Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Poverty Porn: Off Our Streets!

with 52 comments

The Birmingham Mail reports today  (I know people in Brum well who have signalled this to me).

It was supposed to a moment of pride for the residents of one of Birmingham’s most deprived neighbourhoods, now infamously known as Benefits Street .

James Turner Street was awarded eighth place in the West Midlands heat of Britain in Bloom.

But the results ceremony, staged at a local school, descended into a battle ground between parents – as ‘White Dee’ accused another mum’s child of biting her son Gerard.

“He’s been bitten,” Dee accuses the women while crossing her arms in anger.

“No-one bites anyone,” she demands, her voice rising as she becomes more irate as the other mum attempts to offer an explanation for the alleged incident and by-standers watch with concern.

The parents are caught on camera by crews filming for the controversial Channel 4 series Benefits Street.

These scenes of anger are due to be screened in the latest episode on Monday night.

It was supposed to a moment of pride for the residents of one of Birmingham’s most deprived neighbourhoods, now infamously known as Benefits Street .

James Turner Street was awarded eighth place in the West Midlands heat of Britain in Bloom.

But the results ceremony, staged at a local school, descended into a battle ground between parents – as ‘White Dee’ accused another mum’s child of biting her son Gerard.

“He’s been bitten,” Dee accuses the women while crossing her arms in anger.

Watched by 4.3million people – far more than any Channel 4 show during, and since, Christmas week – the opening episode was littered with swear words and criminality.

Death threats were made against some of the show’s contributors after shoplifting, theft, benefit fraud, drug taking and anti-social behaviour were featured on the programme.

West Midlands Police officers are viewing the broadcast to assess whether to mount criminal investigations.

The Department for Work and Pensions is also understood to be monitoring the series.

Ofcom received over 400 complaints about the episode, and a petition, calling for Channel 4 to bin the series, has attracted close to 20,000 signatures.

Owen Jones said of this pile of cack,

How edgy Channel 4 must think it is, courageously reinforcing widespread prejudices, heroically hammering away at a message that is heard relentlessly already, bravely echoing the Government mantra about skivers. I hesitate to write about Benefits Street, their miserable programme which aired this week, knowing as I do that I’m partly satisfying its producers’ lust for attention. After all, these are people who seemingly show little concern for people’s well-being in their stampede for ratings. Columns like this one could be passed off by disingenuous TV executives as a sign of the “debate” that their trash has helped to provoke. But the only debate to be opened is why we let our media get away with it.

Johnny  Void comments, with justified anger,

There are few things more unpleasant than a bunch of coked up media wankers deciding it would be a jolly jape to make a film exploiting the lives of people in poverty.

You can imagine the braying laughter as the makers of Channel 4’s Benefits Street egged on people with drink problems to perform in front of the camera, even allegedly supplying them with alcohol to make sure they were shown in the worst possible light.  With clever editing, and in one participant’s case at least, genuinely vulnerable people, it isn’t hard to create the desired freak show.  People perform for the camera.  Fill them full of booze first and film the resulting carnage and watch the ratings soar –  particularly if the group you are stigmatising are already a target of tabloid fuelled hate.

The resulting and all too predictable reaction on twitter, where some people called for benefit claimants to be killed – yes killed – must have been a huge source of amusement to the programme makers.  Boss of documentaries at Channel 4, Nick Mursky, even claims this justified the show, saying to The Guardian that: “the furore surrounding it reinforces my view that we should absolutely be making programmes in this territory.”

Channel Four have been contacting unemployed campaigners during the week asking for our co-operation in a new documentary, for the News programme, about Universal Job Match.

The words, fuck off ! come to mind. 

Advertisements

Written by Andrew Coates

January 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

52 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Join the protest outside Love Productions, the company behind this programme this Monday 13th Jan at 3pm, 43 Eagle St WC1R 4AT. More info on facebook. Please spread the word. Love Productions are on twitter @LoveProdHouse

    Andrew Coates

    January 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

  2. How about a TV show called Bonus Street about the life and times of City of London crooks?

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/how-about-a-tv-show-called-bonus-street-about-the-life-and-times-of-city-of-londo.23147424

    Ed

    January 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  3. What unemployed campaigners, have Channel Four contacted, Andrew?

    Ed

    January 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    • Thanks Andrew.

      This from the void. I guess yours was the same.
      “RECNAW Media | January 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
      Hello

      My name is Wayne Kerr. I am a producer with RECNAW Media, an independent London-based production company who produce documentaries for Channel 4 Television.

      We would interested in producing a documentary which explores the lives of some of the (welfare-dependent) contributors to this blog.

      If you are interested in getting involved please feel free to email me in directly: wayne@reknawmedia.co.uk or alternatively you can ‘phone on 08450760191.

      Rest assured that all correspondence will be treated in confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998*. We also promise to portray your situation in a positive light.

      Sincerely,

      Wayne Kerr

      * Your identity and personal details will only be shared with law enforcement, jobcentre plus, other third-party agencies if the law allows or at the request of or of our decision to disclose and share such details.”

      Ed

      January 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

  4. Me for a start.

    Normally when they do this go through a list of people well-known for such things.

    Andrew Coates

    January 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

  5. Well Said Andrew,
    this is simply an exercise in keeping people as stupid as possible.
    Channel 4 television certainly is not what it used to be, now maybe that the producers have had their fun mocking the unemployed they could consider making a programme about the real Criminality of on going and systemic fraud within Serco, A4E and Maximus, I am getting reports on an almost weekly basis from Newcastle in the North , Plymouth in the South and Liverpool in the West of Fraud involving these companies, a lot of it is simply covered up or not reported by Job Centre Plus, because to do so would reflect badly on them.
    At least I now understand one of the main reasons this Country is in the Financial mess that its in.

