Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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YMCA Training – Work Programme

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Ipswich – supporting FND participants to make a sustained transition into work

Project description

• YMCA Training’s FND provision follows a sub-contractor model, working in partnership with specialist agencies to provide holistic support for participants

• YMCA Training Ipswich supports participants with complex needs to access employment

• The Centre has successfully adapted its provision to achieve high numbers of job entries through the FND programme

• YMCA Training Ipswich works effectively with Jobcentre Plus, to offer customers work trails with a guaranteed job entry

YMCA Training Ipswich works closely with their prime contractor for the FND programme, TNG. Customers complete an Employability Needs Questionnaire at TNG, and the score determines whether they remain at TNG or are referred to YMCA Training Ipswich. The Centre supports customers across the age range, from 18-60 years of age. Customers are referred from TNG to YMCA Training Ipswich from Lane 2 and Lane 4 (the latter being less job ready). YMCA Training Ipswich currently has 400 customers on the FND programme, and receives 25-30 referrals from TNG a week.

Some customers are long term unemployed, and have been on a number of New Deal programmes, whilst others have been made redundant in the recession. All customers attend an initial partner interview to identify those with complex needs, which may arise from medical conditions or lifestyle choices, such as alcohol and drugs issues, and several customers have a criminal record and are on the sex offenders register.

Many of the customers have lost their self confidence and self worth in their own ability and therefore require support to re-enter employment. All customers attend an induction at YMCA Training Ipswich, covering health and safety, safeguarding, bullying and harassment, and explaining the purpose of the FND programme. YMCA Training Ipswich works closely with probation workers, NORCAS, Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations, and SNAP, who provide counselling services and support clients with financial, housing, alcohol and drugs problems.

The Centre operates a zero tolerance approach to alcohol and drugs. A high proportion of customers require ESOL, (English as a Second Language) support, and so the Centre has established a partnership with Otley College, which delivers literacy and numeracy classes in-house at the Centre and support customers to gain Level 1 qualifications.

All customers complete the mandatory elements of the FND programme, such as the induction and CV writing module, and participate in fortnightly one-to-ones with their Training Adviser to determine their personal requirements and update their work focused action plan. The Training Advisers also deliver Goals training, which provides motivational support for customers to help their progression towards the labour market.

YMCA Training Ipswich has a strong employer network. For example, companies such as Tesco, Wicks, B&Q and McDonalds conduct mock interviews at the Centre. This approach is very successful, helping customers prepare for real interviews, and providing a forum for employers to meet potential candidates:

“The employers come in and do interview techniques with [customers] and explain what they would be looking for in an employee. We’ve have some fantastic feedback… Employers wants to help the community and it promotes their company as well, and [customers can ask] about work experience, or job opportunities, and [employers] will distribute application forms and look at their CVs and give constructive feedback, so it’s a way of recruiting” YMCA Training Ipswich Employment Engagement Adviser.

YMCA Training Ipswich has developed this strong employer network by highlighting the reciprocal benefits to employers:

“We can do a one stop shop for you, we can sift the CVs, we can offer you facilities for interviewing, we can have customers here ready for you at certain times and we can do the whole process for you” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

YMCA Training Ipswich also provides practical support for customers, ensuring they have appropriate clothes to attend interviews, buys specialist clothing required for certain jobs, and pays for CRB checks. The Centre also conducts in-work calculations for customers, to check if they are eligible for benefits or tax credits, and to determine if they will be better off in work. This can be a particular issue for certain groups, such as lone parents, who often require childcare support to enable them to return to work. The Employment Engagement Adviser will also negotiate with employers where appropriate to ensure lone parents can afford to move into work.

YMCA Training Ipswich works effectively in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, to offer customers work trails with a guaranteed job entry. The work trial is the same as a work placement, but has the advantage of a 99.9% guarantee that it will lead to paid employment:

“The work trials, we are very lucky, we’ve always had very good relations with Ipswich jobcentre…the members of staff in the work trails team and the work subsidy team before them, we build good relationships with all of them…We work in partnership with them, and that has really helped us” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

This arrangement means that Jobcentre Plus consult YMCA Training Ipswich to identify suitable candidates for their work trials. For example, Rentakill recently contacted Jobcentre Plus to recruit 36 people across the business. Jobcentre Plus consulted YMCA Training Ipswich, and the collaboration resulted in 15 FND customers from YMCA Training Ipswich gaining work trails. YMCA Training Ipswich also liaises effectively with their prime contractor, TNG, to discuss employment opportunities.

