprenticeship’ at below the minimum wage and participants are often not even offered one of these at the end of the scheme.  Instead they are given an ‘exit interview’ to pat them on the heads for all their unpaid work.

As pointed out by @boycottworkfare, unpaid work on Traineeships is not yet mandatory, although no doubt many Jobcentre advisors will try and pretend they are.  They may soon be right.  George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that…

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