I was listening to the news earlier about people who collect benefits being told to volunteer and it reminded me of a few months I spent on the jam roll when I'd just finished college and felt like I needed a break after a busy few weeks shovelling chips and skidding on fat.
I was soon bored and feeling a weight on society (which I was) so I asked at the job centre if there were any courses I could do. They looked at me stupid but I was soon enrolled on a "conservation" course - basically dredging the shite out of ponds. I turned up bright and early on the following Monday and had to sit and wait for a couple of hours until the rest of the doleys had dragged themselves in - they too looked at me stupid as they'd been told to be there or have their benefits stopped and I think I was the only person in the course's history to actually not be forced in.
Then someone took me to one side and said that the conservation work wasn't really conservation work that I had in mind - lots of cheery hard work that was good for the soul - but instead, lots of naughty boys sat in a shed farting and nagging for bacon sandwiches, so would I like to something in the office instead? I was soon designing a ridiculously complicated sensory garden to be planted in their site of north-facing contaminated land outside the portacabin.
I soon realised that not only were courses in portacabins pretty naff, they also didn't leave any time for finding jobs, which was a bit of a problem for me.
Luckily I had a severe bout of chicken pox, followed by the flu, followed by Xmas, by which time I'd managed to wangle myself a proper job and therefore qualified for the course's "Shit, someone actually found work whilst enrolled with us!" award and got a nice few hundred quid to buy myself a crappy Lada.
I presume that my sensory garden plan is still in a cupboard somewhere and I hope that the boys have moved on from farting and bacon sandwiches (although if they have, it won't be due to ambitions founded in the course), but bare this in mind, David Cameron - bacon and ticking target boxes does not a workforce make...