Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Working Links Under the Spotlight for Persistent Failures.

with 16 comments

Conned into paying for failure

Solomon Hughes reports in the Morning Star today(27th of  April).

For the past decade the government has driven welfare policy in a new direction.

Warning lights started flashing on the dashboard. The engine began making a funny noise years ago. Every now and then that worrying hot-plastic smell fills the cabin.

Hughes singles out Working Links – demonstrating that A4E is not the only part of the Unemployment Business in trouble.

He says,

“Founded in 2000 as a “public-private partnership” the state has taken a “back seat” in running it. Working Links runs many activities, as a “provider of services under a range of government contracts to help Britain’s most disadvantaged communities”.

It has a £27 million turnover in 2001 and £123 million in 2010. Its profits have gone up to £5,7 million.

It paid ‘fees’ of £3 million to one shareholder, Manpower and a £1,6 million dividend to shareholders.

But its Action Team for Jobs” was found to be supremely inefficient, meeting only 78% of its targets. By comparison Jobcentre Plus teams got 140% on their targets.

The National Audit Office found Pathways to Work as “poor value for money”. ”

The evidence shows Working Links were yet again ‘creaming’ the most active unemployed folk and ‘arking’ those with more problems.

They were meant to get 29& of ‘mandatory aprticipants’ into schemes but instead only got 11% into these ‘programmes’.

Working Links has now hit allegations of serious fraud (which Hughes raised in Private Eye, the same issue we reported on a couple of weeks ago. Hughes contacted us before – keep looking out for SEETEC and Papworth Trust seems to be taking its £400 fees for claimants and doing little for anybody not part of the ‘cream’,  Solomon!).

After a “compliance visit” that checked claims for 85 unemployed people, they said,

Based on the information above, none of these customers should have been considered as starts on the Working links contract.

The company should not have claimed government cash because, ‘They had all been referred to jobs by the Jobcentre plus and been succesful in securing those jobs prior to any intervention by Working Links’.

The form also “claimed cash for training them even though this training was not provided by Working Links’

What has happened?

The fraudsters were simply asked to repay the cash.

What has the government done?

“First, they are keeping all reports into financial misbehaviour by firms like Working links secret.

Second, they have banned Ofstead from inspecting the providers.

And third, Chris Grayling has given Working Links contracts to run his Work Programme in Scotland, Wales and South-west England worth £307 million.

So the next time you see somebody caught nicking something from Sainsbury’s suggest that they give it back and the company will reward them with a contract to run their security services.

Now, about SEETEC………….

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16 Responses

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  1. It just gets worse and worse. Are we to assume that all the welfare-to work companies are – allegedly – on the fiddle?….
    I’m sorry that the following is not immediately related to the post about Working Links, but I think it is so important as it is about the attack on the NHS and the current climate of fear that is pervading amongst those who would like to criticise the outsourcing to private firms, but are facing punishment for doing so..
    From Dr Eoin Clarke’s excellent blog, The Green Benches, he describes how Labour MEP’s concerns about Suffolk community healthcare being outsourced to SERCO were raised with UNISON in Bury St Edmunds, during which visit photos included several NHS nurses present. He writes:

    I cannot reveal the nurses names, but 2 of them are now facing disciplinary action for taking part in Howitt’s visit. In particular, a photograph of them with an elected politician is being used as evidence of bringing the NHS into disrepute. I am very sorry to say that this case is one of a very very long line of nurses who have been disciplined in the last 2 months across the UK that I am prevented from reporting for fear of adding to their punishment. I was recently informed of a serious punishment for an NHS worker in Wiltshire for a non-offence (social media related). Another single mum in Salford witnessed an incident that upon attempting to relay she was intercepted and punished.

    On top of this Trade Unions are nervous about speaking out. One trade union within the last day censored attempts to raise these issues because they did not want to be seen to be rocking the boat, or to bring unwanted litigation upon themselves. They blocked several motions for the national conference for these very reasons. Again, I cannot mention the details because it would lead back to my source.

    I cannot reveal the nurses names, but 2 of them are now facing disciplinary action for taking part in Howitt’s visit. In particular, a photograph of them with an elected politician is being used as evidence of bringing the NHS into disrepute. I am very sorry to say that this case is one of a very very long line of nurses who have been disciplined in the last 2 months across the UK that I am prevented from reporting for fear of adding to their punishment. I was recently informed of a serious punishment for an NHS worker in Wiltshire for a non-offence (social media related). Another single mum in Salford witnessed an incident that upon attempting to relay she was intercepted and punished.

    On top of this Trade Unions are nervous about speaking out. One trade union within the last day censored attempts to raise these issues because they did not want to be seen to be rocking the boat, or to bring unwanted litigation upon themselves. They blocked several motions for the national conference for these very reasons. Again, I cannot mention the details because it would lead back to my source.

    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/nurses-are-being-silenced-censored-and.html#comment-form

    If the ConDems think their wretched “reforms” to the NHS are so brilliant, why the hell don’t they have the confidence in them to deal with valid criticism and peoples’ justified fears?

