The second sense of the title is looking to the end of the current contracts. Now, if you wanted some advice on a new model Work Programme, would you ask one of the current providers who has just been penalised for performing very badly? Not if you have any sense. But, undaunted by their own reputation, A4e has published their recommendations. So what do they suggest?
- existing contracts should be extended "for well-performing providers" but "the re-tendering of the contracts of poorly-performing providers". How odd. As things stand, this wouldn't exactly benefit A4e. Long term, though, it would be disastrous, concentrating the contracts and the money in fewer and fewer hands.
- "the most disadvantaged jobseekers" should be referred to the WP from "day one". These lucky people would, apparently, be selected by the Jobcentres following an initial assessment. While this is being implemented they want all young people and all over-50s to be referred as soon as they are unemployed. This is certainly attractive to companies like A4e. Those most likely to get work are those who have been out of a job for the shortest time. So A4e would be able to claim all those job outcomes without doing anything at all. The argument about "the most disadvantaged", however, can only make sense if the companies are offering anything the Jobcentre can't. Two years of the WP strongly suggests that they are not, and will not.
- the payments system should be changed to reflect the "scale of barriers" clients face.
- some groups should be allowed to stay on the WP longer.
- there should be partial outcome payments for steps such as part-time (under 16 hours) jobs.
- the DWP should lead a drive to get employers to take on the long-term unemployed. Well, that was supposed to be what the WP primes were doing, and have largely failed to do.
- WP clients (A4e always uses the word "customers, but I won't) should be able to access New Enterprise Allowance funding.
- personal budgets should be introduced. The paragraphs on this are so jargon-ridden as to be opaque, but it boils down to letting the provider have access to funds to address the perceived needs of the hardest-to-help.
All these recommendations are interesting, but wrong. The Work Programme is an expensive failure, and the solution is not to give the companies more money and power.
A basic and fatal flaw with the WP is that it has never put the unemployed first,on the Rehab Jobfit (a Prime) they spend more space explaining about how they will be funded and their supply chain than anything else,besides trashing previous programmes.ReplyDelete
The only statement that regards the unemployed is "Focus on skills and support to sustain work opportunities for customers" Cattle to the slaughter,after repeated attempts to have an understanding what support and skills they provide it has been deemed commercially sensitive and will only be discussed on a one to one basis,between the "Customer and Adviser/Mentor" I am a "Customer" and you are an "Adviser" where is the problem?....If you wish to make a formal complaint you must follow this procedure...All I wish for is an overview of what help you provide....What is the point? and sitting at the JCP 35 hours a week will accomplish what? about the same as going to the WP for the last 20 Months...SFA!
After surviving a4e for two years doing everything they asked and more to find a job, I was told in the after the work programme that any voluntary work didnt count as it wasnt paid work. We dont want you languishing on the dole, the tax payer pays this.. this is what the adviser said to me and her attitude started me going down a spiral, I actually broke down in the interview and she didnt seem to care, so going home i went over and over what was said to me and i got more and more upset so went to the doctor and I broke down there too, and he immediately signed me off. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, This adviser said something about my beard, how i should shave it off as employers wont want to hire you.. but how will that make me any better at administration? all in all this scheme and adviser caused me to seriously consider killing myself as the feeling i had from them was nothing i did was ever good enough I was not good enough.. And this is what is happening to people. If i can break like that. Now whenever i hear about the dwp, get a brown letter (any brown envelope) i start to have a panic attackReplyDelete
Just now on BBC website...Tory plan to scrap JSA for ALL under-25's! Here's the link -ReplyDelete
I'm off for a long walk to shout at some trees and creatures.
The bleakest week in British politics since the Munich crisis (1938).
If the Tories seriously think these are good ideas then they should call a General Election tommorrow. PLEASE!