The Employment Engagement Advisers from the two organisations discuss local vacancies to ensure jobs are matched to the most suitable customers. This is a win-win situation for both YMCA Training Ipswich and Jobcentre Plus, as it improves sustainable job outcomes for both organisations.

YMCA Training Ipswich has a high proportion of employers who have recruited from the Centre over a number of years. The Centre works with employers who are committed to offering customers paid employment following the successful completion of their work placement. The Centre Manager explains their successful approach to working with employers:

“It is being honest with employers, we do have customers with chequered histories and we are always open and honest… we ring them every Monday to check the customer has turned up and see if there are any issues, and the EEAs do go out and talk to the employer and customer once a fortnight” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

Empowering participants to find and retain employment

79% of customers at YMCA Training Ipswich recently ranked the modules a grade 1 or 2 (according to Ofsted criteria)

• Employers and employees alike view the FND provision at YMCA Training Ipswich to be an effective job matching and recruitment service

• YMCA Training Ipswich records high numbers of job entries, and work trials which are guaranteed to lead to paid employment

• YMCA Training Ipswich supports customers into work by conducting in-work calculations, to identify if the customer is eligible for any benefits or tax credits

FND customers are very satisfied with the support they receive at YMCA Training Ipswich. 79% of customers recently ranked the modules a grade 1 or 2 (according to Ofsted criteria). YMCA Training Ipswich reports consistently high rates of customers completing work placements. The Centre places customers that are job-ready into work placements as soon as possible:

“We have 72% of people in work placements at the moment, we’ve always been very very high, when we compare our weekly stats, we are consistently high” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

YMCA Training Ipswich is committed to placing customers in suitable work placements, depending on their distance from the labour market. For example, those furthest from the labour market often complete an initial work placement with a charity to update their employability skills and to gain a reference to help them progress into paid work. The success of YMCA Training Ipswich has recently been noted by their prime contractor auditor:

“The audit by the prime contractor flagged us as being particularly good with work placements…some of our customers haven’t worked for 25 years, so they aren’t going to have up-to-date skills….work placements give [customers] a bit more confidence… being in a customer focused role. So they do a soft work placement that will give them the reference they need for their CV. Then we will look at the types of jobs they want, but it is a step in the right direction” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

YMCA Training Ipswich reports one of the highest number of job entries across the YMCA Training network:

“Our target with TNG was to get 41 short jobs and we’ve currently got 45, so we are slightly over” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

The Centre encourages customers to undertake self-directed activities where possible, to develop their sense of responsibility and ownership towards securing employment. For example, the Sabo website provides ICT guidance. This works particularly well with mature customers, to improve their CVs:

“It is flexible and tailor made to their requirements…It is more self directed… We set them realistic targets that will help them move forward in life” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

YMCA Training Ipswich has a strong employer network. The Centre Manager is Chair of the local business forum. The Centre holds employer liaison events. For example, YMCA Training Ipswich hold an annual event at Jimmy’s Farm and invites its employer network. Over 90 employers attended the event last year. YMCA Training Ipswich is nominating Jimmy’s Farm for YMCA Training’s national employer award, in recognition of their support. Jimmy’s Farm provides e2e placements for YMCA Training Ipswich, in addition to hosting employer events.

The employer liaison events provide a valuable opportunity for employers who have recently joined the network, such as Calsberg and Asda, to network with companies who have worked with YMCA Training Ipswich for a number of years.

“All the companies network and it helps us sell what we do, its great…we try and look after [employers]…we build relationships with them and then a lot of our companies recommend us to other companies they know” YMCA Training Ipswich Coordinator.

Some employers contact YMCA Training Ipswich to recruit staff:

“We will select the clients for them, preinterview the clients, like a recruitment agency, but free of charge” YMCA Training Ipswich Co-ordinator.

YMCA Training Ipswich matches FND customers to job vacancies, to support people to make a sustained transition into work:

“We look at the individual and their skills and match them to the company…If something came up that we knew would be ideal we discuss it with them. We match the person to the role…It is no good putting someone somewhere they aren’t going to last, they won’t be happy and it spoils our reputation” YMCA Training Ipswich Employment Engagement Adviser.

