Monday, 19 July 2010

That programme - and the Work Programme

Channel 4 has somewhat unwisely put up a page about "The Fairy Jobmother" entitled "Hayley Taylor's Top Tips on Gaining Employment". She gives seven fairly basic recommendations. Then there is a large number of comments, obviously carefully vetted, praising the show and asking for help for themselves or their relatives in finding work. Hayley answers only a couple of them; but it would be a full-time job in itself to answer all of them.

Turning to the Work Programme, there's an excellent article on the Public Finance site by Dan Finn, Professor of social inclusion at the University of Portsmouth. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in the subject. Yesterday's Observer has an article claiming that "Iain Duncan Smith's plans for a welfare revolution have run into trouble after the Treasury rejected a series of proposals put forward by his department." IDS's plans are based on the need to invest in reform of the benefits system, but Osborne is intent on slashing the bill for welfare benefits straight away. This comes after Serco's warning that the providers are not happy with plans for the WP contracts. Meanwhile, the "third sector" has been lobbying Chris Grayling to secure their involvement in the WP. It's reported that Grayling "had promised to consider some form of mechanism that could see prime contractors lose their contracts if they 'stuff the voluntary sector'."
I was half listening to The Daily Politics today and thought I heard it said that the government planned to create actual jobs to slot the unemployed into; it would be a refusal to take up such a job which would result in benefits being stopped. Did anyone else hear this?


  1. This ?

    Frank Field: “We do need to have a reserve army of jobs for people who cannot find a job, for people who are desperate to get a job, who are drowning in their failure to get a job.”

    But there was a warning for fathers unwilling to work. If you don’t take a Government job you lose all your benefits.

  2. That was it. But isn't it the first we've heard of these "Government jobs"?

  3. The Daily Politics screened a clip of a speech that Frank Field gave recently where he was scapegoating "shadowy shirking fathers". It's certainly the first and only time that I've heard of "Government jobs".

  4. Just to add; it's actually the commentator that interprets Frank Field's remark to mean "Government jobs". Still, it would be reasonable to interpret "reserve army of jobs" as such; reserve and army.

  5. So Cameron launches "The Big Society", in the process, suggesting that volunteers can keep establishments such as museums open longer. Guess this army of "Government jobs" will be zero pay replacing payed staff that will be made redundant as a result of cutbacks in public spending.

  6. Frank Fields Attlee memorial lecture


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