Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Latest workfare jobs advertised

with 29 comments

Following on about numerous topics on workfare such as list of workfare placement companies, Waterstones ending workfare placements, Poundland stopping workfare… at its brighton store and workfare employees being employees of the Crown…  today we are listing a few examples of workfare vacancies that are flooding the Labour Market System making it appear like there are more jobs advertised then in actual reality.

We are using dgjobs to link to these vacancies as the session based directgov makes this near impossible to achieve. You may at your will make a note or copy and paste the job references to stick them in directgov. Some vacancies are SOC code “0” (internal code: zero)  so might not show up on directgov.

Sandwich Artist (DUA/52869 and DUA/52870)

 Sandwich Artists have a positive outlook, thrive in a busy work environment and are keen to learn the art of great sandwich making. You will work well as part of a team, making delicious sandwiches to customer requirements. You will be responsible for serving customers, following health and safety procedures, and keeping the store clean.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sandwich… be it with bacon, chicken, or cheese… but is there really an art to it? Is a person who makes sandwiches really an Artist – in the same way someone who sketches, paints or produces music? OK, Ok, its a full-time job (barely – 30 hours), and it pays… well actually, these two vacancies in Dudley are workfare… and by the sounds of it… could it be the massive franchise Subway?! The one that is larger than McDs?!

Well.. Searching “Sandwich Artist” in the database brings back a few Subway vacancies… the job description is different and as they are paid vacancies they carry the Subway name:

Will be working as a sandwich artist. Must have good customer service skills experience in similar role preferred but not essential as full training will be given. You will need to be flexible and also a team player. Must like a challenge must be able to work under pressure, will standing for long periods of time. Must be clean and tidy as will be preparing food. This is a permanent position after a probationary period. Must have keyboard skills due to online training requirements.

A google search of “Sandwich Artist” returns some interesting results… A Wikipedia entry and “Exposing the Subway Sandwich Artist” YouTube video. Seems no one else really uses the term “Sandwich Artist” perhaps for good reason. (Sorry what tw*t brands your products as “subs” yet call the staff “Sandwich Artists” lol).

A franchisee requires significant capital to undergo such a venture, assuming the Subway in question is NOT run by Subway’s owners directly (like some McDs are) either way its replacing real paid jobs.

Journalist

You could always become a journalist…

 +++++++++++ Worktrial +++++++++++

You would have thought the creative writing skills would have made a better reading job advert.  It is a work trial, perhaps not so workfare in the sense as some others, but I remember a time where Work Trials were listed separately than in the job database with the rest.

General Assistant 

By now you might be noticing a trend… so many “employers” happy to give unpaid work placements but none brave enough to disclose their company name in the (unpaid workfare) job adverts!! Here is another one, this time in South East London:

*****************18+ WORK EXPERIENCE****************Duties include shelf filling and customer service. No experience is necessary but you must have an interest in retail, display good customer skills, be friendly, helpful, adaptable, flexible, punctual and reliable. MUST BE ABLE TO WORK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SHIFTS: . 7PM-3PM OR 8AM-4PM OR 3PM – 9PM OR4PM-10PMThis is a Work Experience opportunity. Interested customers should contact their local Jobcentre to see if they are eligible but must not apply to host employers directly before doing so.

These workfare job adverts take the michael. This one clearly is all about stacking shelves, but at the same time giving the professional impression that you are a paid employee of the business, having to deal with signposting customers and answering their queries.

I am sure after a while with an efficient person and trial and error… a few months down the line would separate the men from the boys, showing those really good at it and those who are bad workers… but other than that there is no specific skills, experience, qualifications or attributes required.. thus the job must be PAID! So many people after the same jobs these days, if a person is a poor worker, you sack them and replace them.. endless stream of people wanting to do so.

Too many of these give experience of (unpaid) “work”… but not skills or real experience which is more relevant.

Windermere Lake Cruise Pet 

A pet?!  Lets read the job description:

 For JSA/ESA(WRAG) claimants from day 1 of their claim.This opportunity is used to refer claimants to a mandatory initial assessment interview. Only refer claimants to this opportunity if they are interested in working for Windermere Lake Crusies and would benefit from Customer Service training with option to take certificate in Customer service level 2 or food safety & hygiene level1. JHP will determine the exact skills barrier and appropriate action. Referrals are mandatory; help with travel, childcare and replacement care costs is available. Claimant informed consent is not required. Complete REF2 and issue to Provider. Print mandatory referral letter and issue to claimant; obtain claimants signature on ES80A to confirm receipt.