Team working is a key success factor in the YMCA Training Ipswich approach:

“I’m very lucky, I’ve got a very good team, we all work well together, we are a team and without each other we couldn’t do it. We all chip in” YMCA Training Ipswich Centre Manager Sally Smith.

“I think we are very successful because we have such a dedicated team, they are very motivated, everyone wants to help and support people. We are very supportive of each other, there can be some challenging environments, and we have got some very strong relationships with local employers who are very happy to help out” YMCA Training Ipswich Employment Engagement Adviser.

Effective team working is also evident in YMCA Training Ipswich’s work with partner agencies:

“We work very very closely together with the job centre, as soon as they are told of a work trail they will tell us and we will try and fill it with our people. I have been in place for ten years and over time have built up a relationship with the job centre, all the staff know the advisers” YMCA Training Ipswich Co-ordinator.

The Employment Engagement Adviser provides on-going support for customers completing work placements:

“We do tell them, ‘any issues or concerns just pick up the phone and talk to us’, we don’t forget you… We also say that to the employer as well: ‘If you have any issues please talk to us and we will try and resolve any issues’. People have talked to us about little things, and we have been able to put their mind at rest, or directed them where they need to go…The placements are really good, it gets [customers] back in a routine and communicating with people. They will think ‘actually I enjoyed that, I’m going to start looking for that kind of job’. It widens the scope for their job search”

YMCA Training Ipswich Employment Engagement Adviser.

YMCA Training Ipswich have placed fifteen customers in work placements in the School Health department of Children’s Services, St Helen’s House, assisting with filing duties:

“We’ve had help from YMCA Training for two-three years on a volunteer basis…we know quite quickly when we

have a very good person… the people seem to enjoy it and it gives them more confidence. Its beneficial to us because we don’t have the staff capacity to deal with all the work we’ve got” Deputy Team Leader, Children’s Services, St Helen’s House.

The customer felt the support from YMCA Training Ipswich assisted her job search because:

“It was more individually tailored for different needs. You only had to go in once a week to do the job search and have appointments with your Training Adviser… they gave you pointers about how to approach interviews…they were really good and supportive, if you had a problem you could phone them up at any time” Employee, Children’s Services, St Helen’s House.

The customer felt the work placement enhanced her CV by providing current work experience:

“If I hadn’t come here to do the work placement I don’t think I would have got the job…If you’ve been unemployed for quite a while, a lot of [employers] might be put off by that. If you get some work experience it does build your confidence…I hadn’t done that much office work before, so it was helpful” Employee, Children’s Services, St Helen’s House.

The work placement increased the customer’s confidence as interviews can be daunting:

“When you come on a work placement they can see you over a few weeks so you can show what you can do…I was more nervous because I really wanted the job and everyone was rooting for me, I didn’t want to let everybody down, but I managed to get it” Employee, Children’s Services, St Helen’s House.

From the employer’s perspective, the work placement prepared the customer well for the role:

“[She] did a brilliant interview and I think that’s because she knew where she was and what she was doing. She came across very well… We saw [her] confidence grow as she worked with us. She has fitted in extremely well, everyone has commented on it” Deputy Team Leader, Children’s Services, St Helen’s House.

An employer from a building contractor company approached YMCA Training directly to recruit an Assistant for their maintenance department. The company was very impressed with the customer’s CV and interviewing skills:

“[We were] very impressed with the CV. [The interview] was absolutely brilliant, it was quite an informal interview, to get an idea of the person…we were very impressed” Administration manger, Maintenance department, Needhams Building Contractors.

The work placement scheme appealed to the building contractor company because:

“The option of trialling someone for a while is a good idea…I wouldn’t have any hesitation in doing it again…there is no commitment there if the person didn’t work out, that is good…We’ve employed two people from YMCA Training and we have been extremely happy with both… I would say they are amongst the hardest workers we’ve got in the company” Administration manger, Maintenance department, Needhams Building Contractors

The customer had been made redundant the previous year and YMCA Training Ipswich supported the customer with job search and interview preparation:

“I had applied for a lot of jobs and…I went [to YMCA Training] with a very closed mind… I was very surprised at the feedback and what was offered to me…I’d only had one interview from a hundred jobs I’d applied for before…The difference was the face to face contact, [YMCA Training] offered to look at my CV. I found the [CV module] interesting, they made me change a lot of things in my CV, which I think helped me to get this job…it turned my CV around…It was the best interview I’ve ever had“ Employee, Maintenance department, Needhams Building Contractors.

