Monday, 13 September 2010

Jobs, failures and volunteers

Some snippets of news today. First, A4e has a new Group Chief Executive, replacing Bob Martin. He is Andrew Dutton, who is currently Executive Director for A4e’s International Business. He has been with A4e since 2007, coming from a medical services business and, before that, from Vertex, one of the biggest outsourcing companies.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee has reported on the Pathways to Work programme. You may remember that the committee grilled A4e's Steve Marsland and Reed's Chris Melvin on why results had been so poor. Now the Chair, Margaret Hodge MP, says that Pathways "was not well implemented and has had limited effect." The committee's report said "the performance by the mainly private sector providers has been universally poor in relation to their main target group, those people who are required to go on the Pathways programme". The providers are accused of cherry-picking clients but still only reaching a third of their target figure. The saddest aspect of this story is in the last paragraph: "Employment minister Chris Grayling said: 'This report is hugely disappointing and just underlines how misplaced many of the previous Government's labour policies were. They just never got to grips with the challenges of getting people back to work.'" A political point, rather than facing the real implications. And this will have no impact on future contracts, so A4e and the others who failed needn't worry.
We've mentioned once or twice that A4e advertises for volunteer "mentors" to work with the unemployed. Now CDG, a rival provider, has gone a step further. The Indus Delta site reports that the company wants "an expert volunteer corps" of people with the necessary skills and experience to "complement the work that welfare to work providers such as CDG and the government undertake." Has CDG stolen A4e's thunder? "CDG is a dynamic charity that seeks to help those who are unemployed find and sustain meaningful employment" says their website. But like other such third sector organisations they have contracts from the DWP in the same market as the private companies. It is hard to see how large numbers of volunteers can be recruited to assist these companies in making money.


  1. The "black economy"? theres no such thing as the whole system is based on dog eat dog.

  2. There is no such thing as a "benifit scrounger".

  3. I disagree with both these comments (even if spelt correctly!). If we didn't have taxpayers we wouldn't have benefits. And there are people, a small minority, who have no intention of working and play the system.

  4. Of course there are such people.

    The truth however is not so clear cut. These people exist in ALL walks of life and we don't marginlise are penalise all who participate in those walks of life for the misdeeds of the few. If we did it would be tumbleweed during pmq's.

    The system is dog eat dog and to be fair to 'scroungers' you can't blame them for taking what they feel they have a claim to with all the other shennigans that go on. People feel the need to survive.


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