Play Assistant 

One of many “voluntary jobs” that might be forced on claimants.. that become mandatory once signed up… (how does that work? Answers on a post card please!)

8 weeks work experience for customers with little or no work experience, aged 18+, from week 13 of JSA claim. Great opportunity to learn assisting with planning the curriculum, setting up and tidying away the playroom and all related duties. Experience working with in a 1 to 1 situation would be preferred Some training will be provided, depending upon experience. Successful applicants are required to provide an enhanced disclosure. Disclosure expense will be met by employer. This is a Work Experience opportunity. Interested customers should contact their local Jobcentre to see if they are eligible and must not apply to host employer directly. Your participation is voluntary but once a placement is accepted your benefits could be affected if you fail to start, or fail to comply with the terms of your placement, without showing good cause.

Sales Associate

A very picky employer placement company…

To gain the most from the placement for both the individual and the Company, the following criteria should be adhered to: Positive about and keen in Health and Fitness/Healthy Lifestyle; Confident; Presentable in appearance; Energetic; Has a passion to sell to customers and to work in Retail. DRESS CODE: No uniform, but as we work with food, individuals must be smart and clean in appearance. Whilst we are not going to specify colours, as a rule black clothing is a good option. A natural look is best – i.e no excessive make up or jewellery. Fingernails and hands must be clean at all times. H&B uniform colours are green top, black bottoms. No Trainers. Your participation is voluntary but once a placement is accepted your benefits could be affected if you fail to start, or fail to comply with the terms of your placement, without showing good cause.

As they spent so much time dreaming up of the ideal candidate unlike other workfare placement companies who couldn’t be bothered to spend 5-10 minutes on a description for the placement… they should focus their efforts on employing someone.

Sales Telephone Based Researcher

Cheeky c*nts… This is either a self-employed vacancy or an employed vacancy yielding what could be as much as £30,000 a year (pre-tax) – NMW plus commission. Of course this is pro rata in this instance, the placement company wouldn’t be making £30,000 from this placement, however, they will still be making too much.

 8-12 weeks work experience for customers 18+ with some work experience dealing with customers face to face or by phone. We are looking for individuals with strong verbal communication skills who are happy to call and sell our services to existing and new clients. Full on the jopb training will be provided. This is a Work Experience opportunity. Interested customers should contact their local Jobcentre to see if they are eligible and must not apply to host employer directly. Your participation is voluntary but once a placement is accepted your benefits could be affected if you fail to start, or fail to comply with the terms of your placement, without showing good cause. This ole could lead to full time placement for person keen to make a career within recruitment.

Much typos too… probably one of these dodgy telesales companies that hassle you every hour or so.

Trainee Recruitment Consultant 

Probably the lowest of the low, more so than sales… the job description is as follows, in full, typos included:

To enage with local businesses to secure temp and permanent contracts .

So the Government expects an unemployed person forced to work to keep their benefits, to secure contracts with employers for permanent and temp jobs at the sole benefit of this agency?

This person cannot have a paid job as it seems there is none going for him or her, however this “employed” workfare placement is expected to in-effect find work for other unemployed people… this is a conflict of interest and is out of order.

They keep rolling in…

You know what? I am bored of this already!! A week of vacancies… there are hundreds of workfare placements nationwide and around 2000 or so “opportunities” such as job search sessions, “YOUNG PEOPLE’S FINDING & GETTING A JOB” and “It’s your future”.

The real count

Yes, you read that right… out of approx 40,000 vacancies  the Jobcentre claims each week, 2000 are internal “opportunities” and close to a thousand are workfare placements. I work this out at about 7.5%. This leaves 37,000 “jobs” of course, there are only 7 days in a week etc. etc. we haven’t excluded “jobs” that are:

  • scams or fake
  • agency jobs that don’t exist
  • Jobcentre Plus sting operations
  • ongoing reposts for vacancies unlikely to ever be filled (if it didn’t fill the second time leave off a closing date ffs!)
  • etc.

