Sunday, 6 September 2009

Payment by results

Some people watching Benefit Busters episode 2 may have been surprised by the way in which some of A4e's employees are paid for achieving job outcomes. I was even more surprised that the Shaw Trust do the same thing. The justification rests on the idea that a job - any job - is what it's all about, so put the pressure on staff to get them with financial incentives. But there are providers which don't have that system; and while I can't quote figures, I'm sure that their results are no worse than A4e's, and may well be better. The danger with payment by results, of course, were clearly seen in what happened in Hull, when casual agency jobs were claimed as permanent. Not only was the pressure there on the company to get the percentages up; it was on the individual to earn his bonus. And in all that, it's the client who gets forgotten.

Which political party is going to have the gumption to say that this whole business is a colossal waste of money? That all the cash which is going in private profit should be put into real skills training via colleges and specialist training companies? Perhaps when young people who think they have been guaranteed a job or training discover that it's not quite what they had in mind.


  1. Why do you insist on believing that A4e etc aren't doing what's wanted? They are a Trojan Horse for the removal of what's left of the welfare state (the one for poor people that is). Come back Workhouses, all is forgiven.

  2. Great post. Two main points:

    (1) Employee bonuses... I was very shocked too about the £300 monthly bonus for forcing people back in to work at the Shaw Trust - when they were getting £2000 per month anyway. That was even more of a shock.

    btw fully funded by the taxpayer!

    (2) Hit the nail on the head. The guaranteed job (work trial/unpaid) and training (think current New Deal courses without any training) is exactly what is going to happen.


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