Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Another one bites the dust

Another charity has had to pull out of the Work Programme, according to an article on the Guardian website.  The Creative Society was set up in 2009 and was successful in finding work for young people.  Under the WP it became part of A4e's supply chain.  A4e liked their training programme so much that they "used it as a model of good practice".  But now they've had to quit because they weren't getting enough referrals to make it sustainable.  The work has dried up.  The writer, Martin Bright, talks about a "massive, unwieldy private-sector bureaucracy".  The charity has survived by working outside the WP, accessing European Social Fund money.  But Bright points out the "terrible irony" that charities like his are already having to mop up after the WP, with the Jobcentres sending them people who have finished the Work Programme.
It was widely predicted that this would happen, but the Work Programme contracts contain no way of ensuring that the sub-contractors get referrals.
But let's not be despondent.  HR Magazine reports that at a recent conference Mark Hoban said that, "The Work Programme has given hope to those written off by society".  Reading on, he is obviously stuck determinedly in the mindset that those who are still out of work have "complex barriers", suggesting that they are ex-offenders or come from "worklessness" areas.  In other words, it's their fault, not the result of what few jobs are available going to those who have been out of work for the shortest time.


  1. Aaaahhhh yes, the Big Society! Remember that? Not much said about it nowadays. How different things were a couple of years ago. It was going to be a universal solution to all society's ills including getting people back to work.

    Local authorities, charities (such as the one highlighted in the Guardian piece), social enterprises and the private sector (namely the W2W sector) were supposed to come together, work as one and create solutions.

    Of course, in the real world we see that small charities cannot hope to compete with the so called 'primes' so have to act as sub-contractors. With the end result that they (charities) get left high and dry when the work dries up. Now it seems these same charities will have their work cut out 'mopping up' after the WP's failings. Irony much?

    As for the hapless Hoban, the less said about this individual the better. Suffice to say, if the WP is "giving hope", then I'd hate to see his definition of hope!

  2. If anybody is interested(Hoban,IDS) I have some magic beans for sale,I would be willing to lease them on a long term basis.Ridiculous? I know,but that is basically the WP.

  3. I found the 2 comments on the HR magazine article instructive, Not necessarily for their content but because (I assume) they were made by HR professionals, I quote:
    Anthony Barrett 17 Jun 2013
    How many more times do we have to hear supposedly intelligent people defending this deeply flawed scheme in the face of all evidence to the contrary? I feel sorry for the staff at my Work Programme provider because they have neither the manpower nor the resources to help the poor souls who have the misfortune to be enrolled on this ludicrous government propaganda wheeze.

    What rubbish

    John Wittam 17 Jun 2013

    The Work Programme has led to an increase in unemployment, not only because its success rate is 2.7% less than doing nothing, but the Workfare element is taking paid jobs away from those in work.!"

    Couldn't put it much better myself (but them I'm only an old scrounger)

  4. I have felt LESS hope, since visiting a4e, each time I try to go with an open mind and a I WILL GET A JOB attitude, each time its gotten harder and harder to get any enthusiasm to get any hope. The fact they are focusing on the blame situation at a4e "Its your fault" not that there are no jobs. There is a simple barrier to people not working.. there are no jobs. Has Mark Hoban ever met someone from the work programme, has he ever seen the real function not the sanitised version he gets told about.

  5. Never feel hopeless just because you dont have a job. a job IS NOT YOU.

  6. The long awaited "Hitting the poorest places hardest" report by Sheffield Uni is finally out, and it's pretty damning of the government cuts and the WP, but is supported by a a lot of very sound maths.


    You may wanna get your reading glasses on; this report is being considered pretty significant in the third and public sectors.

  7. Call me cynical but I don't see things changing soon. What this needs is for employers to offer proper work experience and hopefully WP "customers" will show what they have to offer and prove they are employable. Of course this will not happen so the WP hurdles on to oblivion.


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