EXPOSED! That is enough for now, I have to go out…

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Written by Universal Jobmatch

February 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

29 Responses

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  1. This abuse of the unemployed was also going on under Labour. I have experience dealing with an A4E-like scum organisation called Working Links. These “helpers” are seeing the world through the just-world fallacy and encouraging the vulnerable to do the same.

    It’s actually quite easy for a suffering person to believe they’re the cause of their own situation because they have low self-esteem, and they also want to believe the world will reward them if only they stop bringing it on themselves (the just-world fallacy again).

    I used to believe it myself because I wanted to think I wasn’t powerless about my circumstances. It was comforting in some ways because having control makes you feel safe. Unfortunately, the self-hate wasn’t productive and did nothing to change my life. Learning about the just-world fallacy and avoiding this kind of thinking has done so much more to help.

    The reality of the situation is that there are not enough opportunities, and most of those are dire and exploitative. It’s also true that even if you do try and “succeed”, there are plenty of other equally deserving people who won’t, just because others got there first.

    What these advisors are encouraging people to think is a form of emotional abuse. It might make them feel better because they want to rationalise what’s happening to the people they meet as much as the people themselves. Unfortunately they’re lying to these people and making them feel worthless, and it’s nothing short of cruelty.

    Newbunkle

    February 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

  2. From the Guardian Letters Page today,

    ” have read your report on G4S’s work programme in Hull (1 February). I am due to be forced on to the work programme myself in a few weeks and I have written to my local jobcentre and informed them I absolutely refuse to be referred to G4S or its subcontractors. Until recently G4S was involved in the morally abhorrent business of forced deportations. Last year Jimmy Mubenga died while being deported by G4S security staff (Report, 26 January). I have refused to allow the firm to profit from my presence on any of its schemes. The jobseekers’ allowance regulations permit claimants to refuse to take a job which offends their ethical beliefs. Nobody has yet tested this in relation to work programme providers, but I am preparing to pursue a test case if the Jobcentre does not take account of my objection.
    Carol Laidlaw
    Oldham

    Andrew Coates

    February 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    • nationwide problem – we know of the G4s mentality down at Ipswich Jobcentre… fortunately no one has been killed there by them yet.

      Work Programme

      February 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

  3. Excellent article and the above commentator is spot on about there not being enough opportunities. Unfortunately, there is a nasty undercurrent in this society that will blame people for the predicament they face and will allow for these ‘workfare’ schemes to stagger on until they eventual collapse in a year or two.

    Jeremy

    February 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    • Groups like Boycott Workfare are doing a great job and so is public interest lawyers

      This approach will exhaustively break down the number of actual job vacancies posted from the other nonsense on there including workfare… from a local perspective.

      Many places probably have only 1-15 new vacancies a day (speculation) which is nothing of the 1000-6000 unemployed people in that wider-area.

      Please don’t buy the myth that is “hidden jobs” – those jobs are only filled by internal candidates hence they aren’t advertised externally. Of course family or friends may be able to make an exception to this rule.. but the chances are they would have already offered or told you about it without you doing a thing.

      Work Programme

      February 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm

  4. Workfare is a piss-take. You are all being played for fools! Someone (think Emma Harrison, The Tesco, Poundlands… are STEALING YOUR LABOUR). Emma Harrison, The Tesco, Poundlands… are THIEVES. You try walking into a Tesco and taking their goods without paying – they will have you up before a Court of Law for THEFT but you let these evil organisations to go on STEALING from YOU without a whimper. You can wrap it up whatever way you want – “wokfare”, “work trial!, “work placement – but is is still THEFT – pure and simple!

    Tesco Slave Worker

    February 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

  5. Hidden Jobs: Prisonfare, Class, Unemployment as Finance

    John Harris’ video on Ian Duncan Smith’s work programme is as depressingly as it is telling.

    The obvious facts. Unemployment is at a systematic high (2,685,000), particularly among the young, not only in the United Kingdom, but globally, reaching 22.8% in Spain with nearly half young people unemployed. The BBC yesterday reported that in Greece, Red Cross volunteers are coping with the “New Homeless”, working and even professional class people, reduced to homelessness in the aftermath of the financial crisis and unemployment – handing out blankets and creating soup kitchens for those who only a year ago who had salaries.

