Monday, 21 May 2012

Slippery figures for the Work Programme

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.


  1. Every time I hear Cameron mention the WP, I wince! Does he, as well as Greyling and Smith know the above failures? Of course they do! They present the WP as an ideological holy grail even though it was not fit for purpose from week one!

    If I were a betting man, I'd put hard cash on the table that the WP will be 'tweaked' and rebranded in the same way that New Deal transformed itself and became ever so 'flexible'!

    In essence, what we are seeing is that between one fifth and one quarter have found work under the WP. However, many of these positions are temp ones. I wonder how many are zero hour and commission only jobs as well?

    As for Ms Taylor. I almost feel sorry for the poor lass after reading her blog. We have to assume she wrote it as she signed it with her name, and a kiss no less!

    If this were a website for a cake decorator for example, it may be pernickety to be critical of spelling mistakes. A cake decorator is not paid to have great grammar. However, some will judge a business or service on the quality of the face its owner presents to the world. If one cannot be bothered to pay attention to detail on the website, will the cakes be any better? There is little excuse not to be able to have properly spelt text on a website or CV. Word processors /office suites are affordable and even FREE! For a person such as Ms Taylor, there is NO excuse whatsoever! She is supposedly an expert in sourcing jobseekers work on both sides of the Atlantic. And yet, she presents such awfully presented text on a site that could be seen by thousands? Would she find a CV presented in such a way (such as not capitalising the letters in USA) acceptable? She IS the expert after all!!!!

  2. Stunned,although I have never seen this show,but having lived in the USA for decades I am amazed anybody would watch this tripe.

  3. I always thought the dead weight figure was something like 28%. If that is the case then the 22% is disturbing. It would mean that the scheme has a wore effect on unemployment than if it never existed.

    I type casually for the most part, I type how I speak, speak how I type. Sometimes I do disguise my writing but I can type formally when I have need.

  4. As for Hayley's blog...patronising in the extreme. Leave aside the misspellings and poor grammar.
    A fine example of the WP at its worst.



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