    David Anthony Penson

    January 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

  6. I complained to OFCOM and I signed the petition on change (29,880 signed so far),I am fed up with these shows.These lowlife programme makers are probably not bothered with OFCOM but if as many people as possible complain the better.

    ck

    January 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  7. I would have to look back for details but we here had our own brush with a production company that may well be this same said love productions. Luckily for most of us, we weren’t buying it. I should imagine it will only be a matter of time before media turns their attention to this and the ever growing number of welfare related sites touting solutions to thwart the governments war on the poor. You already WITNESSED government rather than take defeat on the chin actually rewrite law, I WILL SAY THAT AGAIN “REWRITE LAW” and will do so soon again after revelations of an exemption to housing benefit.

    It should be clear by now that their really is indeed a definitive line in the sand, that neither the government nor the majority will raise an eyebrow of concern. With this in mind we individually or collectively MUST MAKE A CHOICE.

    1: Lay down and take it ?
    or
    2: Declare war

    Forget your petitions, your peaceful protests, strike first at the tools, reason with them with such canter as “you live in a house as I do, you live in a street in an area as I do so tell me, are you truly paid enough, does it really compensate the risks both physically and psychologically.

    That’s right, show your concerns for your respective advisors as it cannot be denied even by them that their are those who will not hesitate to use it to their advantage, how everyday claimants on mass at wits end have NOTHING TO LOSE, how going to prison actually benefits you more as your fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction.

    [ If all 2.4 million had a criminal record let alone being unemployed, the government would be at a complete loss to get people into work]

    Let them know like the occupying armed coalition that they to through their own actions may well witness masses shifting to those despised by government, those that aren’t subverted by authority but seek to subvert authority in the name of true justice and equality for all.

    [Around 25 civil servants are being reprimanded each week at the Department of Work and Pensions for breaching rules governing its vast database, figures show].

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9265732/Civil-servants-caught-looking-at-private-files-in-personal-data-breaches.html

    [Civil servants fear FoI ruling over private emails and text messages].

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/dec/13/civil-servants-foi-ruling-private-messages

    Make them understand that they are a mere pawn, that they to will have their day under the hammer when its announced civil servants are one of the largest financial consumptions to any service currently in play, that its impossible let alone unthinkable that government wont make large drastic cuts, all the while replacing staff with technology, ending any need bar overview and maintenance for any human interaction period.

    [Benefits staff face job losses as welfare reform plans bite].

    http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Benefits-staff-face-job-losses-welfare-reform/story-16603211-detail/story.html#axzz2qHeYwf7r

    (Clock the date as this matter has still gone unanswered by government and its been festering since 2010/2011).

    THINK CAREFULLY CLAIMANTS AS FOR EVERY ACTION, THEIRS AND EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION. YOU ARE CURRENTLY LIVING THAT REACTION, THE QUESTION IS, WOULD YOU RATHER BE THE ACTION INSTEAD ?

    gaia

    January 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    • “how going to prison actually benefits you more as your fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction.” Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez… not this shit again!! And get a grip, gaia ffs!!

      The Prisoner

      January 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      • And btw, gaia, have you ever actually BEEN to prison? Thought not, well some of us actually HAVE… and let me assure you it aint no fun!!

        The Prisoner

        January 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      • And not forgetting, gaia, that a CRIMINAL RECORD will make you UNEMPLOYABLE. The crap that you are spouting is only going to compound someone’s problem. Then again, gaia, feel free to rob a bank, whatever… at least you will be fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction 🙂

        The Prisoner

        January 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      • Actually yes with GBH Section 20 being my last, I started out in the scrubs but was later transferred to Coldingley for the remainder of my sentence. On top you can add from my record ABH, various section 5 infringements, 14 counts of burglary and 17 counts of handling and receiving.

        Well, now i have clearly smashed that ill conceived notion of whether or not I have had the misfortune of being detained at her majesty’s pleasure,lets move on to how it effects employability shall we.

        When I was last released I went straight back to my original firm as a transport manager but within 2 months moved over to Securicor pony express and as part of my regular day Monday to friday I oversaw and carried out bank runs for NatWest, Barclay, Barclay de zoete, Lloyds, abbey national, Woolwich to name but a few, all may I add while studying for my electronics qualifications. Not enough insult to your intelligence or lack of it in this case yet, then lets move to 2004 to 2006 where I under contract to a firm did supply fault finding and maintenance to a certain constabularies entire estates and management (policeforce to a county to you son) but regardless as my card reads

        [my name]

        is authorised to access

        Forcewide

        On behalf of

        [company name]

        Authorised officer: V B Harris

        Do you know how one comes by these cards, no of course like everything else you have said so far, “NO YOU DONT”, so allow me to help you by saying “Filling out MOD (hope you understand that acronym but I can spell it out if you’d like prisoner) PAPERWORK”.

        Shock, gasp, horror if their isn’t someone who despite having a criminal past, despite being incarcerated has still maintained employment and not just any old employment either.

