Community Work Placements are supposed to start next week. That's the "help" for the long-term unemployed who have been failed by the Work Programme; months of unpaid work "in the community". But there has been no announcement about which companies have won the contracts to organise this. It seems certain that the contracts have been awarded. G4S is advertising dozens of posts to do with CWP on the Indus Delta site. So why are the public not being told?
Could it be that the DWP wants to avoid the inevitable media outburst which would follow an announcement that those lucrative contracts had been given to G4S? After all, this is the company which defrauded the government (which means you and me) of millions over the tagging contracts. It is obvious that the tendering process for CWP was going on while G4S was still supposedly under investigation and suspended from bidding. Yet it was "cleared" just in time to be given another opportunity for oodles of dosh. Perhaps Serco, with a similar record, is also on the gravy train.
Community Work Placements could come to grief not just on the incompetence of its providers, but also on the lack of actual placements. We know that lots of voluntary organisations want nothing to do with it. CWP is a popular concept with the right, but even the commercial sector could find it attracting too much bad publicity for comfort.
We will just have to wait and see. Those of our readers who are referred to the programme will no doubt keep us informed.