Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

Is it all gloom and doom for the Work Programme, or is Mark Lovell right to be cheerful?

On 1 December the Financial Times said that the WP was "hanging by a thread". The numbers of people out of work is forecast to rise, and Ian Mulheirn, director of the Social Market Foundation think-tank, said, "The combination of rising caseloads, falling labour demand, and the shift to 100 per cent outcome-based funding for providers is dire news for Work Programme viability." Mulheirn has warned before that WP providers could ask for a tax-payer bail-out if they can't make money. The director of another think-tank, Inclusion, says that "providers will be able to place an average of 7 per cent fewer people in work over the next five years than previously estimated." A spokesman for the DWP was determinedly upbeat: "even in these tough times there are jobs out there, with Jobcentre Plus taking 10,000 vacancies every working day."

Mark Lovell takes issue with this pessimism in a piece on A4e's website the next day. He is hampered by the fact that he is not supposed to publish outcome figures, but says that more than 7,000 people have got jobs via A4e since the launch of the WP. He says that, "Sustainment is higher than we forecast so far". We don't know, of course, what proportion of starts this represents. But he says that the money is coming in.


  1. "Mulheirn has warned before that WP providers could ask for a tax-payer bail-out if they can't make money"

    If this were not so serious you'd laugh 'til you threw up!

    A BAIL OUT???!!!??? For companies that are supposed to do what the public sector JCP does? For companies that perform poorly, miss their overall targets, do worse than JCP did in the past and perform badly according to OFSTED? For companies that have had serious issues with overcrowding, poor facilities and badly trained staff (and in many cases, still do)?

    This would be truly shocking if it materialises. People are jumping up and down when banks were bailed out by the govt, i.e. taxpayer.

    I do hope that if / when the WP providers come with their begging bowls, there is at least as much outrage!

  2. Note the operative word "says"! "but says that more than 7,000 people have got jobs via A4e since the launch of the WP. And if genuine why is it not reflected in the unemployment figures which continue to rise!

  3. Simone, there's no reason to doubt the figure. 7,000 is a drop in the ocean. But how many of those would have got jobs anyway?

  4. "But how many of those would have got jobs anyway?"

    A fair question to ask. Where I live for example, there is a brand new job shop as part of a major redevelopment. There is an organisation delivering Learn Direct courses and buisiness start up seminars. There are also non-profit orgs offering genunine volunteering opps.

    All are no doubt more cost effective and deliverable than the local WP providers in my area.

    I'm glad the DWP spokesman said 10,000 VACANCIES taken every day and not JOBS. As most of us here know, there can be a BIG difference between a vacancy and a genuine job.

  5. So many questions need to be answered.

    Are they paid jobs, or volunteer jobs? How long
    will these jobs last, 13 weeks, 6 months? How many are christmas jobs. Are they full time or part time

    7,000 out of how many, 7,000 out of 10,000 thats good, but 7,000 out of 100,000 not so good. Where are the jobs, what geographical location are they in. Are they mostly in the south or south west or the north.

  6. Another huge increase in unemployment today, 100000, half being in the public sector. Can A4e really expect to make a considerable contribution to reducing these horrendous figures. Rhetorical question.

  7. I was made redundant in 2002, and I have been unemployed since I finished my studies over four years ago. I did BTEC Interior Design 3D and A-Level Art, and passed with flying colours. I enjoyed my work placement, and the world was my oyster, untill the recession destroyed the economy, I've been working as a part-time cleaner in the evenings since 2006. Thanks to several SFA PROGRAMMES FOR THE UNEMPLOYED, I now posses a FLT licence, CCTV Training, but no licence, since I can't afford to pay the SIA, several numerical and literal tests, an out of date EDL licence, and at A4e, a threat from a 17 year old ex-offender, who knows where I live (Not even 18, and should not have been there, in the first instance).
    I am unemployed, not a criminal. I sign on every two weeks, where I, find myself face to face, with more ex-offenders. I shall move down to London, and I shall not put a foot in a Jobcentre, or become unemployed, for as long as I live (pensions will be abolished by the time I'm 65). If five years at college won't get me a job, the First Aid certificate, (taken alongside the CCTV operator course), is sure to grant me full time employment.
    If not, I'll join the gypsies...


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