Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Success and failure

A Yorkshire publication, the Yorkshire Business Insider, reports that A4e's Emma Harrison is one of only ten women on its list of the 100 top working millionaires in the region. Hardly a surprise.

But there are more rumblings of discontent from the voluntary and other organisations which signed up to be sub-contractors in the Work Programme. Or haven't yet signed up, in some cases, where promised contracts have yet to be signed. Housing Associations were among the organisations which fell for the idea that they could earn money from the WP (although their tenants might think it was none of their business) but they are now finding that they are getting no referrals. An angry article on the Guardian's website reports that, "One housing association, Harvest Housing, was hoping for a small amount of work from A4E. But guess what? They got nothing and have chosen a different path." The writer, John Little, is less than complimentary about Emma Harrison and A4e. Patrick Butler, a regular Guardian columnist, writes on two reports by the voluntary sector and asks, "What is going wrong? Some primes claim they haven't been referred any "hard-to-reach" clients by jobcentres. It is said high numbers of appeals against work capability assessment tests have blocked the flow of these clients into the system. Others believe primes, overwhelmed by higher than expected numbers of jobless clients coming on to the books, are simply 'parking' vulnerable jobseekers and focusing solely on clients who are 'job ready' and easy to place." Butler cites the Social Market Foundation's concerns, back in August, that the WP was "at risk of financial collapse" and suggests that the most vulnerable are being pushed to the back of the queue.

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