    Findlow

    April 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

  2. Working Links changed their name to Ingeus.

    They were shit when I saw them. Useless to a man.

    wishface

    April 28, 2012 at 7:15 am

    • Ingeus are a separate gang, with ambitions to take over the world Unemployment Business.

      “United Kingdom
      The UK’s largest employment services provider under the Work Programme, we have been delivering high quality services for the UK government, in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus, since 2002. In addition to services for long-term unemployed people, young people and people with health conditions, we also deliver specialist services to disadvantaged groups such as minority ethnic groups, ex-offenders, people with a history of drug abuse, homeless people and refugees, people with basic skills and/or English language needs and people aged 50+ with low or no qualifications.

      France
      One of the first providers of outsourced employment services in France, our current programmes include specialist services for young unemployed people in the disadvantaged suburbs, services to very long-term unemployed people and assistance to people with health conditions.

      Germany
      In June 2006, we formed a partnership with Nuremberg’s regional administration and public employment service to support people who had been unemployed for at least one year. We have since expanded to deliver services to short- and long-term unemployed people in Munich, Berlin and Wetzlar and single parents in Nuremberg.

      Sweden
      In February 2009, we commenced delivering a programme in partnership with the Swedish public employment service to assist newly arrived immigrants and refugees. The company has since expanded to assist short-term unemployed and young people to develop their skills to move into employment or regular education. Most recently, we have been awarded a pilot programme to provide rehabilitation services to facilitate the return to work of clients with health related issues.

      Switzerland
      Building on our international expertise and best practice, we were awarded two contracts within quick succession to work in partnership with the federal and local social insurance offices in Zurich and Lausanne. These contracts will assist people with long-term health conditions or disabilities to build on their strengths and capabilities to return to work.

      South Korea
      Entering the market with outplacement services, we currently work in partnership with the Ministry of Employment and Labour and the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea to deliver contracts to assist people on benefits to return to work. In February 2011, we commenced a programme with the Ministry of Defence to assist military veterans to prepare for and secure civilian jobs.

      Poland
      The appointment of a Chief Operating Officer in July 2010 marked the commencement of Ingeus’ formal presence in Poland. We believe we can play a role in assisting the government to meet its policy objectives of growing sustainable and socially inclusive labour markets.

      Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
      In 2011, Ingeus, in partnership with Deloitte Middle East and Deloitte UK, commenced the delivery of employment services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The pilot program, to be delivered in five cities, is part of the commencement and development of employability programs in the Kingdom.

      Australia and New Zealand
      Founded in Australia in 1989, our 22 years’ experience in providing injury management and rehabilitation, employment services, training, and recruitment, informed the best practice service delivery model which sparked and sustained the company’s international expansion. Through the acquisition of Assure Programs in 2011, Ingeus works with organisations and individuals in Australia and New Zealand to develop tailored and timely solutions to enhance personal wellbeing and improve organisational performance and resilience. Our global headquarters are in Brisbane, Australia.”

      Andrew Coates

      April 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

  3. More people turning to food banks

    A record number of people are turning to charities to help them feed their families.

    The Trussell Trust, which runs the UK’s only network of food banks, fed almost 129,000 people last year, including 6,000 in Scotland.

    The food bank gives people referred to it an emergency supply of dried and tinned food.

    However, some charities are concerned that charities are being used as a replacement for government action.

    According to the Office for National Statistics, food and soft drink prices rose by 4.6% in the year to March, but for many people benefits and wages are not going up, leaving less money for food.

    Very reluctant

    Captain Stephen Turner, who works for the Salvation Army from Hawick in the Borders, said he was particularly concerned by the number of pensioners approaching them.

    He said: “The most recent thing, and it’s very unusual in my 15 years of experience, is that actually we’ve had requests from older people on pensions who are just beginning to struggle with day-to-day living.

    “That is unusual because they tend to be proud and very reluctant to ask for help, so if they are asking they are probably in serious financial difficulty.”

    There are more than 200 Trussell Trust food banks in the UK, 10 of which are in Scotland.

    The food bank system works on a referral-only basis.

    Every client is sent to the food bank after concerns raised by health visitors, doctors, social workers, and other professionals and social organisations.

    They are given an emergency supply of food which should last them for at least three days.

    Barbara Hill and her daughter Beckie sought the help of the Dundee food bank in January after Barbara’s husband Steve became too sick to work as a security guard.

    Beckie’s two-year-old son also lives with the family.

    She said: “I’m lucky if I have £100 to spend on food and nappies, everything we need at the end of the month.

    “If we didn’t have the little man living with us I don’t think we would have got in contact with the food bank, but you can’t make him go on one meal a day, whereas me, my daughter and my husband can.”

    But critics have expressed concern about the food bank system, saying that it masks the true extent of poverty.

    Extremely difficult

    Hannah Lambie-Mumford, from Sheffield University, has researched the development of food banks in the UK.

    She said: “My research has found food parcel recipients, whilst grateful for the generosity, love, care and support they receive at a food bank, they find the reality of having to seek assistance in the first place, having to ask for help, is extremely difficult.

    “A number of people relayed to me very moving stories about the experience of humiliation, a sense that people were having somehow to beg for receipt of this charity.”

