Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Work Programme “Failing”, it’s Official.

with 20 comments

A new Report is out today.

The government’s work programme, intended to help jobseekers back to work, is failing people with disabilities as well as not tackling problems faced by homeless people and those recovering from substance abuse.

MPs found that although the Work Programme got off to a “poor” start there had since been improvements in support for the “mainstream” unemployed.

However the Work and Pensions Committee said there is “growing evidence” that disadvantaged jobseekers are being “parked

It criticised the techniques of providers, who are paid according to their success in securing long-term work for clients, claiming they are playing an “ineffective numbers game” that involves deluging employers with poorly matched CVs and under-prepared candidates.

MPs also said they were “dismayed” to learn that Work Programme advisers had to deal with up to 180 jobseekers, arguing that the caseload was too heavy to allow an effective service.

The Huffington Post focuses on the problems of people with disabilities.

The Guardian adds,

A report by the Commons work and pensions committee published on Tuesday says the employment programme is “unlikely to reach the most disadvantaged long-term unemployed people” and warned that the hardest-to-help jobseekers were “at risk of being ‘parked'” – the industry term for abandoning those claimants who are deemed very unlikely to find work, and therefore offer little prospect of triggering payment-by-results bonuses.

But there are wider problems.

An earlier report said this,

The first set of data to emerge from the Work Programme revealed the number of people being helped into employment was worse than the government had forecasted for if the scheme did not even exist.

Just 3.5% of the 878,000 people referred to the Work Programme’s providersin its first year were lifted into sustained employment, well below the government’s 5.5% target for providers.

A separate group of lawmakers blasted the Work Programme as “extremely poor” and also voiced concern that the hardest-to-help participants were being left behind.

“While we recognised that it is early days for the Work Programme, such poor performance undermines the confidence in its long-term success,” said the Public Accounts Committee (Pac), which took evidence from ministers and service providers.

“The DWP needs a better understanding of the factors that led to early performance being well below expectations in order to assess whether the longer term targets for the Work Programme are still achievable.”

Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Pac, said it was “shocking” that just 20 of the 9,500 people on incapacity benefit taking part in the Work Programme had been placed in a job that lasted just three months.

“The Work Programme is absolutely crucial for helping people, especially the most vulnerable, get into and stay in work,” she said.

“However its performance so far has been extremely poor.

This leads us to ask how the Work and Pensions Committee can make this claim,

The Work Programme has the potential to work well for relatively mainstream jobseekers but is unlikely to reach the most disadvantaged long-term unemployed people, argues the Work and Pensions Committee in a Report published today.

Commenting on the Report, Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“The performance of the Work Programme in its first 14 months was poor. There are signs that it is now improving significantly for mainstream jobseekers. We hope the next job outcome statistics to be published in June will bear this out – we will be very concerned if they don’t.

While we recognise this,

The Committee concludes that the Work Programme’s differential pricing structure, which is designed to financially incentivise contracted providers to support those with more challenging barriers to employment, is not having its intended impact on providers’ behaviour. The hardest to help jobseekers remain at risk of being “parked” – given little or no support by providers who assess them as being unlikely to find sustained work.

It is equally the case that evidence given by people writing and commenting on this site that the Work Programme is failing a wide group of people from all kinds of backgrounds.

As the previous post noted, “Work Programme providers begin the chase“. 


20 Responses

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  1. When the next Private Provider performance figures are released and are even worse that the first lot of figures, they won’t be able to say “it’s still only early days”.

    It will be damning and impossible to ignore, the DWP will HAVE to start terminating contracts with most work programme private providers, as stated in their promise 2 years ago.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    May 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

  2. No surprise here.

    You can’t get a quart out of a pint pot!


    May 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

  3. ‘[Work programme adviser] Knox-Holmes is committed to her job, and energetic in her attempts to help people, but is aware that there is only so much she can do. “You can’t be in denial any more. It is the job situation out there. We can do all the quality work we can, but if the jobs aren’t there, it is really hard. I haven’t reached my target this month or last. I felt terrible about it.”‘

    Never mind Amanda. When you get sacked, don’t forget the “hidden jobs market” 😀



    May 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    • And Amanda, once you have been sacked and have to go to the Jobcentre to make a claim to sign on, watch out, because there will be people there who remember you from the Work Programme who you may have sanctioned.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      May 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  4. none of this comes as a surprise.the dwp try to hide behind not being involved in this programme and its unsavory activities,hiring the hitman and keeping in the background.but are the first to divulge every piece of someone’s details to them regardless of what anyone says or thinks,they demand 100% of you but offer little to nothing in return,its little more then an overpriced job club.