The customer deputised whilst her manager was on holiday and received a salary increase in recognition of her progress:

“I have spoken to the MD and he thinks I’ve settled in well and he said there’s ways I could progress in the company. If I saw this job in the paper I would probably turn the page and think ‘that’s not even a job they would give me a interview for” Employee, Maintenance department, Needhams Building Contractors.

The customer has been nominated for YMCA Training’s national learner of the year award in recognition of her achievements. The support from YMCA Training Ipswich was particularly helpful in:

“Sorting out my tax credits. That was really helpful because I would have actually turned down the job based on the salary they were offering. The working tax credit that’s helped my salary…I’ve just had positively from them…they were very approachable – if you had a question and they didn’t know the answer, they would go out of their way to find out” Employee, Maintenance department, Needhams Building Contractors.

Supporting the new work programme

• YMCA Training Ipswich is well placed to implement the new work programme through its successful delivery of the Flexible New Deal programme. YMCA Training is well placed to implement the new work programme by building on its successful delivery of the Flexible New Deal programme. The Centre Manager at YMCA Training Ipswich attributes the success of their FND delivery to effective partnership working with Jobcentre Plus and matching customers to suitable employment opportunities. YMCA Training Ipswich operates:

“Very much like a recruitment agency. We visit the employers and build up a positive relationship, and visit [employers] when participants are there on placement. We support the employer as well as the participant” YMCA Training Ipswich Employment Engagement Adviser.

Above, a snippet from “YMCA Training – getting ready for the Work Programme” publication.

Some comments (each bold text is a number):

  1. Work Trails… should be Work Trials.  Work Trials are only guaranteed if for the purpose of getting some free labour – this is fully fair as long as the latter contract has no probationary period, otherwise its a crafty scam.
  2. TNG/ENQ – on rotation.
  3. Lanes? I guess they have intention to prioritise who is likely to get to the other side quicker creating a fast lane/slow lane approach. I think TNG push people to YMCA Training where its likely they might only get a short job outcome whilst focusing on the remained for sustainable job outcomes.
  4. Including VSO (fulltime job search for 13 weeks) & ETF (community service) delivered by YMCA Training.
  5. Sex Offenders?! I think this is probably a good enough reason why not to want to go to Dencora House
  6. H&S induction? brings back memories I guess… exiting for a blog comment or something?  😀
  7. NVQ Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE D-G. As for High School education many jobseekers may have GCSE A-C qualifications which is NVQ Level 2. Some may have NVQ Level 3 (A/AS level) or higher. Level 1 is pointless.
  8. Induction and CV modules…. sweet lol
  9. Wicks? It is Wickes although pronounced as Wicks.
  10. McD for mock interview, haha, “So why would you like to work for us?” “Well, I don’t. Just having to do a mock interview.” 😎
  11. Like the idea of buying the clothes and paying for the CRB checks. I assume this is discretionary and not automatic unless for job offers. So interview clothes are probably through Jobcentre Plus (?) and it would have to be something that is asked for and for the adviser to agree to.
  12. Work Trials!! Not trails.
  13. A Work Trial and Work Experience Placement is NOT the same thing. One is probable you will get a job at the end (Work Trial) and the other is just for free labour (work experience/placement).
  14. Probably something to do with DWP corruption and benefit sanctions
  15. Its Work Trials!!
  16. Chequered histories hey? Its “the loop”, providers love these “repeat customers
  17. 79% saying it was at least a grade 2 (good -> satisfactory) raises concerns. That leaves 21% of people saying the modules were NOT satisfactory… you cant please everyone, but that is approx 1 in 5 people having a problem with it. Furthermore, these mandatory “questionnaires” are normally fabricated by people, who will uprate the feedback to safeguard their benefits.
  18. 72% in work placements. Seems like industrial workfare!!
  19. Audit by TNG lol… not sure they are competent to do that very well but noticing that 7 in 10 people on placements makes YMCA Training particularly good at them is common sense.
  20. 25 years unemployed? If you have a conviction for sexual assault, rape, statutory rape, indecent photos etc. of adults and/or children that is probably why.
  21. It is worrying that Ipswich YMCA Training Dencora House detention centre is one of the highest job outcomes in the country with poverty pimp YMCA Training, with just 45 short job outcomes (assume this is for a year).
  22. Carlsberg!!!
  23. One “very” is enough. We also get it that you work closely with Jobcentre Plus and TNG – working in partnership.
  24. It is Work Trial!!!
  25. 10 years, and sounds like such person has become a piece of furniture.
  26. Have they changed? YMCA Training Ipswich were once noted for being stubborn without the ability to communicate or listen to participants. They also never cared if you didn’t like the programme. Its “keep your head down and comply”. The management hasn’t changed, so this is just PR nonsense I am sure.
  27. Few years of taking on free labour to deal with heavy workloads. However, they do seem to have the money stashed somewhere to take on someone as one placement recently got a job there.
  28. An indirect quote… perhaps “I went to the sh!thole …” or “I went to the detention centre” …
  29. This sentence had hardly changed from the previous one!

