Jobseekers can from today be forced into mandatory work programmes in a bid to cut the number of people claiming benefits. Jobcentre Plus advisers can refer anyone they feel requires “additional support”. Placements – which will include tasks such as maintenance work for housing residents, renovating and recycling old furniture – will last for four weeks. The schemes will be run by both the public and private sectors. Anyone refusing a placement will lose their benefits for at least three months.