        Im sorry if you personally couldn’t hack prison as I witnessed many, some hanging themselves day one who couldn’t and I wish I could offer advice to toughen you up but the truth is like the army some are just use to institutionalisation while others aren’t.

        gaia

        January 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      • Quite a record for a girl, eh, gaia 🙂 And just for the record I have also witnessed someone hanging themselves in prison (on their first day). I recall (with my cellmate) peering out through the crack in the cell door (yes, we were ‘lucky’ enough to have a big enough crack in the cell door) as the ‘screws’ attended to the poor boy. This is the REALITY of prison life.. so it so wrong to attempt to ‘glamorise’ it or come out with all this ‘at least you are fed, have you roof over your head’.. which is bollocks anyway since cells are freezing cold, prison grub is crap… and it is not a bed you get to sleep on… it’s more a mortuary slab 10 feet above the ground so if you roll over and fall out (oh, there is a little rail in some cells) you are going to smash your head on the concrete cell floor.
        At least its a better deal than pensioners have on the outside lol 🙂 – joking! So up yours, gaia!

        Charles Bronson - Britain's Toughest Prisoner

        January 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      • And I honestly am beginning to think that EVERYONE should be sent down – at least it might stop some of these stupid comments. I wonder if Andrew Coates has ever been sent down.

        Charles Bronson - Britain's Toughest Prisoner

        January 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      • NO, but I did get briefly suspended from the Dole for this Blog!

        Perhaps that’s what you have in mind?

        Andrew Coates

        January 14, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      • Choosing a character who’s ones of Britain’s all time anti-authoritarians was your first mistake if your going to try to tell people to tow the line. The notion that the public aren’t informed enough to already know what prison is like is your second. Bringing the site and its owner into it unnecessarily was the nail in the coffin and rewarded you with the title of troll.
        You see had you only centred on me you might have got away with it but by dragging in the site its quite clear from what I can see that your trying desperately to persuade people from viewing this sites content by trying to single out one piece while conveniently dropping in the site and its owner without actually making a case for debate . This is further evident when we consider why on earth you are here to start with if the site is what you say it is. Has your moral compass after possibly years of offending finally swung around, that as a born again citizen you feel its your duty to go around to sites you obviously don’t like to inform others that its the devils work?

        I thankyou though as its quite interesting that now 2 ex conns have tried it, especially if it is a case of you both being repeat offenders as the reoffending rate clearly questions your statement does it not.

        Putting boots back on the ground though are you aware people are having to choose daily, working or not to eat, have light or heat, that year on year people requiring foodbanks is growing. Tell us as an ex con do prisoners have to apply for eligibility to get food, a bed, a light, moderate although I agree questionable heating (their is a reason for this and it doesn’t apply to all prisons). Do prisoners have to apply for housing benefit, are they in arrears because they have an extra room in their cell, NO OF COURSE THEY DONT, ITS ALL HANDED TO THEM UNDER THE RULE OF LAW THAT WITHOUT WOULD SEE TODAYS PRISONERS LEFT IN MANK CONDITIONS WITH NO HOPE OF A REPRIEVE.

        Compared to the worlds prisons, British prisons are a touch and in no way shape or form even come close to them. British prisoners don’t know how lucky they are and if you don’t want to believe it, the next time your in try speaking with foreign drug traffickers, foreign fraudsters, ask them which prison they like, I especially liked when I was inside, the Africans recanting their prisons in their homeland, how they worked hard to insure they carried out their sentence here.

        Im sorry but the only problem in prisons is what the prisoners create, they choose to be violent towards each other, they choose to NOT live in a peaceful and responsible manner.

        (Please note that recent events at G4S prisons, as the company globally has been caught doing all sorts of questionable things”).

        http://fstimes.co.za/?p=2150

        http://www.johnmannmp.com/call-to-suspend-all-contracts-with-g4s-and-serco-by-john-mann-mp

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/g4s-staff-suspended-over-falsified-asylum-document-8933671.html

        Need I go on ?

        gaia

        January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      • lol gaia, lest we forget that you have already been exposed as a DWP plant or was it retired civil servant. No amount of blame-shifting, semantic gymnastics or whatever will get you away from the fact that you were, either deliberately or knowingly encouraging readers of this blog (and I am sure you had young impressionable minds in mind) to choose a path that would lead them being sent to prison – go on read your post – it is on ‘record’: “how going to prison actually benefits you more as your fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction.” – what a preposterous statement to make. Prison is about the lowest position you can sink to. Maybe you are indeed an ex-con lol or you just want to drag others down to your level. And btw, gaia, have you never heard of CRB checks/Disclosure – of course having a criminal/prison record is going to have no bearing on your employment prospects. Why aren’t you encouraging other to fuck all to do with the police/courts/prison system in any way, shape or form – that’s my advice – you can call me whatever you want, gaia, but up yours! 🙂 PS Watch you don’t slip on the soap in the shower 🙂

        Charlene Bronson - Britain's Most Violent Prisoner

        January 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      • *Why aren’t you encouraging other to have fuck all to do with the police/courts/prison system in any way

        Charlene Bronson - Britain's Most Violent Prisoner

        January 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

  8. IDS Live in the House of Commons – Now.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

  9. Quote – Esther McVey:

    “440,000 people have found jobs through the Work Programme”.

    Does she seriously believe her own bull!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    • As Vod would say, it’s fucking Narnia on the Work Programme!

      Andrew Coates

      January 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

  10. Obi Wan Kenobi :
    IDS Live in the House of Commons – Now.

    No thank you, OWK.

    I would prefer to watch him on benefit street!

    Ed

    January 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

  11. Gia Dwp’s layoff for most of them at the JOB centre it couldnt happen to a nicer group of people.

    Though it will be interesting to see how they word their appeals against MWA when the their workfare provider send them to do their old job were needed.

    growls

    January 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    • Its all quite interesting growls as the plan is to have one centralised call center so I would imagine that well over half the workforce for all the benefits covered under UC will lose their jobs. I have to wonder how many will be prepared to travel over 90 min while being unable to claim it back?