So, a completely rushed poor PR publication. No proof-checking to check for spelling, and so many mistakes, even in the bigger font text near the bullet points. Many lies, but can be expected for an organisation wanting to get a new contract. Big revelations of “several” participants being on the sex offenders register – completely unexpected. I am not sure why Christian poverty pimp YMCA Training are proudly branding how their participants are in part vile offenders, but I am sure why TNG have offloaded them to Dencora House detention centre.


Written by Universal Jobmatch

March 9, 2011 at 12:18 am

31 Responses

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  1. Very shocking – are members of the public at risk from these people?

    How many is “several”? 5, 7, 20 … ?

    Does anyone have any “insider information” about how many there are and the nature of such offences?

    Rodger Pimsleur

    March 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

    • I am also interested to find out how many of these sex offenders exist going to Dencora House detention centre.

      Work Programme

      March 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      • Kyron, I can smell it up here in Scotland!

        What is shocking, but of no surprise, is that Pedos are lumped together with ordinary jobseekers.

        We’ve been categorised as lazy scroungers and now were lumped together with Pedos!

        A4e Protest

        March 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      • A4E, this is a very delicate matter.

        But what is sure is that the unemployed are regularly put on training courses with all kinds of offenders. It’s also the case that the government seems to want to make us undertake tasks which are identical with those doing Community Service.

        Personally I find there is no problem with the majority of the people in the ex-offenders category. As a youth a had the odd brush with the law myself.

        Though those on a sex offenders register, I’m really not sure about.

        It really does not sound like a good idea.

        It should be pointed out that it’s often something people know about for all that the YMCA might claim.

        Andrew Coates

        March 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

      • Well, I think its a bigger problem than just YMCA Training @ Dencora House detention centre.

        A4e have been working on probation (http://watchinga4e.blogspot.com/2011/03/probation.html) and other providers have been working hard on the general integration of ex-offenders into their services (especially for the Work Programme).

        YMCA Training thought it was a good idea to disclose a statistic to help them with the Work Programme – whereas other providers have kept these undesirable information secret but talked about ex-offenders generally which is far fetching.

        Is it right to assume that this is maybe due to cut of funding for specific ex-offender services? So the DWP is now responsible for delivering a “one size fits all” service, which I thought they wanted to do away with.

        I personally not a big fan of segregation but in the same way as how offenders are locked away for a reason, sex offenders who are on a register because they are deemed a risk to the public of re-offending shouldn’t be on these courses.

        Jobseekers are on these courses because they are unemployed due to temporary work ceasing (in “the loop”) so back to sign on, losing their job in recession, leaving education without a job (including uni etc.) etc.

        Sex offenders are only unemployed due to their own merit of committing serious crimes – they are NOT worthy of being in the same group (although this helps the workfare ideas clearly) and there is nothing a provider can do to get these people a job anyway due to the nature of their offences. No one will employ someone on the register and such offences are rarely spent so have to be disclosed.

        The time you have been unemployed puts off most employers – so any such convictions and register membership is going to stop that person getting a job – if its not for one reason its the other – and the other reason could be directly because of the other.

        Work Programme

        March 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm

  2. Can they smell the crap that they are shovelling


    March 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

  3. Ok does that mean the DWP will keep vulnerable adults away from the YMCA. EG Visually impaired person could be classed as vulnerable

    People with mental difficulties

    People with learning difficulties



    March 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

    • I am sure there is a Christian BNP-voting poverty pimp YMCA Training member of sh!t staff accompanying them as their adviser for interviews etc.

