Unpaid Jubilee Stewards Investigation

There should be an immediate investigation into claims that jobseekers from Plymouth were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and then abandoned in the middle of the night.

Leader of Plymouth City Council demands an explanation about treatment of Plymouth jobseekers over Jubilee event
Tudor Evans, has on Wednesday 6th June written to Abi Levitt, Director of Development at Tomorrow's People demanding an explanation for the poor treatment of Plymouth jobseekers over three days of work experience organised as part of the Government's Welfare to Work programme.

Councillor Tudor Evans said: I am appalled to hear that a Department of Work and Pensions-approved provider of work experience can treat unemployed people from Plymouth in this way. 

He's asking for an urgent face-to-face meeting in Plymouth to clarify the following issues: 

  • The number of Plymouth people involved over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend
  • The supervisory arrangements for CPUK* Welfare arrangements for Tomorrow's People clients
  • The rationale for selecting work experience clients and use of apprenticeships
  • Tomorrow's People ongoing work programme in Plymouth
  • Ensuring logistical arrangements for clients are properly thought through and executed for any future events, including the Olympics

"We have made the issue of unemployment and better training for young people a top priority for us as a Council. But we need to be satisfied that those organisations being paid to provide work experience and apprenticeships are up to the job."

Abi Levitt, Director of Development for Tomorrow's People told Heart: 

"What happened to our clients on their arrival in London was totally unacceptable and is contrary to the Tomorrow's People way of operating.  We are very concerned at Close Protection UK?s lack of care for our clients and lack of attention to their safety and wellbeing. We are urgently reviewing our involvement with Close Protection UK (CPUK).

"CPUK has been working with us in Plymouth and Bristol for the past six months.  They have been involved in pre-employment training specifically for the security industry and supporting some of our clients through their NVQ qualification.  Those clients need practical work experience and when CPUK offered the opportunity for stewarding work at the Jubilee event, our Employment Advisers notified appropriate people on the programme. None of these clients was obliged to take part and each has done so of their own choice.?

"CPUK provided each person taking part with work boots and clothing, return transport to Plymouth and Bristol, all meals and accommodation at a fully equipped camp site.

"With regard to the specific incident, we have been told by CPUK that there was a timing error which meant the coaches transporting clients from the South West arrived in central London two hours early - at 3am rather than 5am.  The coach company insisted that participants disembark and there was no one present from CPUK to deal with the volunteers until they arrived at 5am as arranged.  Until then there was no shelter or toilet facilities available.

"We are working with our staff to review of all aspects of the situation and to offer support to the clients involved.  We are also in dialogue with CPUK to ensure that if our clients participate in any future work experience with the company that all measures are taken to guarantee their safety and security."

We have tried to get a statement from CPUK so far no one from the company has been in contact.