      I don’t know if you have read jobseekers allowance back to work schemes yet but it looks like poor old DWP are running out of tricks

      1: skills conditionality
      2: sector based work academy (non mandated activity unless you agree to enter into it).
      3: work experience (only for 18-24 year olds and again optional)
      4: new enterprise allowance (non mandated activity unless you agree to enter into it).
      5: mandatory work activity
      6: the work programme (tried tested and failed, not to mention being phased out).

      So if you have successively participated already the work programme, completed your post work programme scheme (26 weeks), the only line of attack they have is 1 and 5.

      Currently 1 is around 2 weeks 9 to 5 or their about and 4 weeks, 30 hours a week for 5, so it appears currently 6 weeks of hell is all they can deliver as do remember claimants are only allowed currently to enter into one scheme every 52 weeks (budget restraints), this said I strongly suspect their make allowances for MWA as this is their strongest weapon to put claimants off claiming irrespective of whether or not they have gained employment. At worse its six months which is nothing really for the battle hardened vets that have weathered one year on FND and 2 on the work programme.

      To say desperate to lower long term unemployment figures is an understatement however I somehow believe they wont achieve it any more successively than they have done in the past and to todate whether it was new deal under the then JCP. the FND and MWA under labour, the work programme and MWA under the conservatives, all TODATE HAVE FAILED TO WORK IN A MEANINGFUL WAY as their own stats prove rather elegantly.

      As the Taliban recently said last year, “you may have the clocks but we have the time”.

      gaia

      January 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

  12. Observed today in Jobcentre:

    The G4S guard ( a new one!) spent over an hour bragging to the Jobcentre’s own ‘floor-walker’ guy. He’d just had a job as security at an Army Recruitment Fair to recruit children and young people into the military, and they needed security guards in case there were any protests.

    This G4S guard actually openly said (in front of jobseekers) to his JCP colleague, that he got in trouble with the police fairly recently for driving a car without having a driving licence. He mentioned other past driving offences and they included at least one for drink-driving, another for having fake ID, another for driving an unroadworthy vehicle.
    Yet somehow, G4S and the Jobcentre retained him, or, more likely, knowingly hired him!
    Or else he applied lying about his record and they didn’t check.
    This is shocking, except I don’t feel surprised any more. (Remember the scene in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, where the rapist thugs in Alex’s old gang the Droogs, resurface on his release. And guess what? They’re now police! Someone’s actually let them become cops! And they beat up Alex, their old leader.)

    The G4S guard and his ‘mate’ spent the whole hour loudly discussing, revealing the personal details and circumstances/health of, and slagging off, at least a dozen identifiable benefits recipients who sign on at this jobcentre. They said in each case that they were clearly lying about their benefit claims, malingering (so a G4S-gorilla certificate now comes with a medical degree and mindreading powers, does it?), and criminals. They slagged people off (not to their face) for coming in taxis (how else do you get to and from remote bus-less villages?) and for also telling taxis to wait on the meter while they signed on, as if it was an extravagance proving they were in paid work or dealing drugs. (I saw the most likely reason. No working public phones nearby, costs to ring again, you are charged twice if you take 2 separate taxis) Every person who came in to sign, they were at best rude to, to their face; then when going/gone, they slagged off the person calling them a liar and faker. They even managed to be rude to a black guy on crutches, not letting him sit down. They were rude to a man who had come in lost because the nearby lawyers had gone bust and he didn’t know, and was trying to find it. When he left they said ‘we are not a place you can just walk into and ask directions, just because we’re a government building’. Most of the people turning up there were late, and were turned away. One lad was on time and they ignored him, then refused signing when they ‘noticed’ him asking for their attention ages later (his lift with a friend was going too)..

    The worst thing happened early on while I was there. A young single mother had been an emergency admission to hospital with her toddler, who was still ill. They’d just got out, the mum had had an operation of some kind, she’d been on buses through roadworks then walked and ran with her sick child. She got there only a few minutes (7 or 8, or less) late to sign on. They refused her signing. As she went in as an emergency they had no ID or spare clothes. They said they would have considered it if she had been in hospital AND had brought ID. She said her kid was sick and they need money to live on after leaving hospital. They said they didn’t care, ‘it’s your fault for being late’. She said she was too sick/wounded (stitches) to run any faster, and the kid couldn’t run 2 miles either. The JCP saw her there panting and clearly stressed and frightened and sick, the kid looking peaky; they SMILED in her face and then those fuckers did 2 more things: they refused her the right to sign on either today or any other specified day; and for both ‘failure to sign’ (they were not even busy! they could have!) and ‘lateness’ and ‘did not attend jobcentre’ (she was there!), they SANCTIONED her. To her face.
    After she left, with all her benefits stopped, the G4S guard laughed about her being a liar, malingerer and dopey cow… He said he didn’t believe a word she said, and the JCP guy and a female colleague agreed.

    something survived...

    January 13, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    • Cant say im surprized in the slightest as it appears our civil servants think this year their above even their own operational guidelines.

      The latest buzzword for most on the post work programme scheme although this is open to normally attending claimants is SKILLS CONDITIONALITY.