      As for vulnerable, most unemployed people going there will fall under this definition. YMCA Training has policies to tick boxes to get contracts. There is no complying with the policies and their decisions are fully discretionary based.

      Work Programme

      March 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

  4. Hey, we can’t read the Work Programme Network expose on the Sex Offender Haven that is YMCA

    Keep getting this:

    This website is unavailable

    If you are seeing this page, either maintenance is being performed or something really bad has happened. Try returning in about 5 minutes. If a server problem constant refreshing will only queue request increasing the delay.

    Error 503 Service Unavailable

    Service Unavailable

    Looks like something really bad has happened! YMCA censorship?

    503 Error

    March 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    • The website is now available.

      There was a problem with the backend system – so the cache system (when it deems a page has been modified or after a specific time) returned the 503 error when it couldn’t connect. This wouldn’t have normally happened but was in the cycle of refreshing content when the problem did arise. Some blog viewers wouldn’t have realised any difference if the pages they requested were the latest.

      The problem was largely unrelated to the newest article or the refresh, however there has been a significant surge of extra viewers since the new article was posted showing how seriously concerned people are about this.

      Sorry for the inconvenience! There is nothing like trying to visit a website when its down.

      Work Programme

      March 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

  5. […] Some customers are long term unemployed, and have been on a number of New Deal programmes, whilst others have been made redundant in the recession. All customers attend an initial partner interview to identify those with complex needs, which may arise from medical conditions or lifestyle choices, such as alcohol and drugs issues, and several customers have a criminal record and are on the sex offenders register. […]

  6. Awaiting a statement from poverty pimp YMCA Training.

    Work Programme

    March 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

  7. What a stunning method of confidence building for the victims of rape, sexual assault and child sex abuse to be forced to sit side by side with those on the sex offenders list. Their only chance of escape is via a slavery placement or leaving and losing their benefits. Oh human rights! Where art thou?

    …and YMCA have the temerity to include “bullying and harrassment” as part of their induction!

    The last time I looked at them, YMCA could run masterclasses in bullying and harrassment of both staff and the poor buggers who are sent on their dreadful joke schemes.



    March 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    • Motivated by its Christian faith, YMCA Training’s mission is to enable people to achieve their potential in life and play a full part in society, regardless of their past experiences or present circumstances.

      I am sure, and using your suggestions of this “Human Rights” concept you suggest, that just like the Human Rights Act 1998 being a god-send for criminals, that this statement by YMCA Training is favoured for ex-offenders and NOT for past victims.

      Another article on this issue: http://www.intensiveactivity.com/tng-offloads-sex-offenders-dencora-house/training-network-group-0310,1456,549,30.html

      The only potential a vile sex offender (who is on the register and deemed a risk) has is to re-offend… is this playing their “full part in society”?? (at the cost of others expense)

      Work Programme

      March 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    • I am an ex-murderer and have been on YMCA courses with the jobless. I paint water-colours in my spare-time and am a accomplished sculpture who has been exhibited widely. You got a problem with that, Work Programme? From an EX-Offender


      March 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    • A4E seems to be getting into the Probation Service as well.

      “Jen Byrne of A4e yesterday gave evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee on the role of the Probation Service. No details are available* yet of what was said, but A4e was one of seven organisations or individuals contributing evidence. Byrne is A4e’s “Strategic Director for Justice” and was recently in the US looking at the way they do things there. She appears to have joined A4e straight from university, where her MSc dissertation was on “Levels of Self-Esteem and Motivation in Long-Term Unemployed Jobseekers”. The criminal justice system is yet another area of our national life into which A4e, amoeba-like, is spreading.”

      Is there anywhere left in the state where they’ve not got their greedy fingers?


      Andrew Coates

      March 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    • Yeah, Jen Byrne another middle-class poverty pimp toss-pot straight out of “uni” who has no idea what it is like to be poor and absolutely no idea what it is like to live your life with no meaning or control. Jen Byrne and her ilk can go to hell.

      J Cocker

      March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      • Too right, Cocker.

        Jen Byrne not doubt thinks the US – highest prison rates in the world, death-penalty in loads of states, mass poverty – and, private prisons where poverty ponces and poncettes make money out of people’s misery, is a great model.