"Go to school. Go to college. Do an apprenticeship. Get a job" Go to college along with the Millions of others, then go do an Apprenticeship, Along with millions of others, Get a job.. and fight those millions with the same qualification, skills, apprenticeship experiences for the handful of jobs out there. Shows what a insulated world he lives in. You cannot live on benefits you can barely survive.. and even then that can be taken away for the silliest of reasons.Delete
My stepson has graduated university,after 5 years,which he enjoyed,but now reality has hit,while in education his fees were fully paid by the Welsh Assembly plus 2 bursaries worth about 8K a year...he has secured part time employment at Mickey Ds...the degree ? glad he got it but so far because of the economy his chances are slim.Delete
I honestly believe the majority of unemployed would gladly participate in any training that had a realistic chance of securing a job,but there is the rub,the courses provided have little or no value in the real world.ReplyDelete
IDS has just come back from Germany and is singing the praises of their Welfare system and how wonderful it is,I hate agreeing with him, but they do not persecute the unemployed,rather they provide proper Training,work closely with Employers and offer real support,before,during and after(thought that was the WP) unlike the waste of money that is currently being wasted on ill thought programmes that he has championed,yes they do Sanction people,but they are very flexible and require the claimant to be also.
Over the last few days I have lost count of how many variations they have come out with regarding "Work for your Dole" do they actually have a clue? Cameron was asked if those having to report to JCP daily would be paid travel...he refused to answer(probably hasn't a Scooby) but if you are mandated it should be.
I agree that it is only reasonable that they should pay travel expenses- not that being required to attend the Jobcentre every day would help anyone into work. They have not considered how this would be viable for people in rural areas with no public transport. Is the DWP going to pay £50 a day or more for someone from a rural area to get a taxi to the Jobcentre and back?!Delete
I was asked once to teach other clients in a4e how to use the computers as their computer teacher couldnt be bothered. they dangled the carrot we may be able to find funding to do a PTTLS course Find out after 7 weeks of teaching them they will not provide any funding.Delete
Re cutting JSA for u-25's (soon to be over-25's) its a bit like cutting hospital waiting lists by not admitting anyone into a&e or hospital. Your'e not actually dealing with the problem. Your'e just ignoring it.ReplyDelete
Reflecting upon this week I just wonder if the Tories are playing the long game here - propose any number of hair-brained schemes to challenge the Labour Party over welfare in the full knowledge that they will lose the next election but in the hope that some will stick.
So to get this into some sort of context.ReplyDelete
The last Labour Government introduces Scheme A, the New Deal. It is slightly modified into scheme A.1, Flexible New Deal.
The incoming Tory Government is critical of scheme A and indeed the then Employment Secretary Chris Grayling promises that "we will not have people sat in a class room for 30 hrs a week doing nothing" as indeed happened on scheme A.
Thus the new government duly scraps Scheme A and ushers in Scheme B, the Work Program. Which it promises to be shinier, bolder and altogether better.
Surprise, surprise scheme B runs into trouble and is failing miserably after just one year of operation. The new Tory Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian D. Smith assures us all everything is tickety boo and Scheme B is working well.
Clients attending Scheme B are mandated to do so for up to two years. Those coming to the end of this two year period are thus returned to the Jobcenter from whence they came. Trouble is, the Job Centre is under resourced and has no idea what to do with all these extra returnees from Scheme B. After all, this scheme was supposed to get most of its clients into sustained employment. But it hasn't. So it's failed. But the government and especially Iain D. Smith refuses to acknowledge this.
This results in Gideon Osborne promising "tough love" for the long term jobless. Sign on EVERY day or do community work. Effectively Scheme C. But surely, if Scheme B was working, such tough love would not be necessary, right??? Now Iain D. Smith advocates Scheme D! Which will see jobseekers mandated to take classes inside Job Centres for 35 hrs a week. Lest any of them should be working on the sly you understand.
So to sum up, we have Scheme A (New Deal) which failed. Replaced by the failing Scheme B (Work Program). Scheme C (Workfare / Daily signing) will run alongside Scheme B despite Scheme B supposedly working and negating the need for Scheme C. And to top it all, Scheme D (35 hr. JobCentre attendance) will run alongside Scheme B and Scheme C whilst bearing all the hallmarks of Scheme A which not only failed but was slated by the current government.