      Now technically according to their skills conditionality toolkit point 8 “individuals are mandated first to the initial assessment by jobcentre plus and then mandated a second time to attend the provision”, yet it appears as is reported by some that NO INTITIAL ASSESSMENT WAS EVER CARRIED OUT,NO RECORD IS MADE.

      http://readingroom.skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/sfa/Skills_Conditionality_Toolkit_-_Published_1_August_2011.DOC

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-back-to-work-schemes

      Further its reported that DWP refuses to discuss the matters surrounding the lack of an initial assessment as well as what TAKE PART implies (sanction related), even refuses and this has been reported to be as high as management to supply annex A which outlines raising a doubt or even verbally describing its contents despite the publication they themselves advertise on .GOV quoting

      “You should discuss the scheme with your adviser, so you understand why you should do the course”

      or according to the skills conditonality government response to the consultation, question 4,government response point 43 I quote

      https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/skills-conditionality

      ” We agree that claimants should be able to raise any concerns about their training, without fear of their benefits being stopped. This could be through discussion with their Jobcentre Plus adviser (for example, if they consider that the course is not right for them and that they need something different), with their course tutor, or another contact at the college or training provider (for example, if they are not happy with the provision itself).

      If that wasn’t bad enough, claimants are reporting that their respective advisor through means of an unsecured phone line is supplying personal data without prior consent yet clearly in the toolkit it states in point 10 I quote

      “To help streamline the process Jobcentre Plus is now able to share
      claimant information with skills providers and Next Step contractors without
      the need to obtain informed consent of the claimant. These powers relate
      to the sharing of paper-based information via secure postal transfer only”.

      yes, as you say something survived, DWP have a lot to answer for these days.

      gaia

      January 14, 2014 at 7:21 am

      • Ok, after doing some research I have got my hands on a DWP official document titled SKILLS AND CONDITIONALITY(ENGLAND)

        JOBCENTRE PLUS ADVISORY SERVICE FACTSHEET (internal use only)

        Now according to this official document under the section titled WHAT DO ADVISORS NEED TO DO, THE FOLLOWING IS STATED

        “As part of their work focused interviews, advisors should conduct a skills screening and record results on LMS”.

        “Where a claimant has a clear skills need the advisor should mandate the claimant to attend an initial provider interview using”

        * the Ref2JP form; and

        * the new LMS opportunity “skills conditionality – SFA initial provider interview”

        “Providers will assess the claimants requirements and decide if a fully funded place on a suitable course is available”.

        “Where a place on a course is offered, claimants should be mandated to attend the provision using”

        * the SL2JP form: and

        * the new LMS opportunities

        – skills cond – SFA basic skills (ie, cv creation,interview technics, etc)

        – skills cond – SFA ESOL; or (maths and English)

        – skills cond – SFA occupational training (need to clarify this)

        So it does indeed appear that an advisor should carry out an initial assessment and that assessment is to assess skills the claimant is lacking that would be considered as a barrier to work so declaring “well Mr so and so you have been unemployed and attending the work programme for 2 years” does not amount to evidence of a lacking skill requirement.

        I’ve still got to reconvene a phone chat with one of the operatives involved with implementation of skills conditionality at the Skills Funding Agency, another phone chat with a few providers of this scheme and get intouch with Caxton house, but all in all it does appear that DWP in multiple locations have failed to carry out their duties as prescribed under legislation from head office both DWP and The Skills Funding Agency.

        gaia

        January 14, 2014 at 11:57 am

      • Its official: The Skills Funding Agency have confirmed that

        A: DWP must carry out a skills screening and
        B: Your provider of skills conditionality must carryout a prior skills assessment BEFORE inducting you on any if such is required suitable course.

        Its also suspected that these courses are being used on post work programme claimants so as to try to force them by way of mandate and threat of sanction to take courses such as HOSPITALITY,RETAIL,WAREHOUSE to name but a few lower tier occupations so as to convince local employers to take them on.

        For the record none of these occupations under regulation require a formal qualification inorder to practice, it is therefore a wim of the employer and illegal for them to discriminate against when selecting candidates for an advertised position.

        Example: A warehouse job requires no formal qualification inorder to practice however if part of your duty is in using a fork lift truck, then one would need a forklift licence (this is separate to any NVQ/C&G in warehousing).

        Example: A care worker currently requires no formal qualification inorder to practice however prior to employment one would need a CRB. This said if a part of your job involves administering medicine, then a qualification is warranted dew to the need to conform to the set standards of ones duty of care.

        Example: A retail operative requires no formal qualification, no prior CRB or health and safety training bar inhouse intro. Hospitality also holds the same requirements.

        Lastly for the record like CVs a claimant does not have to demonstrate what qualifications they have to either DWP or a PROVIDER.

        Well that’s it for now, I will keep it coming as it unfolds

        gaia

        January 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  13. I know this is a bit off topic, but it ties in to how we are so harshly and easily judged and several other related issues. Just that this is being discussed should be enough to send a shiver down your spine

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10562382/Fears-for-the-elderly-under-new-NHS-drugs-policy.html

    Some might argue that if this happens already. I’ve seen it happen to the elderly more than once and it’s a regular feature in the world of mental health/learning disability, but to see discussion of making it formal and to apply to everyone who ever needs medicine or a medical procedure in the NHS is beyond belief

    Lucy

    January 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

  14. “Paintings of Dianne Abbot and Iain Duncan Smith were paid for by the taxpayer.”

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mps-spend-250000-taxpayers-money-vanity-portrait-paintings-1432126

    Annos

    January 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm

  15. Gaia , it dosnt surprise me. I was placed with Seetec summer 2013 Jc had been trying since Jan that year. I refused to sign anything even insisted they put a note on my file saying I did not consent to the sharing of my personal information and still have the printed copy.

    when i asked also recorded what I was going to be doing as per the legislation , I was told that is for you to negotiate with the provider. My response how can i negotiate when I am all ready assigned to them and they can sanction me? This is a contract under duress, of cour

    Seetec refused to allow me to record the induction meetings and ordered me out the building 3 times for insisting on this legal right including the time they brought me in by myself stating I could record it but didnt bother to tell their own staff member who refused to do the induction. The manageress threaten me with a sanction . That was the 4th one they raised against me without me even being inducted nor discussing any agreement!