    its a complete scam.outfits saying people are fit for work one moment,the government saying no one should be written off yet the companies’ they pay billions to are the first to do so.such practice is discriminatory and unlawful.the help even if someone is able isn’t there,turning point have walked away saying its unviable.the first words two years ago from A4e on the first telephone referral was “any disabilities” then silence,the phone was grabbed back by the job centre adviser hell bent on placing on this wretched waste of time and money.personally i haven’t even had an interview and the two years are nearly up


    May 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  5. Poor Amanda , still you will know ever tatic your wp provider is going to use to raise a sanction doubt against your claim


    May 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

  6. Failing? Failed. Within 3 months of launching. But its worked with the real motives of the scheme (reducing unemployed count)

    Universal Jobmatch

    May 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    • And giving a much-needed boost for the lobby of the ‘Unemployment Bizniz’.

      Andrew Coates

      May 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

  7. Just been on the “Countdown Routeway” at A4E It is a course you are mandated on to attend when you are close to completing the two years on the Work Programme. Apparently it has been condensed from four days to four hours but that was three hours and fifty minutes too long.It just outlined the new benefit changes which most people already knew followed by riveting and invaluable discussions on how to cope with job rejection,utilising your job search time and some addresses for local libraries to get IT access and local job clubs.In other words if you have been on the Work Programme for any length of time it is all dreadfully familiar.
    There was also a feedback form to fill in but I don’t really believe any of our feedback would be seriously acknowledged / considered ,certainly not my suggestion on improving the Work Programme,that it should be scrapped and a genuine job creation or training scheme be put in its place instead of “the one size fits all” plan that treats everyone the same regardless of their employment,qualifications or experience.
    They had no knowledge of what the DWP has planned for people who have completed their two years of fun,so just one final WP appointment then whatever the DWP has in store,
    Thanks for nothing A4E,but if I can get a job that is exactly what you will getting from me,nothing as in a fat wad of cash for a job referral when you have done sod all.


    May 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    • They had no knowledge of what the DWP has planned for people who have completed their two years of fun,so just one final WP appointment then whatever the DWP has in store,

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they put you back on the wp after a few months. The Community Action Programme trailblazer wasn’t a great success.



      May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    • Hi CK,
      Like you I am just approaching the end of an utterly pointless 2 years at A4greed so I found your post useful. There has been a mention of a course (no name supplied but apparently insisted upon by the JCP) but when I enquired as to the content of the course the adviser ran off to find out. On their return a correction was made – there is no course just an” exit review”, a one to one. I will prepare some comments. I will also ask to fill in the relevant bits of the form myself rather than relying upon their “interpretation” of my comments.
      I have read the review (summary) of the CAP trailblazer which seems on balance to suggest that the intensive Ongoing Case Management (OCM) was marginally less ineffective than the CAP. I also seem to remember reading that when the govt re-wrote the regulations following the Cait Reilly case that they did not include the relevant regulations for the CAP. This may, or may not, have been deliberate but means that if they want to inflict the CAP on us they will have to get the regulations through parliament – hopefully the Labour party will find some guts and principles to oppose this (some hope!).
      Anyway I think we can look forward to a version of OCM administered by the JCP. A named “Personal Adviser” (maybe even the same one each time!) and more frequent and longer appointments (maybe an hour once a week). Hopefully no workfare element.


      May 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

      • Gissajob,glad you found my post useful.When I was informed of the course I tried to look online to see what it was going to be about but only found one reference to it an online discussion in April.Unfortunately the person discussing the course did not post anything after being on the course so I was none the wiser,so I thought my post would be a useful heads up for people on here.
        But now your post appears to indicate that this course is discretionary depending on where you are ,not mandatory as I was told/lied to.I could certainly have done without it.
        As regards my exit review I am going to do the same as you and fill in my own comments/feedback.
        I just hope the final part of your post is accurate (OCM and no workfare),not Lumpenprols,otherwise we are just going to punished (with CAP/workfare)because of the lies and incompetence of our Work Programme providers.


        May 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  8. ”Burying Bad News Time” ?
    How long will it be – before we find that ”New Entrants” to the wp find themselves being placed on it after 6 months. ?