        The Blog:

        “2.30pm: we head slightly out of town to visit GreenCorps Chicago – an initiative which provides transitional employment and on-the-job training to offenders leaving prison. Trainees get paid the state minimum wage of $8.25, and learn a range of skills (from carpentry to pesticide application) whilst working in real employment. The projects they work on range from environmental waste management to improving community gardens in deprived areas.


        We also get a tour of their base, which is the Chicago Centre for Green Technology – like a mini-Eden Project, but in the city. The City Council turned a disused brown-field site into research and public visitor centre – an absolute model of how to use resources efficiently. Huge solar panels provide most of the energy the centre needs, while it collects all its own rain and storm water, supplying not only the centre, but serving the adjacent wetlands. Chicago has made a huge commitment to the green agenda. It’s much more than lip-service. All new/renovated buildings must now have light coloured roofs to reduce heat absorption, and because the city is on one of the main migratory paths for birds between Canada and Mexico, all buildings in the city must turn down their lights during the migration city!”

        Reminds me of one of those trips to a Collective Farm under Stalin!


        Andrew Coates

        March 12, 2011 at 10:04 am

      • Justice as in Just Ice!


        March 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      • Especially for you – Emma & ‘Jen’ 🙂


        Pulp – Common People

        She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge
        She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College
        That’s where I caught her eye
        She told me that her Dad was loaded
        I said “In that case I’ll have rum and coca-cola
        She said “fine”
        And then in 30 seconds time she said
        “I want to live like common people
        I want to do whatever common people do
        I want to sleep with common people
        I want to sleep with common people like you”
        Well what else could I do?
        I said “I’ll see what I can do”
        I took her to a supermarket
        I don’t know why
        but I had to start it somewhere
        so it started there
        I said “pretend you’ve got no money”
        but she just laughed
        and said “oh you’re so funny”
        I said “Yeah
        Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here
        Are you sure
        you want to live like common people
        you want to see whatever common people see
        you want to sleep with common people
        you want to sleep with common people like me?”
        But she didn’t understand
        she just smiled and held my hand
        Rent a flat above a shop
        Cut your hair and get a job
        Smoke some fags and play some pool
        Pretend you never went to school
        But still you’ll never get it right
        ‘cos when you’re laid in bed at night
        watching roaches climb the wall
        if you called your dad he could stop it all
        You’ll never live like common people
        You’ll never do whatever common people do
        You’ll never fail like common people
        You’ll never watch your life slide out of view
        and then dance and drink and screw
        because there’s nothing else to do
        Sing along with the common people
        Sing along and it might just get you through
        Laugh along with the common people
        Laugh along although they’re laughing at you
        and the stupid things that you do
        because you think that poor is cool
        Like a dog lying in a corner
        they will bite you and never warn you
        Look out
        they’ll tear your insides out
        ‘cos everybody hates a tourist
        especially one who thinks
        it’s all such a laugh
        yeah and the chip stain’s grease
        will come out in the bath
        You will never understand
        how it feels to live your life
        with no meaning or control
        and with nowhere left to go
        You are amazed that they exist
        and they burn so bright
        whilst you can only wonder why
        Rent a flat above a shop
        Cut your hair and get a job
        Smoke some fags and play some pool
        Pretend you never went to school
        But still you’ll never get it right
        ’cause when you’re laid in bed at night
        watching roaches climb the wall
        if you called your dad he could stop it all
        You’ll never live like common people
        You’ll never do whatever common people do
        You’ll never fail like common people
        You’ll never watch your life slide out of view
        and then dance and drink and screw
        ‘because there’s nothing else to do
        I want to live with common people like you…..


        March 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      • “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.”


        March 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

  8. There will be tears. Lots of them. But no human rights for anyone who might need them, as usual.


    March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  9. The YMCA also seems to focus on the very dubious statistical methods.

    These incldue citing numbers of ‘job entries’ and ‘short jobs’ (whatever that means), getting favourable comments from people wh’d done work placements (as if they;re likely to be rude about YMCA when asked officially) and managers getting free-labour, aka, building company and so on.

    The whole document is riddled with puffs, subjective quotes, jargon (e.g. ’empowering’ ), and frankly does not stand up to serious examination.