    I beat them all at the tribunal but my heart condition got worse due to the stress and had to switch to ESA so I cant say how it would have ended . With me just parked I guess.

    Now it looks like my esa trib dates been set for the start of next month so it looks like it may be back to that jsa madhouse and once more on the merry go round

    growls

    January 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

    • I cant believe considering your condition that a tribunal is even necessary but as so many attest this is the current norm. I certainly hope they rule in your favour as not only is it absurd but yet another demonstration of how this government waste taxpayers money or wastefully contributing to the national public debt.

      Incase you didn’t or don’t know your seetec or any provider providing SKILLS CONDITIONALITY according to paperwork in front of me that has yet to be proofed makes about £2,500 so in reported cases of attending for 2 weeks at 6 hours a day once breaks are extracted, that’s £41.66 pounds an hour per claimant.

      So if they have say 10 claimants a time that’s £25,000 every 2 weeks. This said do air caution as it surprises me that DWP would even part with that sort of money when you consider they only paid WP providers a mere £400 per claimant so I will investigate this further to see how true the statement holds.

      gaia

      January 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

  16. gaia :
    Ok, after doing some research I have got my hands on a DWP official document titled SKILLS AND CONDITIONALITY(ENGLAND)
    JOBCENTRE PLUS ADVISORY SERVICE FACTSHEET (internal use only)
    Now according to this official document under the section titled WHAT DO ADVISORS NEED TO DO, THE FOLLOWING IS STATED
    “As part of their work focused interviews, advisors should conduct a skills screening and record results on LMS”.
    “Where a claimant has a clear skills need the advisor should mandate the claimant to attend an initial provider interview using”
    * the Ref2JP form; and
    * the new LMS opportunity “skills conditionality – SFA initial provider interview”
    “Providers will assess the claimants requirements and decide if a fully funded place on a suitable course is available”.
    “Where a place on a course is offered, claimants should be mandated to attend the provision using”
    * the SL2JP form: and
    * the new LMS opportunities
    – skills cond – SFA basic skills (ie, cv creation,interview technics, etc)
    – skills cond – SFA ESOL; or (maths and English)
    – skills cond – SFA occupational training (need to clarify this)
    So it does indeed appear that an advisor should carry out an initial assessment and that assessment is to assess skills the claimant is lacking that would be considered as a barrier to work so declaring “well Mr so and so you have been unemployed and attending the work programme for 2 years” does not amount to evidence of a lacking skill requirement.
    I’ve still got to reconvene a phone chat with one of the operatives involved with implementation of skills conditionality at the Skills Funding Agency, another phone chat with a few providers of this scheme and get intouch with Caxton house, but all in all it does appear that DWP in multiple locations have failed to carry out their duties as prescribed under legislation from head office both DWP and The Skills Funding Agency.

    Excellent work Gaia.

    Any chance i can have a copy of the full fact sheet please?

    Ed

    January 14, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    • Hi Ed, first make sure the PC your using has Microsoft office installed as the PDF you seek is embedded in a word document and other processors such as open office cannot open these.

      Now go to the link I supplied and download the word file at the top titled ” Skills Conditionality Toolkit – Published 1 August 2011″

      http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/Search.htm?Term=skills+conditionality+toolkit&Search=1

      Now its important as it may cause a word error that you DONT open it online but DOWLOAD AND SAVE IT TO YOUR PC.

      Assuming you have successfully downloaded and open the word file, you must begin to scroll down to a page title Annex A.

      Now if your office program is working properly you will see multiple PDF icons along with a power point one. From this list double click on both annex A 1 and 6, its also worth downloading annex A 5 as this outlines what sanctions they can place on you.

      Hope this helps but regardless just let me know and I will be happy to help however I can in this matter.

      gaia

      January 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  17. Whats that your saying, not getting enough bang from me this year, well how about a revision of my online security tips regarding DWPs oh so not lovely UJM.

    As I have exhaustively proved over the course of last year A CLAIMANT/PUBLIC CITIZEN HAS A RIGHT TO CONTROL THE FLOW OF THEIR SAID PERSONAL AND OR SENSTIVE DATA IN FULL ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW, NAMELY THE DATA PROTECTION ACT.

    Well you might remember I stated about removing any and all personal data you see fit from both your UJM uploaded or created CV and profile so as to protect yourselves from fraudulent people advertising on UJM.

    Well after considerable contemplation I have decided to revise this advice what with NOW considering the very fact when applying for these vacancies that the claimant is COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF WHERE THEIR ACTUALLY BEING SENT if not advertised.

    With this in mind I now prescribe the best practice to be the following

    1: Remove completely any data from your CV regardless of whether or not its personal and or sensitive data so it should now be blank for a moment.

    2: Replace removed data with this message

    (For security reasons and in full accordance with the data protection act I have elected to withhold my CV until an address and employer or agency can be identified. So as to expedite this process to the benefit of both parties please reply to the email address below so a bond of trust can be formed and details shared with impunity to both parties satisfaction).

    [ Your email address]

    Do you like it, I know DWP hate it so what more incentive do you need. Jokes aside I would also prescribe this for all job sites as this failure to communicate something as simple as an email address prior to applying is quite endemic to this sector.

