Statement: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ends Mandatory Work Activity (MWA)

published on 30 Mar 2016

We have seen first-hand the positive benefits people gain from being in work, volunteering or taking part in a work-experience placement – becoming part of a community where you are building your confidence, job skills, and discovering new things about yourself.

Some of our local centres have accepted people on Mandatory Work Activity (MWA), which are short-term placements from independent welfare-to-work providers. We took part in this scheme because we have always found that people benefit from gaining work experience (whether on MWA or a standard short term work-experience placement) by securing a recent reference or by gaining confidence - and they also help their local community.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided that as of 31 March 2016, the MWA provision came to an end. They state: “This is because the programmes and services we offer going forward must meet the needs of claimants in a labour market which has changed significantly since MWA was introduced”.

The DWP has confirmed that there will be no replacement for MWA. This means that our centres no longer receive placement referrals from work providers after 31 March 2016. For anyone whose placement has already started, they will be able to complete it as normal, however, no new placements will start after 31 March.

Anyone wanting to volunteer with our centres is encouraged to contact them directly or visit our website here

Please email  or visit The Salvation Army website ( to find out more about support services.

Leaders or representatives of Scotland’s five main political parties accepted invitations to visit some of the church and charity's frontline services that deal with the issues in the films. A service user or a staff member asked questions on how the party would respond to the issue.

The five films, which have been produced by The Salvation Army’s video production unit, are being released on social media this month - and will feature the parties’ responses to the issues of homelessness, older people’s care, drug and alcohol misuse, employability, and debt.

Today sees the launch of The Salvation Army’s film on homelessness, with a new film released on our media channels every Friday in the run up to the Holyrood vote on Thursday May 5.

You can view the films by visiting our website here

Although each film will only feature one party at a time, the webpage will also tell you what the other parties have to say on the issue. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Roberts, The Salvation Army's Assistant to the Secretary for Scotland, said: “We felt it was important for the politicians to see how issues such as homelessness, alcohol misuse, and unemployment affect people, and what The Salvation Army is doing to help. We were also keen for them to respond to questions from our frontline staff and from the people who use our services.

“We hope the films will give viewers a greater understanding of the issues as they think about how to vote in May.”       

One Salvation Army service user who got to put a question to a visiting politician was Shaun Murphy. Shaun has been receiving support from The Salvation Army since 2007, starting out at a drug and alcohol treatment centre in Greenock before being supported in his own flat by the Greenock Floating Support Service.

Shaun said: “I'm pleased to be able to take part in this kind of thing with The Salvation Army because I wouldn't be alive without the support they've given me over the years.

“I came up to Scotland from Lincoln because I was homeless and I felt I couldn’t get the support I needed in England.

“So I came up to Edinburgh and moved into The Salvation Army’s Pleasance Lifehouse. They recommended a Salvation Army treatment programme in Greenock so I moved out here in 2007. 

“I was with other men who were trying to quit drinking and that inspired me to get better. The treatment in Greenock helped me so much that I haven’t lifted a drink since. I’m nine years in recovery and feel so much better. 

“The Salvation Army helped me secure a property on the High Street and gave me all kinds of practical support to help me get on my feet. I don’t need as much support now but they are always there to help if I need it. 

“My mum has even moved up to Greenock as well. She moved up in 2013 and we have made it our home. I love the place because the people are so friendly and the scenery is stunning. Now we both attend worship service at the local Salvation Army church.”