Last night's BBC news item on the Work Programme figures was a response to the officially-sanctioned spin on the latest performance data, not to be released for another week. This morning a few of the papers have picked up the ERSA's figures. No one seems bothered that this is all authorised by the DWP, as with the first year's figures, to extract the best publicity and deflect attention from next week's reality.
It appears that the best that can be said is that around 27% of those who have started the WP have found work. And it's better for the under-25s, at 40%. But what does that mean? These are not "sustained" jobs, the outcomes for which the providers get paid. They could be very temporary jobs, even single shifts. So the official figures are going to be much worse.
The scope for spin is immense. The Independent, which has a thoughtful piece, still manages to say silly things like "321,000 (27 per cent) started a job after being found one." They are unaware, apparently, that many of those jobs will owe nothing whatever to the WP provider; no one found them the job, they found it for themselves. But the paper still goes for the downside of the figures - three quarters of people on the WP haven't started a job.
The Mirror, naturally, emphasises the negative, that 900,000 sent on the WP haven't started any work. They end with a quote from A4e. "A spokeswoman for A4e, one of the biggest welfare-to-work providers, insisted that the figures showed 'a marked improvement'. 'It is gaining momentum,' the spokeswoman added."
The Financial Times tries to be even-handed, suggesting that "the scheme may be starting to deliver results". They quote Kirsty McHugh of the ERSA maintaining that "the improving economy and the fact that providers had simply got better at helping clients had contributed to the stronger performance".
So all we really know is that around 27% of WP clients have had some sort of job start; and that the figure is higher for the under-25s but much lower for those on ESA. (Can someone remind me of the projected dead-weight figure for Year 2, please.) It all sounds rather feeble. Yet Iain Duncan Smith and his team are happy for this preliminary spinning to take place. Perhaps we will now all ignore the true figures when they are released without fanfare next week.
Are these Facts? My Sub will be amazed by these figures,they are running below 5%(way below) I noticed on the BBC that training was mentioned and the need for more money to allow more intense training?What training? Will the DWP statistics be clear or just a jumbled mess with no clear conclusions?ReplyDelete
'What training?' Exactly- I haven't experienced any training whatsoever since starting the Work Programme with A4e four months ago. I would love to be given the opportunity to do some training and gain a qualification, then I would have something to show for the time I have spent out of work. I think that when the providers mention training, they are just fishing for more money.Delete
Apparently there is training! Having thought there was none, and been told myself there was none I have met someone who has just completed a hygiene ticket. He did describe it as pointless, but they are obviously offering some things.Delete
I completed a Customer Service course which led to a qualification so training if given in come cases.Delete
I have heard previously about them offering people the opportunity to gain things like food hygiene and first aid certificates. However, those kinds of qualifications are only useful in the short term, as they have an expiry date (where a first aid certificate is concerned, this is usually 3 years).Delete
I was thinking more of training and qualifications which would be of long term benefit, such as giving people on the Work Programme the opportunity to do an NVQ3, as that is the qualification which seems to be required for a lot of vocations now. The providers would probably not want to do this though, as something like an NVQ would take up a lot more time and money than something like a first aid or hygiene certificate.
You can get a grant to do a level 2 course if you are unemployed but under no circumstances will they give you one to do a level 3, as in order to do that you must already have the knowledge at level 2. And having that knowledge means you have a qualification and you are employable. That seems to be how the government looks at it, although as you say, lots of things ask for a level 3.Delete
27%! The last official report put the best performing providers at around 5% with the worst at around 2%! Where on earth have these new figures come from?ReplyDelete
27% is actually very good, and puts them closer to various third-sector programmes which have been successful for several years and continue to do so (BITC and Voluntary Norfolk for example)
Yes, but 27% is job starts, not actual sustained job outcomes.Delete
As historian says, the key is job outcomes rather than job starts - although as many non-WP voluntary sector providers have difficulty in tracking sustainment, it arguably is more or less a case of comparing like with like.Delete
What I would say about many voluntary sector programmes is that they often work with people who are, in Work Programme terminology, at the harder to help end of the spectrum - e.g. BITC's employment programmes are primarily focussed on formerly homeless people, people with histories of drug / alcohol dependency etc. The Work Programme will also work with those people, but the majority of WP participants will (nominally at least) be "mainstream" clients without the additional barriers to employment that the above groups face.
Re. deadweight - see link: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-12.pdf
Worth bearing in mind though that these were always seen as somewhat unrealistic - past performance was drawn from a period of high employment and sustained economic growth, and assumptions were made about the future state of the economy that turned out to be rather optimistic.
The bigger question is what is considered a Job start? ERSA mentions 321000 people helped into work,what does the define? a Bus ticket? CV? an actual position,all very vague statements.Delete
The DWP will only be reporting up until March,can we expect the report after that to only include up to Sept and be released in Nov..Stay Calm and keep Creaming and Parking
A number of points:Delete
1. The relevant performance figures can be found in chapter 3 of the DWP's Invitation To Tender (ITT)document which can be found by following the link from this page:
2. The document also gives details of the various payments made to providers,
3. Para 3.14 gives the non intervention figures for year 2 they are:
JSA 18 to 34 30%
JSA 25 + 25%
It should be noted that these percentages relate to job outcomes i.e. a sustained period of employment and not just job starts, which will inevitably be lower.
4. The minimum performance standard expected is 10% higher than the non intervention figures 9see para 3.17)
5. The ERSA statement is confused - perhaps deliberately so. They use job starts rather than sustained outcomes (The DWP measure) with the effect of overstating their performance. The statement is a pre-emptive strike aimed at muddying the waters prior to the release of the official and, hopefully, correct figures.