    On the side of ideology we have the way in which capital is attempting to frame the subject of the unemployed. In the United Kingdom, this comes from both Labour and the Conservatives in the form of an increased vindictiveness towards those on benefits as the state retracts from welfare provision. This socially manifests itself in charities reporting that attacks on the sick and disabled for receiving benefits is on the increase and culturally in displicable videos that attempt to throw the poor and the sick into the category of hate figures. At the level of policy this is manifest in the cross-party consensus on the capping of benefits. In the case of Labour, particularly in the Glasman wing this is combined with a moralising communitarian discourse on “reciprocal benefits”, first touted under Blair by Glasman’s mate James Purnell. This will doubtless provide a central plank of a forthcoming Miliband policy platform, who has already spoken of “responsibility at the top and responsibility at the bottom”.

    The Work Programme Harris visits shows a grim glimpse of the future – a future where prison replaces Job Centres and incarceration even a basic wage. The Work Programme reviewed is doubly out sourced. First to the controversial private security company G4S, then to a local “social enterprise”. Companies like G4S have a fantastic scam going. For they get to extract value from the unemployed, without, of course, returning a wage. But they get to outsource this provision on the work programme at arms length to “social enterprises” that have to micro-manage the situation on the ground. This is yet another example of how the ‘Big Society’ is civil society doing the dirty work of capital. Then if the unemployed turn to the criminal economy, then G4S are on hand to provide prison or tagging for them. The Novara collective have pointed out on several occasions that the UK is moving from a workfare to prisonfare economy, operating in a similar manner to the United States, where welfare provision amongst the poor but specifically amongst the BME population is replaced with a jail term. As French sociologist Loic Wacquant notes [PDF] that the neoliberal state is becoming a combination of “supervisory workfare, a proactive penal state, and the cultural trope of ‘individual responsibility.’”. The aggressive sentencing and moral discourse in the aftermath of the riots gives a flavour of this. Prisonfare, alongside security and technologies such as CCTV seem to be very lucrative future markets as the crisis deepens. New prison projects and post-prison reeducation projects will certainly be slated for the near future. As unemployment becomes more of a problem, capital will only be too glad to manage this situation in its interests, particularly now the credit backed consumer growth is stalling, growth through credit that was not of the result of moral corruption that desired “something for nothing” (as moralists would like us to think) but rather suppression of wages and their topping up by credit, that further bound workers into servitude. Capital endlessly eating its own tail – but for how long can it successfully manage this “surplus humanity”?

    As in John Harris’ video, alongside the moralising, we have an attempt to recast the unemployed as neoliberal enterprising subjects, micro-business people whose only limitation is not structural, but themselves. Owen Hatherley has written brilliantly about his own experiences in this type of scheme, where a weird form of magical positive thinking is combined with management speak, self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and even medication – the amount of times people mention feeling depressed in the video should come as no surprise. The reality TV term “journey” used by the Work Programme boss is no accident, with real reality TV shows like Fairy Jobmother reenforcing this individualist self-help attitude, as others have pointed out at length. “I should have applied to more, picked myself up in the morning” is the reason for one interviewee gives for not having found a job, “when you’re feeling down you start blaming the world for your mistakes” the reason for unemployment being “I didn’t really know at first, coz I think it was more me, the way I was feeling”. The depressing fact is that all his hoping that “something will come” has resulted in endless precarity, a rolling six month contract that for someone has lasted twelve years. The combination of the neoliberal “job seeker as business” with the idea benefits claimants both out of work and sick are “faking” boxes in the “job seeker”. To claim the benefits to which they are entitled to is considered personally immoral, and the failure to get off any they are claiming is their own fault – the end result is claiming benefits is wrong, personally wrong.

    In his great book The Birth of Biopolitics, Michel Foucault talks about how researchers like Gary Becker at the Chicago School of Economics and Law developed the idea that the subject is entirely a market actor, a tiny corporation even when he or she is acting in the home. I often think that the idea that some speculation in Chicago became influential globally is far fetched, but then you see something like this.