    May 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

  9. Hello.

    (Edit – Turned out a bit long, thanks if you read and could help)

    There really is nowhere to turn when you have problems with your work programme provider.

    And if you happen to be in the right and have the truth that’s often little help.
    And add to that all the lies and bullshit and all you have to defend yourself is an attempt to convince a probably disinterested decision maker that you did nothing wrong!

    My provider attempted to blackmail me today. And they are putting in a very spurious sanction doubt after I didn’t back down and asserted my rights.

    I have them recorded as saying the reason for todays doubt is ‘Failure to provide an
    electronic CV’.

    The mandated activity was to attend a CV writing course. I showed my hard copy and this was accepted as good. The provider cannot get my CV through the subcontractor so they are ‘nicking me’ for non participation although i attended and participated. A manager at the subcontractor has told lies about me upsetting staff.

    I did not.

    Can anyone here please link me to definitive proof that i am not obliged and cannot be mandated to supple a CV in any form, but simply to prove I have one and can maintain one.

    The thing is with my situ is i am willing to be sanctioned because I will not starve and will have shelter.

    This after being sanctioned for oer 7 months and now the tribunal has been frozen due to that high court ruling that the dwp are appealing against.

    So, I said to them they cannot do what they are doing and told them to do what they feel they have to do.

    The info regarding CVs is so polarised. Surely I cannot be sanctioned for declining them a CV. Showing it has always been fine.
    They are getting so desperate they are getting even more horrible and coercive.

    I am keeping sane, just.

    I like this forum and simply feel that I need to get this stuff out of my system.

    I will not let this go. I never wanted to go to the media, but I am considering such.

    They do so underestimate us. And that’s good. The audio shows so many inconsistencies and veiled threats and all the coercion.

    Handy to have, I have a friend who is a filmmaker I might make a documentary one day, really telling it how it is. Not like the wishy washy shite that is often biased. And what often turns out only vaguely accurate and only scratches the surface,.
    I wish I could afford those little cameras like they have on TV docus. Lol.

    The way they look at you and their general demeanour is absolutely disgusting sometimes. And with so many anecdotal tales like mine on the net, we cannot all be lying, can we? Gosh. It’s terrible. I so feel for the less assertive.

    Rant over. Hope you don’t mind, just some days it’s really tough holding oneself together in this craziness. It’s so bad it’s almost unbelievable.

    And another thing they hate about me, I am rather good at public speaking, therefore when i am angry, but in the right i can project lots of info without shouting and swearing. Educating anyone who can hear and process coomon sense and logic. That it’s all factual and true really helps it flow.

    I may just fuck them off completely soon and by the time any sanction they apply expires my 2 years with them will be up. I got a potential 4 weeks if this current one about the CV gets upheld. Then the second offence will be 13 weeks.

    If they cannot do me for 3 years for stopping going then i will consider this if it’s an option. It’s affecting my health. It’s alleged I’m made of stern stuff, I really hope this proves to be true. Bit stressed as I type, I tried to be clear.

    Stay strong people.

    Mr No

    May 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    • The nub of this seems to be that you refuse to provide them with a soft (or hard) copy of your CV. They are not entitled to have this info – so you are in the right. See consent.me.
      Unfortunately this may not prevent the malicious F*****s from raising a doubt which you should fight and should win.
      Good Luck


      May 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      • Cheers Gissa.

        Consent.me has no links to anything definitive on the subject, unfortunately. Not that i can see, there is a statement, but I cannot see any links to relalvant data.

        Even most FOI requests are answered in the vaguest terms.

        Hopefully the decision maker will not take action.

        Didn’t stop them sanctioning me before for non attendance when i was present. Thankfully I have the proof now, for when my tribunal is no longer frozen!

        If it wasn’t so serious it would be almost amusing. The levels of psychopathy in this particular industry are quite alarming.

        Mr No

        May 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

  10. […] week, another admission from politicians that the government’s Work Programme is failing (but obviously without any moves to bring it to an end). This open letter of complaint highlights […]

  11. […] week, another admission from politicians that the government’s Work Programme is failing (but obviously without any moves to bring it to an end). This open letter of complaint highlights […]

  12. Pauline from Job Club has been cloned.
    If we wrote on our feedback form how the thing could be improved?
    “Yes it would be more enjoyable if you hanged yourself”

    something survived...

    June 16, 2013 at 8:15 am

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