    HERES TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE, AN INFORMED FUTURE

    gaia

    January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    • At various courses I have attended post-Work Programme it seems to be assumed that you let your UJM details be monitored directly by the Job Centre Plus advisers.

      Andrew Coates

      January 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  18. YOU JUST CANT MAKE THIS UP NEWSFEED

    Florida man shot dead by ex serving police officer in cinema texting row.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25726591

    I’d say only in America could it be said theirs a texting addiction epidemic but low and behold others are stating it to

    http://orangekid.hubpages.com/hub/Texting-A-Virulent-Disease

    http://www.helpforinternetaddictions.com/online-addictions-news-and-information/mobile-phone-texting-addiction.html

    gaia

    January 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

  19. Gaia can you please explain some of the terms in your post about skills and conditionality

    particularly skills cond – SFA basic skill
    skills cond – SFA ESOL;

    I never got any of the following when I made a sars request both to dwp and seetec

    * the new LMS opportunity “skills conditionality – SFA initial provider interview”
    Provider interview – because I never had one
    Doubt form – for any of the four sanctions they raised.

    The JC staffer couldn’t have known my skill set as I refused to give them details of my qualifications.

    Is there an action checklist of documentation I can use to refer to when I write back to ask for this and the reason it wasn’t supplied when I made the request?

    thanks

    growls

    January 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    • Sorry for the delay their growls but believe it or not I have spent all day chasing leads on this story. Anyway FSA basic skills is things like learning how to create a CV or how to conduct oneself at an interview, even motivational skills fall under this section.

      As for SFA ESOL, that’s used where a claimant lacks functional use of English and Maths and all though I cant say for certain at this juncture MAY well include I.T.

      SFA occupational training i can now state is training regarding findings based on the local labour market which in English means jobs of a lower take up/high staff turnover. This would be currently until I can get the time to study this further in detail, HOSPITALITY,WAREHOUSE,RETAIL and other lower tier jobs.

      I can assure you theirs a lot DWP will withhold if they suspect you don’t entirely know what your looking for. You see even back in the day when I was with inland revenue after shortly leaving school the status Q was “DONT OFFER ANY ADVICE THE CLIENT IS UNAWARE OF” and this as far as I know has been a consent mantra for all public departments still todate.

      “The JC staffer couldn’t have known my skill set as I refused to give them details of my qualifications”.

      Your absolutely right, how can one possibly know another’s skills requirements if they don’t carry out some sort of assessment. The question however should really be WHY INDEED and how do DWP benefit from this exactly.

      Well, contained in the skills employability consultation document throughout but more importantly question 4 it states all to often a term called local labour market as the driving factor to whether or not a claimant has a skill shortage so for argument sake if say in your area theirs loads of warehouse work but a low take up, this would indeed form a part of ones skills screening in respect to has the claimant got experience and or qualification in this field.

      So just by reading the consultation document even though this is repeated/aired in a fashion throughout all the documents its easy to see that DWPs intention is clearly to force claimants into a trade they might not desire. Now coupling this with not having any right to ask about qualifications much the same way they cant ask about CVs it doesn’t take much imagination to deduce what their actually up to which is placating the employer/s rather than the claimant.

      Now if we add DWP boasting on TV every five seconds that tons of jobs are being created, it doesn’t take a stretch for public opinion to say,” well if you have all these jobs then how comes so many especially long term are still remaining firmly unemployed”?

      Now we all know their defence is “well they don’t want to work” , yet we all know you’ve only got to look at most claimants application for work to know this is very far from the truth.

      So with all this in mind poor old IDS needs a solution preferably before next election so has set about to address a whole bunch of problems by sticking them in a one size fits all basket.

      As you would have seen if you watched the vids I placed regarding skills surveys you would have noticed that the UK is extremely behind the rest of the world when it comes to the subject so that’s PROBLEM 1. The second issue at hand is the job sectors I speak of as regards the public be they school leaver or mature student aren’t any bodies first choice and so have the lowest take up for a qualification than any others listed by colleges especially when you consider theirs absolutely no regulation that infact requires these sectors to actually have said qualifications prior to any offer of employment so that’s PROBLEM 2.
      The next issue is what and what DWP can actually ask for and you have to supply which as you stated and is case in point, is CVs and quals to mention only those connected with this subject matter. (please be aware the providers will pass this information on to DWP if you submit to supplying it to them either voluntary or by trickery such as mis quoting the data protection act as one example) so that’s both PROBLEM 3 and 4.

      SO can DWP carryout within their guidelines a competent skills screening, NO OF COURSE THEY CANT MEANING THEY WOULD END UP AS THEY DID IN THE PAST SENDING VERY LOW LEVELS OF CLAIMANTS ON THESE COURSES AND THUS INTURN FAIL TO MEET THE DEMAND OF EMPLOYERS.

      Its not morally right what their doing and its a bit more complicated than the above explanation if one is to understand how it works, nuts n bolts and all but that is the picture I have gleamed so far.

      Well I will leave it at that for today but im hard at it tomorrow morning when I will be speaking with various providers to find out exactly how they differ from one another and what symmetry exists in relation to the requirements DWP placed on them, so I hope this is helpful for now.

      In the mean time if your dispute is with DWP as regards their actual screening process or lack of it then you have to complain to DWPs HQ at Caxton house.

