Right. So the current British government, faced with high deficits and a recession economy on top of its innate conservative lunacy about the poor and unemployed, is taking the austerity approach and laying off 490 000 public sector workers.
Now they're introducing a manual labour based workfare program to aid, in their rationale at least, the long-term unemployed in developing a work-ethic they are assumed to have lost. You know, because in Con-realty(tm) there are always jobs to be had, no matter the economic facts. This, also a time where they are looking at policy changes which might push the cost of (and therefore access to) post-secondary education into the stratosphere.
A recession economy and massive lay-offs means lots of long-term unemployment. Indeed we are in a new sort of economy where economic growth rates are seen to be increasingly independent of employment rates. This means that structural or normal unemployment rates are much higher, which also means many more long-term unemployed. You can see how this might spiral.
It's a new model workhouse.