    Here the unemployed are sent to investigate “hidden jobs”. Traditionally, there are jobs, you apply for them and you fail or otherwise to get them depending, in the real world, on supply. As one of the job employment consultants (QED) in the video says, “there aren’t any jobs advertised like they were five years ago, the application process has changed, there’s opportunities and there’s different ways of approaching employers to get work, to get experience and to fill gaps in CVs”. Despite her claim that there are jobs, she is pretty clear that the whole nature of the job has changed – there aren’t them in any traditional sense at all, else they would be advertised – employers simply need to get workers when they need them. Rather, unemployed people must literally be “job creators”, actively offering their work and sometimes even attempting to create a new role for themselves when they see the possibility of one. They must “speculate” to get employment. Considering the situation of global recession, the idea of employers creating roles when someone rocks up with a CV is staggering. But still, graduate websites recommend “speculating” for jobs, attempting to work out if a company is going to be taking on new staff, tracking their vacancies and so on. The unemployed person needs not to simply be able to get out of bed in the morning, but become totally attuned to the ebb and flow of the jobs market, like a financial services investor, able to detect a moment when a company might open a market and strike. Applying for jobs is more than a full time job, it becomes a skill analogous to financial speculation itself. Moreover, skill at this activity demonstrates in the minds of some PR consultants the aptitude and activity required in a job – highlighting yourself through entrepreneurial job hunting, you prove yourself capable in a role. It is highly ironic then that someone like Miliband calls for “responsibility at the top and responsibility at the bottom” when things like the Work Programme his party are supportive of (indeed helped create) are an attempt to fashion the “feckless” unemployed into the image of the “casino capitalists” at the top – looking for opportunities, playing the market, through a distorting mirror investing themselves in short term gains (a short precarious contract) and so on.

    The idea of “hidden jobs” is something far more common place than this video. The idea of “hidden jobs” is a pernicious phenomena, involved in the reproduction of class. Hidden jobs, are apparently 70% of all jobs. They are hidden because they are not advertised, but rather outsourced by companies to recruitment consultants or head hunters or purely internal hires. More often than not, they rely on a personal network of contacts. One does not need to fill in the gaps too much here. Like internships and “experience”, these “hidden jobs” vastly favour those from affluent backgrounds with the informational knowledge and skills of networking in the right circles to reveal the “hidden jobs”. Not only does this favour the middle classes, but also further entrenches the idea that not having a job is the fault of the individual, for failing to have enough connections, enough affect, enough skill. This is of course where there actually are “hidden jobs” – in this case they are hoovered up by those the system reproduces as class “betters” to those on benefits.

    Those of us whose politics contain an element of the idea of “the refusal of work”, self-organisation and social reproduction need to give some thought on these issues and the changing character of unemployment. Organising the unemployed is complicated and I have not considered precarity or underemployment at all. Mainstream unions have stepped up a little by allowing unemployed people to join. In a future blog post, I’ll be detailing a few ideas about weaponising the workfare culture of surveillance and affect against itself, as well as simple pragmatic suggestions.

    Hidden Jobs: Prisonfare, Class, Unemployment as Finance

    By Strategy

    February 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    • Hello “By Stategey”

      Interesting commentary – way above my station.

      One question, though, prompted by your included link to the article about the reduced membership-fee offer to the unemployed to join a trade union.

      What will unpaid, unemployed, mandated workfare slaves do on strike days – whether they are members of a trade union or not?

      As you no doubt will know, there is likely to be more public sector pension strikes, while over at Royal Mail where workfare placements have been introduced – despite TUC condemnation – there is likely to be more industrial action due to Privatisation.

      Tobanem

      February 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      • Hello again “By Strategy”

        More on union strike action…

        It would not be excatly irrational for trade unions to strike over workfare itself – let’s face it, workfare is clearly a major threat to the jobs of existing union members!

        But that action will be disastrous to workfare slaves – who will be damned if they cross a picket line in order to avoid savage benefit sanctions, and damned if they don’t!

        Tobanem

        February 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      • This is the great unanswered question, Tobanem. Maybe, Billy Hayes, leader of the scumCommunication Workers Union (SCAB) will be along soon to answer it!

        A Scargill

        February 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

  6. I worked as a Personal Adviser for a company called Ingeus on the Work Programme when it first started but had to leave it was so corrupt. Our job was impossible. How do we get 3 million people into 500, 000 jobs. The simple maths doe’s not add up.

