Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Concerns Raised over YMCA Training Organisation.

with 5 comments

Sexual harassment and unfair dismissal, forged signatures, tampered induction forms and timesheets, intentions of fiddling with forms, serious allegations made against staff and attempting to complete forms stating that persons completed placement even though were dismissed for disruptive behaviour… just some of the issues regarding troubled New Deal prime contractor YMCA Training. (No, not the words of an unemployed person but internal complaints regarding two staff members which ended up at a Tribunal).With sources. Read on.

Desperately seeking volunteers to cover understaffing issues

If that wasn’t bad enough, due to staffing issues the Cambridge division of YMCA Training which is part of the New Deal Cambridgeshire and Suffolk contract is seeking volunteers to provide administration, marketing, reception, job search supervision and to provide training and elements of provision¹.

Dencora House is constantly understaffed, with hardly ever anyone on Reception/Admin – I think they could do with volunteers too. It does raise concerns when they don’t offer work placements and are struggling being understaffed. I am sure most people at Dencora House will offer to do a placement there instead of 30 hour job search.

This raises major issues on their ability to deliver the contract. I also have BIG concerns about the confidentiality regarding data of participants. Theoretically, anyone could ask to volunteer and misuse your personal information and bank details (if you provide for travel reimbursement).

They are looking for very “casual” staff² and would be rather easy to gain the position. I am sure they require references but that’s nothing to stop you being considered.

This is a major breach of the DWP New Deal contract. YMCA Training has been seeking volunteers in Cambridge for over a year (the quote is from the volunteer handbook of last fiscal year).

The Student Community Action doesn’t sound sure in the advertisement about YMCA Training’s ability³.

Source and Quotes:

1 “Volunteers are needed to help with administration, reception duties, marketing and research. Volunteers can also get involved in supporting trainers for outdoor activities, basic skills delivery and delivering job related and self development training sessions.”

2 “Commitment is a minimum of one ½ day per week – can be flexible.”

3 “This project aims to support and deliver training sessions for unemployed people aged 18+ and help them find employment.”


Sexual harassment, unfair dismissal, forged signatures, tampered induction forms and timesheets, intentions of fiddling with forms, serious allegations made on staff and attempting to complete forms fraudulently

This was a landmark case known as YMCA Training Vs. Stewart – therefore I won’t hesitate to name those involved as published elsewhere in guidance booklets and on the internet by organisations and law firms.

“The Employment Appeal Tribunal in YMCA Training Limited v Stewart provided guidance on the requirement of the SDDP and the operation of Section 98A(2) of Employment Rights Act 1996 (Polkey Reversal).

In this case Mrs Stewart was employed by YMCA as a Training Adviser.

Mrs Stewart’s colleague, Miss Brackley complained to their manager, Mrs Coutts about Mrs Stewart’s conduct.

Mrs Coutts prepared a letter inviting Mrs Stewart to an investigatory meeting to investigate concerns that she had in relation to Mrs Stewart. The letter stated a number of items for discussion including forged signatures on induction forms and timesheets for trainees, suggesting completion of a placement from which they had been removed due to disruptive behaviour.

The letter was discussed over the telephone with Mrs Stewart before sending it to her with a statement from Miss Brackley. A few days later the investigatory meeting took place.

Mrs Stewart prepared a letter rebutting the claim and there was a discussion where Mrs Stewart denied the allegations of forging signatures. She also said that Mrs Coutts should speak to the Company that had taken the trainees for evidence of who had signed their timesheets.

After this meeting Mrs Coutts spoke to the Company. She then telephoned Mrs Stewart to invite her to attend a disciplinary meeting.

At the start of that meeting it was stated that the purpose of the meeting was “to conclude the investigation” and “to convey her decision with regard to disciplinary action”, dismissal with immediate effect for gross misconduct. She advised Mrs Stewart of her right to appeal (which Mrs Stewart did but without success).

Mrs Stewart brought proceedings for unfair dismissal. The Employment Tribunal held that Mrs Stewart had been automatically unfairly dismissed as YMCA had not complied with the minimum requirement of the SDDP because a separate letter for the disciplinary hearing had not been sent after the investigatory meeting.”

Source: http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/newsandbriefings/2007/02/01/briefing-template-date-here/

Will keep you updated with more developments and interesting news on YMCA Training.

5 Responses

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  1. I have received a copy of YMCA Training’s contract today. They past Part 1 (INTERPRETATION) and Part 2 (DURATION) with flying colours.

    However… I only just began reading the part 3 (SERVICES) and already they are in breach of sections 3.1.2 and 3.2.3

    I will keep everyone updated!


    May 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

  2. […] Serco…? What do these organisations know about delivering welfare to work schemes. And as we know religious-based groups like the YMCA can’t deliver the New Deal and shouldn&#8…. I mean, just where is the transparency and accountability with these groups? They won’t be […]

  3. visit us!


    June 12, 2009 at 1:20 am

  4. […] to deliver contractWe reported YMCA Training using volunteers instead of staff to deliver jobsearch and other elements of the New Deal provision which isn’t allowed under the New Deal […]

  5. CDG was using a really nice guy for teaching and virtually every aspect of their New Deal provision. He was a volunteer. He left in disgust at the treatment of inmates.


    October 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

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