The ERSA (the trade body of the w2w providers) has put out a statement warning that the Work Programme is not likely to meet its targets. Hardly a surprise. But what's interesting is the way in which the various media reports of this spin the figures.
Take the version in the Financial Times. They report the ERSA saying that on average 22% of starters "have been placed into jobs". Round the country the rate ranges from 18% to 26%. But the signs are that a lot of the jobs are temporary. The Recruiter website reports the range but headlines it as "nearly a quarter". The Telegraph's version is that "a fifth" "have found jobs". But on Radio 4's PM programme Kirsty McHugh of the ERSA said it was "approaching one in four". Okay, you can say that it's a minor point. But none of the reports point out that more than that number would be expected to have found work without any intervention - the dead weight figure.
Radio 4 asked McHugh if the prime contractors were going to need to go to government for financial help; she dismissed the idea. But one small contractor, Groundwork Southwest, has gone into administration, and several charities have pulled out. The Work Programme isn't working. Even those who find work are likely to be in temporary or part-time jobs. Better than nothing for the clients, but useless to the providers.
For a little light relief, take a look at the latest post on Hayley Taylor's website and ask yourself if you would like this "Fairy Jobmother" to write your CV.