    The jobseekers who are made to go on the work programme are, in the main, some of the most unemployable people in society. How was I meant to turn around a whole life of unemployment and the lack of employability skills in 6 weeks?

    We baby sat them. We were/are there to make sure they ARE applying for jobs and to punish them when they don’t. We were/are there to kick people off their benefits more than to find them a job. In another company I used to work for, A4E, (during New Labour’s New Deal which was almost as bad but at least that was just about hiding figures – not providing free labour to rich multi-national corporations) we were positively encouraged to assess a clients employability prospects and if they were very low, we were told to find a way of booting them off their benefits as this was also considered a ‘win’, just like getting them into work.

    These companies with Work Programme contracts only makes money if they get people into jobs so the staff are bullied by management to get people into jobs that they aren’t suitable for, that goe’s against their career plan, that they aren’t qualified for and in the worst scenario that they are endangering themselves and others by doing as they are not capable of doing the job safely etc.

    The billions that is being WASTED on this programme could of been used to offer employers tax breaks or other financial incentives for taking long-term unemployed people on or even better giving our NEET young people Apprenticeships (this is what all companies and employers say if anyone bothers to ask them) but NO. It is spent proping up rich and powerful corporations like Asda, Tesco and Poundland by supplying them with serfs, free labour to do their bidding. These big coporations are sacking people so as to replace them with free labour from the Work Programme! It’s criminal.

    ConDemOut

    February 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

  7. This programme exists to prop up the rich and to keep the poor in their place at the same time as turning the middle class against benefit claimants because, as we know, every single one of them is a scrounger without fail.

    ConDemOut

    February 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

  8. A4e got welfare-to-work contract despite ‘abysmal’ record, MPs say

    Public accounts committee criticises decision to award contract to A4e despite poor performance on government programmes

    The record of the welfare-to-work company A4e has come under scrutiny from MPs, as they questioned why a company with an “abysmal” record of delivering previous government programmes had been awarded new contracts to provide the government’s flagship Work Programme when it launched last summer.

    Details of large dividends received by Emma Harrison, A4e’s chair, also emerged during questioning of the company’s chief executive officer, Andrew Dutton. He confirmed that all of the company’s UK turnover last year, estimated at between £160m and £180m, derived from government contracts, and of the £11m paid in dividends to the company’s five shareholders, 87% went to Emma Harrison.

    During a session on Wednesday on the introduction of the Work Programme, politicians on the public accounts committee put a series of critical questions to the civil servants responsible for devising the scheme about the way that contracts for the government’s £5bn new Work Programme were awarded.

    The committee’s chair, Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP for Barking, asked civil servants why welfare-to-work companies with a poor track record of fulfilling previous contracts had been given new work.

    “It seemed rather surprising to me that you did not have to regard to the past performance of contractors. Why not?” she asked. “A4e … their performance on [Pathways to Work] was abysmal … Why didn’t you look at past performance of contractors?”

    Her fellow committee member Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for south Norfolk, added: “Are you seriously saying that you could not take into account that A4e had dreadful performance in one of the immediate predecessor programmes?”

    He said that the company had successfully got 9% of clients into work in the Pathways to Work programme, a much lower figure than the 30% they were expected to deliver.

    “Despite that seriously poor track record, are you seriously saying that is not something you could take into account?”

    The permanent secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions, Robert Devereux, replied: “I am saying that.” He explained that because other companies, which had not been involved in providing previous welfare-to-work contracts, were also tendering for contracts, it would not have been possible to look at the past performance of companies that had previously worked in this area.

    He also pointed out that most of the welfare-to-work providers had underperformed during the previous scheme.

    A4e won five main contracts to deliver the Work Programme when the results of a tendering process were announced last April, along with a wide range of other companies including Serco, G4S and Working Links.

    The committee spent some time trying to establish where money paid to A4e to deliver government contracts ended up.

    “We have a small group of shareholders. The dividends that we pay to the shareholders reflect the personal risk that they have. Having owned a company for over 21 years, at times they have had to effectively put their own homes and mortgages on the line,” Dutton told MPs. He said some of the company’s profits were ploughed back into the business.

