Wednesday, 8 February 2012

One in seven

There was an interesting item on the BBC news today about the Work Programme.  Mark Easton went to Liverpool, to A4e's office there, after meeting Cheryl, a 21-year-old who has been out of work for a year and is willing to do anything.  He follows her as she goes to A4e for the first time.  And then we learn that only one in seven of their clients there have found work after seven months.  That's just over 14%.  And it must be around the "dead weight" figure, of those who would have found work anyway.  We meet Dave, middle-aged, long-term unemployed and very worried.  It's a buyer's market out there, with only the prospect of shift work at the Jacobs biscuit factory if he's lucky.  A4e's Steve Wright, looking nervous, says that it's a competitive market, and he can't control the labour market.  Back to Cheryl, who is doing the rounds with her CV.  But employers say they get hundreds of them.  Finally, A4e admits that they can't create jobs.  (What about those "hidden jobs" Emma Harrison is always on about?)

This wasn't a hatchet job on A4e.  But it's good to see the BBC looking carefully at the Work Programme and sympathetically at the unemployed.


  1. I was surprised to see Buckinghamshire boy and Tory "Minister for Employment" Chris Grayling MP, telling the unemployed that they should be made to do US-style workfare for their measly £65 per week OR lose their entitlement.

    I read in the national press [Daily Mirror], that 10 years ago, that the same Chris Grayling helped run a firm called Charterhouse, which went bust owing over £32,000. The then HM Customs & Excise forced it into liquidation at the High Court over non-payment of VAT!

    Mr Grayling pleads that his involvement was, "a hideous mistake." I'd suggest a worse mistake is to throw stones at some of the poorest members of society, when you live in a big glass house!

  2. I didn't like the way the man in the room, was talking to that guy about getting a job in Jacobs, The way he was talked down too, Clean hands, clean clothes.. the man going for that (probably non existant) job, probably felt bad, because it was on film, and it gave the impression he smelled or was dirty. That is the attitude of them. He sounded upset when he was spoken too. I had this as well but it was in a class of 20 in a very hot summer in a room with no ventilation, the tutor said there is an odour.. then this woman proceded to lecture 50 year old men about boil washing clothes.

    A4e can only create jobs for a4e staff.

  3. Smell and personal hygiene, a difficult one and how to deal with it when someone quite clearly has a personal problem. This will almost certainly prevent them finding work. Perhaps incorporate it in one of their workshops?

  4. But to do it on film, now partially labelling him as it. These schemes are supposed to boost confidence, Imagine if the employer for jacobs saw that the impression is bad for that man.

    These schemes are supposed to help the unemployed, but if you have been unemployed for years told you are lazy, workshy scum, your self respect falls, andone of the signs/symptoms of severe depression is lack of hygiene. But they have never had any training in mental health problems. And if you look at the unemployed they are beset with lots of them self esteem issues, alcoholism, drug taking and so on.. all have a basis on good mental health. If these companies put a person with possibly undiagnosed, unnoticed mental health problems and something causes them to "flip" out. I think there could be more humanity shown have a few people who are trained in noticing real problems.

    I know some of the smaller charities do have a person with a qualification just so they can tailor their training to the mental health of the clients. But they only see a person as a number and a tick box. It isnt individual its one size fits all which is wrong.

    But the comments made about the job seekers when i was there if you have 20 men in a hot room with no ventilation of course there will be an odour. Its natural (especially if you have been there since 9 am til 3 pm.)

  5. Its a sad fact many unemployed people go to a4e or best or ingeus, and expect to bullied, insulted, ridiculed, laughed at, these places do nothing for a persons confidence at all, being unemployed is not pleasent but it becomes easier with time we all adapt. the stress comes from having to attend ridiculous schemes like the work programme and be "interveiwed" by a "work coach" translation be bullied into taking any job no matter how unsuitable it is. to be lied to to be deceived, its this that causes stress for many unemployed people not being unemployed in itself.

  6. I agree, and being talked down too,by people who are younger than you, who have no knowledge of your personal problems, or the local problems. That doesnt help.


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