    John Dickie, from the Children’s Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said: “We would be deeply concerned if it was ever seen that charities, food banks, would in any way be a kind of replacement for a tax and benefit policy that ensures all our families have adequate incomes for the task of bringing up their children.

    “This is an indictment of government policy and shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to the kind of national action we need to prevent children and families living in poverty in the first place.”

    BBC Scotland Investigates: Breadline Scotland transmits on Sunday 29 April at 16:32 on BBC Radio Scotland

    BBC

    April 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

  4. Interesting and relevant link here:

    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_centre/index.cfm/id/F6038122-D400-4B26-B2CF44ABBD4F2A05

    See also my post today on this website under “Another A4E Employee Arrested”

    Tobanem

    April 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

  5. yes working links in bridgend near porthcawl are useless as tits on a boar.bad planning and office idiots who,ve lost their grip on reality,i guess there is good and bad everywhere,but not here,every dog has its day ,one day they will lose their piss ant jobs and see the big picture.

    paul

    November 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    • Nothing much has changed they are still the same. Bridgend staff ( mostly women with little man syndrome) They want to support the long term unemployed and they do that how by plunging jobseekers into abject poverty with the use of sanctions on the merest whim. Their favourite word is sanction and they love to quote their favourite parts of the Jobseekers agreement which they have learned parrot fashion and quote ad verbatim Don’t want to shovel shit for three months ? We’ll sanction you Don’t want to apply to mop floors through manpower? Sanction! Facile and vacuous they smile sweetly at a ‘customer’ ( aka jobless scum) then stick the knife in him after he has left discussing his case openly amongst themselves within earshot of the plebs on the computers whose souls have long been destroyed

      Justice Calls

      July 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

  6. I don’t even sign-on and haven’t for over a year yet Working Links Ltd keep calling and texting me wanting to know the details of my presonal situation. I do not reply because its none of their business and its a disgrace that they are still harassing me like this for so long.

    I have not claimed any benefits since I signed off but they still insist on calling me up and harrassing me. I answered the telephome about 6 months ago and they grilled me about things like whether I owned my own home and what I was doing now and when I started and other personal information. I don’t see what I have to report to them!! I looked them up online and before they dealt with the unemployed they were commissioned to deal with prisoners on probation and recent release. From what I can see it would appear that the probation and rehabilitaion model has been applied to jobseekers now.

    I remember on my first day at Working Links I was told immediately upon arrival that I ‘had’ to sign a whole host of legal disclaimers, basically allowing them to collect and store data on me with my ‘consent’ for two years, even if I get a job! At no point before I went to Working Links did my ‘adviser’ at the Jobcentre tell me that they would ask me to sign all these forms and at no point was I advised by Working Links themselves what the forms were. The staff gave the impression that it was routine and there was no question that I was not going to sign them. I have seen this before as a sales tactic used to get people to sign things.

    It is a disgrace the way they behave. Even before I went to Working Links Ltd I saw people complaining at the Jobcentre reception that they were being harrassed by them.

    I mean surely I don’t have to tell them all about my life, never mind over a year after I signed off. I think they must be paid a bonus for every 6 months someone stays in a job after they sign off because I can see a pattern.

    I don’t know my rights and no one gives any advice as to what information I have to give and what I can say no to. I am sick of handing over all my personal data in general, never mind to a trumped up new fascist style mixing of the state and the private sector!

    Alisdair

    August 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm

  7. I worked for Working Links and reported their criminality to Private Eye as well! did u know they also sacked staff who had minor stuff on their CRBs but claimed to be helping ex offenders into work? I know 1 guy they paid 2 grand to charity for as they had sacked him as his enhanced crb had record of an investigation but on which he was exonerated, and where he has nothing on his crb!!!! Some caring company – not!!! need any more dirt on these eastwards – email me!!

    Mike Matthews

    January 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    • Yeah, go on and dish the dirt on these c!”£$S!! Working Links are fucking SCUM!!

      Working Links are SCUM!!

      January 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

  8. […] signatures used to claim cash for jobs that did not exist. The company was also criticised for ‘creaming off’ the most profitable […]

  9. Who do i complain to about working links i have written to them phoned them and still no respose

    Donna Rees

    June 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    • Sorry to hear that you have had to had dealings with these bastards, Donna. As regards, complaints, Working Links don’t appear to have a complaints department! But they might have those postcard things a lot of welfare-to-workfare fuckers have at reception: you fill them out and pop them in the post-box and it is the last you hear lol

      Working Links Are Fucking SCUM!!

      June 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      • It’s not a real post-box btw. It the ‘post-box’ at reception lol The one glued to the wall lol

        Working Links Are Fucking SCUM!!

        June 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm

  10. Working Links are a shit-stain on the underpants of life.

    Pissing Down

    June 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm

  11. “Warning lights started flashing on the dashboard. The engine began making a funny noise years ago. Every now and then that worrying hot-plastic smell fills the cabin” – seems like you big end has gone, it’s gonna cost you, a trip to the garage might be in order, mate… 😉

    The Mechanic

    June 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm


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