      If your dispute is with a provider however then you need to air your grievance if unresolved with them to The Skills Funding Agency as it is them who sets out the framework for all providers.

      gaia

      January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

  20. Red Button and Wii to include Universal Credit guides.

    People will be able to check their eligibility for the new Universal Credit benefit via the red button on cable and satellite TV or by using their Nintendo Wii games consoles.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25728440

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

  21. Iain Duncan Smith suggests hit show Benefits Street justifies savage welfare cuts.

    The programme has been slammed as “poverty porn” by critics.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefits-street-iain-duncan-smith-3019449

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm

  22. Benefits Street Demonises Claimants says London Protest at Love Films

    Report current story

    Protesters outside Love Films in London called for an end to Benefits Street, a Channel 4 series they claim misrepresents people on benefits, propaganda which demonises and stitches up people who deserve public sympathy and support.

    The protest was organised by Unite Community and Disabled People Against the Cuts and supported by other groups which represent those hardest hit by the current austerity programme including Kilburn Unemployed Workers, Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Southwark Benefit Justice Campaign and Taxpayers Against Poverty.

    Around 50 protesters met outside the Holborn offices of Love Films, and protested for a couple of hours on the afternoon before episode 2 of the programme was to be aired and at the same time as MP Michael Meacher was leading a backbench debate on welfare and poverty.

    After a few minutes of shouting slogans calling for Love Films to stop their hate campaign against the poor there were short speeches from many of those present, including Sean McGovern, chair of Unite’s national disabled members’ committee, Andy Green of Disable People Against Cuts and the Reverend Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty.

    Many of those who live on ‘Benefits Street’ (James Turner Street in Birmingham) have been appaled at the way their street has been presented in the programme, including both those who are working and those who are out of work, and there have been hundreds of complaints to Ofcom and Channel 4.

    Residents taking part in the programme were told it would portray life on a street where three-quarters of the people were on benefits, but the program has been edited to focus almost entirely on those on unemployment benefits – something which represents a small fraction of the welfare bill, and half of those on benefits are actually in work. The main story line in the first programme concentrated on one entirely unrepresentative resident who lived on the earnings of his petty crimes.

    Among those who has publicly complained about the bias of the programme is Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the House of Commons work and pensions committee. On Twitter, columnist Owen Jones posted: ‘As for well-off TV producers trying to further their career by turning the poor against the poor: You. Are. The. Pits.’
    Submitted by
    Peter Marshall
    London, United Kingdom, Europe

    http://www.demotix.com/news/3668810/benefits-street-demonises-claimants-says-london-protest-love-films#media-3668757

    Andrew Coates

    January 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

  23. Minimum wage fine raised to £20,000 in UK.

    New maximum fine may be levied for every worker denied minimum wage as Vince Cable cracks down on rogue employers.
    .
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/15/minimum-wage-fine-20000-vince-cable

    If Vince Cable is going to do this then everyone who has been made to ‘Work’ for 4 weeks on a MWA should be paid a full wage as well.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    • And it seems like ALL post-wps are being reffered on to this MWA shit just as their 6 months on PWPS ends and just in time for ‘help to work’ beginning in April.

      MWA Victim

      January 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm

  24. Reform EU or I’ll start crying and throw a tantrum! – George Osborne lays down ultimatum.

    Membership withdrawal threat after Tory MPs sign letter calling for dismantling of Europe’s core principles via veto powers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/15/george-osborne-reform-eu-quits-tory-dismantling

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    • Oh dear Mr Osborne haven’t you figured it out yet – The rest of the EU look upon Britain as a laughing stock and extremley insignificant, they couldn’t give a fuck about Britain and most of them have never heard of you.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      January 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  25. Universal Jobmatch

    January 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

  26. Good news A4e have reported a loss in their last accounts,

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 23, 2014 at 12:28 am

    • A4e accounts (2012-2013)

      24th April 2012 – Medex Training Ltd was struck off (closed/dissolved)
      29th March 2013 – A4e Polska Ps z o o (Poland) was struck off (closed/dissolved)

      A4e Deutschland GmbH closed/dissolved
      A4e France SAS closed/dissolved

      Segmental revenue has dropped from

      UK: £167,126,000 to £143,931,000
      Europe: £3,935,000 to £674,000
      Australia: £22,847,000 to £21,849,000 (slight decrease)

      A4e look to be in a spot of bother.

      £22.5m bank loan to 30 June 2014.
      £5m loan from Thornbridge Limited (guess who?) to 31 May 2014.

      Too bad they will be/are fine.

      A4e Emma ‘Cuts are fantastic’ Harrison CBE still has 85.51% majority share.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 23, 2014 at 12:58 am

  27. A4e accounts (2012-2013)
    —————–

    24th April 2012 – Medex Training Ltd was struck off (closed/dissolved)
    29th March 2013 – A4e Polska Ps z o o (Poland) was struck off (closed/dissolved)

    A4e Deutschland GmbH closed/dissolved
    A4e France SAS closed/dissolved

    Segmental revenue has dropped from
    UK: £167,126,000 to £143,931,000
    Europe: £3,935,000 to £674,000
    Australia: £22,847,000 to £21,849,000 (slight decrease)

    A4e look to be in a spot of bother.

    £22.5m bank loan to 30 June 2014.
    £5m loan from Thornbridge Limited (guess who?) to 31 May 2014.

    Too bad they will be/are fine.

    A4e Emma ‘Cuts are fantastic’ Harrison CBE still has 85.51% majority share.

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 23, 2014 at 12:56 am

  28. Black girls are really unique and, they are an extremely different breed of females.
    There are so many stereotypes connected with black girls
    and, you will discover the women really amazing.
    The ladies can be found in all parts of the world and, the most
    popular black women are African Americans.

    Porn POV

    January 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: