“We didn’t go on the programme on principle”
An audience member questioned Hurd on her personal experience of barriers to volunteering, especially for jobseekers.
Hurd agreed, saying that there was enough evidence that there was a big problem in job centres: “I’ve heard it so often it’s got to be true,” he said. “There is a big problem in some job centres where fear spreads that if you volunteer, you could lose some benefits.
“The Department for Work and Pensions has issued guidance but this is a cultural thing. It needs to go way beyond guidance and look at changing the culture within job centres.”