    Andrew Coates

    March 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    • I was tempted to print off this page as it contains the Ipswich part of their publication to wipe my backside on… then I thought to myself that it would be an injustice to this blog and those who had commented.

      Well, poverty pimp YMCA Training uses the same old phrases (I am sure they have a guidebook somewhere)…

      You have what I call “Jobcentre Plus” keywords which are words and phrases such as “transition into work”, “work focused action plan”, “customers”, “Work Trials” and “flexible”. Then you have the industry “bywords” (i.e. as if it was a by-law to use them) such as “holistic”, “zero tolerance”, “community”, “practical support”, “well-placed”, “empowering”, “job-ready”, “liaison”, “tailored” and “team work”. Words can be stemmed (i.e. flexibility instead of flexible, working as a team instead of team work). Keywords such as “customers” are used more now instead of “participants” as it makes people feel (apparently) more valued and not like they are forced to attend.

      You have to note that there isn’t always a lot of alternative words so some might say its just a coincidence but providers generally like to stick to certain words as if its industry jargon. Which in certain respects I guess that it has become such.

      They also like to advertise mere procedure which is a mandatory contractual obligation to the welfare to work scheme such as the FND inductions… all providers are required to do it, but they like to promote it as it was their idea. Although they later say induction is mandatory – although it leaves reader discretion whether Jobcentre Plus requires them to do so or whether its a YMCA Training policy – thus some people can get the wrong assumptions.

      The other thing they like to do is be exhaustive with examples of their support. Instead of diluting the “fantastic” PR opportunity by wording it as “Some customers have […]” they like to state that “all” participants to make it sound like the support is equal and open to all, whereas usually the case is, not one of procedure but ones you have to ask for and then YMCA Training hold the discretion whether they wish to do so.

      This is the same with feedback… I will quote “FND customers are very satisfied” although other figures only indicate that 4 in 5 thought it was satisfactory. If Satisfactory = satisfied: very satisfied must mean very good (ofsted grade 1 – no data breakdown however between 1 and 2). We can all bump words like “very” in front of others (for example, satisfied) to tweak their meaning, but for the article it should have been written as such: “Most customers are very satisfied [..]”. But we all know poverty pimp YMCA Training likes to lie!

      As for “short jobs” as DWP moved the requirement of 13 weeks employment to 26 weeks to be sustainable, they also introduced (probably at the crying of welfare to work providers) a “short job” outcome so when temporary jobs came to an end (you know, the 1 month FREE MWRA placement, followed by 3 months paid work before being laid off) they still could claim some taxpayer cash.

      I have to admit while I was at poverty pimp YMCA Training, I lied non-stop on the mandatory “questionnaire” feedback forms. They made sure people must complete them, however, it was always an exercise of ticking positive boxes and not leaving any comments – to avoid YMCA Training developing a grudge against you. I had complained once at YMCA Training London Road… about inadequate seating on New Deal where everyone was forced to sit in one room (the computer room) where there wasn’t enough seats for half a day yet alone enough computers. Peoples moaning about it resulted into numerous breaks just to avoid people being crushed. They liked this because they needed only one member of staff to supervise so was cheaper. After I complained formally, and wasted time in stupid discussions going no where, they ended up finally splitting up days of attendance.

      Work Programme

      March 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  10. “Fascism should more appropriate be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.“

    Benito Mussolini

    March 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm

  11. […] published a large snippet of the Ipswich section to poverty pimp YMCA Training’s “YMCA Training – getting ready for the Work Programme” publication; a small snippet of such is as follows: Some customers are long term unemployed, […]

  12. Discoverd on DWP website re ESA. Apart from the two elements 1 work focused and support. Once on ESA you would have been seen or will be seen by your GP – Hospital and ATOS. Now find out that you also Could be required to see PROVIDERS DOCTOR. They will have the final say on your health and activities etc.

    Reed A4E Participant

    March 13, 2011 at 10:50 am



    March 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

  14. “A high proportion of customers require ESOL, (English as a Second Language) support, and so the Centre has established a partnership with Otley College, which delivers literacy and numeracy classes in-house at the Centre and support customers to gain Level 1 qualifications.”
    I think that you should check with Otley College to see if this is happening…….from what I know there is no ‘in-house at the centre’ training delivered by Otley College….unless they are trainee teachers gaining ‘work experience’ hours.

    Rooky for work

    April 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm

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