Spike Milligan, John Cleese or Chris Morris penning the above as a comedy script would surely have it rejected as it would be considered too surreal and 'out there' even for them!
Whilst I (largely) agree with your analysis, it's worth remembering that Grayling was only Minister of State at DWP, and that IDS has been Secretary of State since the formation of the government.Delete
I mention this just in case a casual reader could be led to thinking that IDS was in some way trying to clear up a mess left by a predecessor, when he's actually been there as Secretary of State, messing things up since 2010.
Since I finished the Work Programme the Jobcentre seem to be bombarding me and others with every course that's going. I asked about doing the 4 week work experience and was told they had been told not to send any more referrals at the moment. The latest voluntary employability course I've just checked out also involved half a day fitness training. Money to burn.ReplyDelete
Looking back the WP had an under spend of about £260+ Million (failing to help the unemployed) now the DWP will spend £300 Million on Punishment programmes,I will bet that the WP will end up with a majority of this providing the same useless courses that they have over the last 2+ years,regardless of what party is in power,they are like a gambler that wants just one more throw at the dice,believing (IDS) that this time it will payoff!ReplyDelete
It all rather reminds me of the famous Albert Einstein quote on insanity:Delete
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result each time."
One can only come to the conclusion that Smith, Osborne, Cameron, Hoban, the entire DWP are suffering from some form of collective insanity. For they not only repeat their own mistakes, but repeat those of the previous government as well!
Either in the hope the results will be somehow miraculously different. Or in the knowledge that they wont but simply fool the public anyway.
"Welfare reforms 'will cost Northern Ireland economy £750m'" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-24372180 So the figures are a way above the ones you cite Anonymous!ReplyDelete
I don't understand how the Goverment can be so reckless and pray the British public wake up before they vote.
If I've learned anything in the last few months about the impact of all this spending on the general public, it's that the majority of the general public won't blame the government for the failures, but instead, blame the unemployed. What you have to remember is that people are being told stuff by the media (the papers, mainly) and they are just buying into it. So it's more than likely that they'll just say that the unemployed aren't doing enough, just because the media say so. At least, that is what I've gathered.Delete
'Woman wins bedroom tax appeal" http://uk.news.yahoo.com/woman-wins-bedroom-tax-appeal-131528184.html#oiz8v4R Well done. A first victory against a ghastly governmental financial penalty.ReplyDelete
After watching Question Time tonight,I am amazed how politicians can still twist the actual figures,Grant Schapps(?) insists that 1.2 million under 24 yo have taken up apprenticeships,I must of missed that something somewhere,where were these? in the UK?ReplyDelete
There have been a few articles on "The claimant Commitment " outlining what is expected and what punishments can be expected if the Claimant does not stick to their agreement and engage with the Programme,sadly their is only a very sketchy outline of what the Programme consists of and should be made clear,this should be enforced both ways,with specific sanctions and compensation that the "Claimants" are entitled to when the DWP/JCP/WP fail to provide services and engage with their clients. It will never happen,but one can dream.ReplyDelete
I'm nearing the end of the Work Programme, and it has been a total and utter waste of time. But today I will tell you about the utter farce that is the WP. I had an appointment this morning for a "review" with my advisor, a one-on-one session as they like to call it, to see how my progress is going... So, after walking for 3 miles (in the pouring rain) for this review, I was told my advisor isn't actually in today and that they have now stopped doing these sessions. Now, it will be a job search, like all the other appointments I seem to have got the past few months.ReplyDelete
This 1 hour job search I have to do is something I can do much easier from home, and now I'm using UJM the job centre can see exactly all of my job applications and "activity". So to have to travel 3 miles there and back (there's no simple route by bus so I walk there most times) every week? It's just daft. I never even speak to my "advisor" and for all she knows I could be spending my hour there just writing down any old crap as she never looks at the job search sheet I fill in while there. Oh, she did inform me the other week that as I'm nearing the end of my 2 years on the WP, I would be required to come in every day for 2 hours to do this job search. I tried explaining to her how pointless all of this is, but, "you have to do it or you will be sanctioned"....