    Hodge said it was important to follow taxpayers’ money along the chain, stating: “Your top management last year took £4.7m … you pay £11m dividends.”

    She added: “You’re one of the first examples we have had of a company which is entirely dependent on public contracts for your existence. We, in terms of looking for value for money, have an interest in following the pound. All your business is public contracts. You and Emma Harrison have to accept that there will be a different interest in the remuneration and profits made because the profits you make come from the taxes that ordinary, hard-working people pay.”

    Civil servants told the committee that the Work Programme’s new payment-by-results model would ensure that companies such as A4e would only get large payments for implementing the scheme if they got large numbers of benefit claimants into long-term, secure work.

    “I genuinely believe that we as providers have to perform,” Dutton said.

    There was discussion of whether companies would be able to make money by “creaming and parking” – creaming off and helping those who are easier to help, and parking those who are unlikely to find work, having taken the initial government payment of £400 for signing them up to the scheme.

    Civil servants said that companies would not make money if that was the approach they took.

    There was some analysis of a recent National Audit Office report which suggested that the forecasts for the numbers of people that the programme could get into work were over-optimistic. Devereux said that he was confident that the Work Programme would get the forecast number of people into work, despite the fact that the economic environment had significantly deteriorated since the programme was devised.

    Fiona Mactaggart, Labour MP for Slough, was concerned about the possibility of “job substitution” – companies delivering the Work Programme, getting paid for pushing their clients into jobs that would otherwise have been filled by other jobseekers without the need for a third-party payment.

    “In my constituency, a lot of people are being given work experience, unpaid, in retail, and then the retailers, I think, are being directly encouraged to employ people who have been given this one-month or two-, three-month interview process … and when they’re offering jobs, a company like A4e, which operates in Slough, can say to Primark, if you want more of our free workers, I hope you are going to give our people 20-hour-week jobs. I’m sure it’s not quite as overt as that, but I believe there is a risk of that happening.

    “How in this system do we protect against the risk of job substitution?”

    Devereux said that if the long-term unemployed were helped into work that was a positive development. “It is in society’s interest to get people who have been out of work a long time into jobs,” he said.

    Alan Cave, senior responsible owner for the Work Programme, told the committee: “It is an observed big change in the labour market over the past 10 years that more and more companies are using work experience as a tester of whether someone might be a full-time employee. That’s the reality. The providers have become quite skilful at taking someone coming on to the programme with a very weak CV … finding them some quick blocks of work experience, which will not be paid, [but] which will greatly improve their chances of getting a job that will be paid.”

    Article here.

    The Guardian

    February 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

    • You can’t help feeling that Emma Harrison got the contract because she is a professional exhibitionist, a toady of whatever government is in power, and has made enough money out exploiting the unemployed to hire herself some very professional lobbyists.

      Andrew Coates

      February 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      • lets hope she keeps the exhibitionism professional and PG rated…

        Work Programme

        February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  9. How effective is the government’s Work Programme?

    The first official figures for the government’s new flagship Work Programme, show that only one in five people who originally signed up, have been successful in finding work.

    It was designed to help get a million people off benefits and into jobs over the next two years, without cost to the taxpayer.

    But BBC research suggests that in some places, the number is significantly lower than that.

    Mark Easton has been following the project in Liverpool to see if it is making a difference.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16952787

    The BBC

    February 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

  10. Potential workfare implications…

    MCDONALDS REMPLOY INFORMATION SESSION

    Remploy are running a Information Session to highlight McDonalds recruitment procedures, Benefits packages, Training and Working patterns.Anyone who is considering applying for McDonalds vacancies should consider attending. Please call LEITH EA’s 0131-555-8136/ 8011/ 8204 to book a slot at the Session.

    Sounds a bit bizarre at face value: wouldn’t a person just apply to McDs how the next person would? Workfare placements are mandatory… once they have been giving a “place” on such “opportunity” a claimant will not be able to get out of it… unless they get sanctioned!

    Work Programme

    February 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm

  11. Fury as families tsar gets £8.6m in one year (and the bulk of it comes from taxpayers)

    – MPs question why firm continued to win contracts despite ‘abysmal’ record

    – Emma Harrison – who lives in a 20-bedroom ‘posh commune’ with 11 friends – paid herself huge dividend from A4e

    The woman appointed by David Cameron to get problem families back into work pocketed £8.6million last year – most of it from the taxpayer.