6. At the same time as trying to say that performance is improving there is a half admittance that they can't help those on ESA without more money (there's a surprise). A few months back the providers were saying that they weren't getting enough ESA referrals now they are saying they can't do anything with those they have!
7. Basically ERSA have their knickers in a severe twist but may still have confused the situation so that the press don't understand what's going on.
Time for Channel 4 to wade in again I think.
"JSA 18 to 34 30%Delete
JSA 25 + 25%
If those are the expected numbers, then I'm truly surprised that the WP is still running. The reason I say that, is because I'm pretty sure that a large number of the unemployed in the UK are aged 35 or above, meaning that the number should be above 30%. At 30 something, you'd think a person would be better suited at getting a job because of experience. But, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way for the most part.
Hello this graphic from BBC News seems to show a decrease in the number of ESA customers gaining work, Wonder what the reassons behind this are... http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/304/media/images/68259000/gif/_68259351_work_prog624x424.gifReplyDelete
ERSA's figures mirror the job outcomes ones that DWP will release next week - i.e. WP customers who joined up to March 2013, so length on programme will play a large part - i.e. the Feb 2013 people will only have had a short while on the programme before the reporting window closed, compared to the June 2011 who will have had 20 months on programme.Delete
A lot is going to depend on how the figures are analysed by the media. Will they look only at the cumulative figures or at the Year 2 data on its own?Delete
Of course any comparison should be against the DWP's own figures para 3.14 of their ITT (plus 10% for minimum performance standards).Delete
If I read the table correctly the Year 2 figures I quoted in my previous post relate to all people consigned to the WP over the previous 2 years. When we get to year 3 and beyond the figures tend to level out. I think that this is because the year 3 figure relates to those consigned in years 2 and 3 (Year one having "run off!), Year 4 to consignments in years 3 and 4 and so on. In other words the WP has reached maturity at 2 years (plus the number of weeks required for a sustained outcome)and there is no distortion due to statistical quirks from then on.
My brain now hurts! But then I'm only an item of WP stock so what do you expect?
and as Badger points out above the table is reproduced in the DWP guidance to providers.ReplyDelete
I notice they only mention the under 25s who can most likely take part time jobs if they still live with their parents, but what about the rest of the unemployed?ReplyDelete
I think the key for journalists (speaking as one) is the Minimum Performance Levels - which start from the estimated non-intervention level (dead weight) plus 10%. Last time round Mark Hoban tried very hard to spin that journalists should look at ERSA's quite meaningless figures, but on the whole most reporters picked up the "haven't met minimum performance levels therefore not doing well" story.ReplyDelete
This House of Commons paper gives those figures. For year 2 they are
They are: JSA 18-24 - 33%
JSA 25 and over 27.5%
ESA Flow 16.5%
The ERSA figures are "job starts" and so higher than "sustained jobs" (cos of temp work, jobs that didn't work out etc), so I think their 27% figure suggests that the official stats next week will likely see a fair few providers failing to meet minimum performance levels again next week.Logically, if ERSA thought the figures were going to be better next week, they wouldn't be trying to damp down expectations /lobby for more cash this week
Can anybody tell me how I can bid for a work programme contract? I only ask because if I get a job that lasts for more than six months I can then claim the £9,000 outcome for myself.ReplyDelete
"Can anybody tell me how I can bid for a work programme contract? I only ask because if I get a job that lasts for more than six months I can then claim the £9,000 outcome for myself"Delete
I'm afraid you're too late because the £5 billion cake was effectively carved up amongst the big primes and no one else is getting any (except maybe a few crumbs for those gullible charities signed up as bid candy).
Off Topic - but Very Important.ReplyDelete
Thanks to Obi Wan Kenobi for this.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think everybody has missed the obvious, I have been looking through all the releases by the DWP regarding Universal Jobmatch and all it states is:
You are ‘Mandated’ to create ‘A Profile and Public C.V. on Universal Jobmatch’.
Once you have done this (as far as I can see) – There is NO mandate to use Universal Jobmatch to search for a job.
This is why I think the DWP have left Paragraph 82 in the Unversal Jobmatch Toolkit – maybe they have had to leave it in by law.
Actively Seeking Employment:
82. We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.
Tell me why i have to go in for jobsearch twice a week when i have a home computer? thats faster then the ones on the work programme providers premises?ReplyDelete
That's an easy one: because lots of people don't have a home computer, and it's a one-size-fits-all kind of system.Delete
On the Indus Delta website,ERSA will be examining the WP results on July 1st (if you want to watch £49.95 +Vat) How desperate are they "To explain the WP figures" I agree that a good defence is a good offensive,but this is starting to have a smell of desperation about it.ReplyDelete
er what happened to my post about A4E and welfare reform which they seemed to have created..what happned to my post?ReplyDelete
I wouldn't normally respond to this, but I will this time. You posted about an individual with no source given. I worked out that the information had come from Linked In. You can't just nick details from that site and not attribute it. It wasn't relevant anyway; I know what your point was, but you failed to make it coherently. And we've touched on the subject several times before.Delete
It is conceivable that I have been counted twice in these figures. I have been on the WP for 18 months now and, though still unemployed, have had two job starts through it. Each of these meant being recruited to what was effectively a labour pool: the first provided me with only 41 shifts over 5 months with gaps that forced me to sign on another two or three times; the second, whilst providing more regular work, only did so for 4 weeks. At least the provider (not A4E) has switched its approach to supporting my own search for work more suitable to my skills and experience - though the trigger for this was my finishing work in the second placement, which put me in line for "fast track" treatment.ReplyDelete