Plymouth report on Jubilee job row to be kept secret
THE results of a probe into allegations that jobseekers from Plymouth were poorly treated at the Jubilee celebrations are being kept secret.
A group of 60 apprentices and jobless people was bussed from Plymouth by the security firm Close Protection UK (CPUK) to work on events for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June.
They were dropped off beside the Thames at 3am and some complained that they had to spend several hours sheltering under London Bridge before starting work.
At least two trainees walked off the job, claiming that they had been ill-treated. The group was on a training course, organised by the charity Tomorrow's People as part of the Government's Welfare to Work programme.
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Now Chris Grayling, the Minister for Employment, has declined to share an official report into the incident. A spokeswoman at the Department for Work and Pensions told The Herald yesterday that the report was commercially confidential.
She said: "The investigation found that the majority of Work Programme participants reported that their involvement was a positive experience.
"DWP recognises that a small minority of participants were dissatisfied with the facilities provided and that there are lessons to be learned."
She said a strengthened complaints process had been brought in for individuals on the Work Programme.
Immediately after the episode in June, Plymouth City Council leader Councillor Tudor Evans demanded an explanation from Tomorrow's People and met its director of development to find out what had happened.
He branded the failure to publish the inquiry results as "unacceptable".
He said: "I was assured that the Government would be conducting a full investigation into this incident and that we did not need to commission our own scrutiny review.
"We expected this would provide us with a full understanding of the events and the actions that would be taken as a result.
"Now the minister has told us he won't share it.
"This secrecy is unacceptable. This is an important issue involving the safety of our young people.
"We need to ensure that young jobseekers are not exploited, particularly by a publicly funded body, and to have confidence that this won't happen again.
"We can't have that confidence until we see that report, even if any confidential information needs to be removed first.
"I have written to the Minister asking him to reconsider providing us with the report or explain fully why he won't share it with us."