    Emma Harrison paid herself the huge dividend from her firm A4e, which makes all its UK income from state contracts.

    The payout is up 300 per cent on the year before even though MPs say the company’s record on job schemes is ‘abysmal’.

    Full article (with comments and pictures!) here

    The Daily Heil

    February 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

    • Fantastic 🙂

      Emma Harrison's Hairy Arse

      February 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

    • Having worked for this company for many years, I have seen the company grow financially from the taxpayer funded new deal contracts and ESF (European Social Fund) contracts which paid thousands to this company just by getting an employer sign a form that they have employed their client in full time employment but this was not the case in majority of the claim. The client re- refered back to this company by JCP so again they can scam the outcome fee. I on many occassion wrote to people concerned in JCP and both Labour and Tory government but nothing was or has been done and A4e wins in excess of 1/2 a billion pounds worth of contracts again again again !!! why when their stats are all made up to look good at local level. I have never seen such a scam and if this government opened all their declarations over past 12 years and visit all the employers who signed these forms for claims will find very astonishing results. Millions in bonus have been paid to senior management for these PROFITS!!

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099651/MPs-probe-Emma-Harrisons-salary-ocketed-8-6m-year.html#ixzz1m9yRcM9V

      Lifeline

      February 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

    • 🙂 .

      The Ghosts of Thornbridge Hall

      February 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

    • I don’t know how that blooming woman can sleep at night… in a great, blooming big haunted house.

      Brenda Barnstubble

      February 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      • She probably employs the ghosts through workfare to clean her house,sort of like the Hammer film Plague of Zombies where zombies are created to simply provide a workforce to work in a mine.Maybe should not have mentioned that in case it gives IDS
        ideas,lol.

        ck

        February 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  12. The People’s Supermarket over the past year, has provided training and support for 17 A4e clients. We have gone on to employ 2 of these people. We have been in lengthy talks with A4e, regarding monies owed for this service. They acknowledge that they received public money for their clients, which in accordance with their agreement with the government should be passed on to the business’s taking part in the Work Placement scheme. In one meeting an A4e senior manager described their work placement contracts as “extremely lucrative”. Their continuing refusal to pay, is leading us to withdraw our support for the scheme.

    – Kate Bull CEO The People’s Supermarket, Holborn London, 9/2/2012

    Kate Bull

    February 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    • Somebody’s got to pay for Emma’s Mansion-Commune.

      Andrew Coates

      February 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm

  13. Having worked for this company for many years, I have seen the company grow financially from the taxpayer funded new deal contracts and ESF (European Social Fund) contracts which paid thousands to this company just by getting an employer sign a form that they have employed their client in full time employment but this was not the case in majority of the claim. The client re- refered back to this company by JCP so again they can scam the outcome fee. I on many occassion wrote to people concerned in JCP and both Labour and Tory government but nothing was or has been done and A4e wins in excess of 1/2 a billion pounds worth of contracts again again again !!! why when their stats are all made up to look good at local level. I have never seen such a scam and if this government opened all their declarations over past 12 years and visit all the employers who signed these forms for claims will find very astonishing results. Millions in bonus have been paid to senior management for these PROFITS!!

    Lifeline

    February 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

  14. Yes, there are a number of things about the Work Programme that are dodgy: I interviewed a young union rep from a Benefits Centre recently who told me that people would often turn up to an empty room with computers that didn’t work, with no staff: the aim was to get them to a point where they stopped turning up, then their benefits could be stopped. At that point it gets very Kafka-esque and macabre.

    Zoe W

    February 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  15. In work poverty of many supermarket workers

    When you do your supermarket shopping at the likes of Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s you are not only paying for your goods, your taxes are subsidising their huge profits and the remuneration packages for their CEOs.

    Newsnight’s Economics editor Paul Mason reports on the way workers’ wages are being supplemented by state benefits.

    In work poverty of many supermarket workers

    Newsnight

    February 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

  16. […] have criticised Jobcentre Plus’ Labour Market System, workfare job vacancies advertised on there, Jobcentre Plus using workfare and false job advertisements to distort job […]


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