A Touching Plea for the Work Programme.
You report that the coalition partners are looking to make changes in the Work Programme in their manifestos (Lib Dems widen attack after bedroom tax victory, 8 September). We agree improvements can be made. Much has been learned about about how to support the long-term unemployed over the last few years, particularly during a time of recession. However, it is important that all politicians remain committed to helping the long-term unemployed back into sustainable employment.
Since 2011, the Work Programme has helped more than half a million people into work. Of these, more than 300,000 are already in long-term employment. This is a win-win for taxpayer, employers and, crucially, jobseekers themselves.
As employers we believe that the commitment of politicians to employment support – whether the Work Programme or a different scheme – must continue. We are asking for all politicians to put aside their difference and to put the long-term interests of the country and jobseekers first.
It’s worth scrolling down the list of parasites profiting from free labour who use this letter to plead for their cash.
Paula McCarthy Domus Healthcare,
Simon Wilson Intelling
Adrian Swain MAS Landscapes
Andrew Grant Major Energy
Andrew Levesley Building and Property Maintenance
Anita Adams MTL Group
Ash Sawney Ocado
Clare Beasley Drayton Manor
James Thompson e-achieve
Mark Burley Square Orange Associate
Rachel Blake Rotherham Council
Stuart Forrest ICM (Global)
Warren Bennett Assist Recruitment
Fiona Mcbride Jurys Inn
Lise Evens K-10
Lloyd Silver Crossfold Electrical
Martin Cox Leigh Tec Solutions
Melissa Zagara Cre-namic Security
Muhammad Imran Wyeth Security Services
Alison Jackson Caremark
Barbara Anderson Genistar
Braam Theron Homebase
Debbie Pierson Kingdom Security
Dennis Phillips Timpsons
Elizabeth Gilmore-Jones Llandudno Alliance
Gerald Shervington Atlas Washrooms Systems
James Norrie Nationwide Event Support
Janet Lanza Hairways
Jay Zaman Cineworld Cinemas
Larry Berkowitz Bluebird Care
Nazmul Sumon Stag Treorchy
Paul Merriman Kiln Park
Paul Rhodes Pilkington Glass
Ray Mason Lloyds Bank – General Insurance
Richard Hainsworth City and Guilds
Rob Webb Gap Personnel
Ross Savage Trackwork
Simon Williams RPQ Inns Ltd – The Grapes Hotels
Steve Butler Ideal Mobile Solutions
Steve Dalton Nico Manufacturing
Sue Taylor WEPRE Villa Homecare
Victoria Nupen Experts in Media
Ollie Bennellick Armada Tube and Steel
Anette Dolan Bath Antiques
Karen Mercer-Tyson Select Sandwich & Coffee Co
Barry Jordan Bowden Derra Care Home
David McKay Bellcome Call Centre
Lee Hannan BAM Facility Management
Luke Edwards South West Laundry
Melissa Nichol Merson Signs
Nareen Owens Clyde Valley Housing Association
Neil Hunt Dove Project
Daniel Hobbin My Claim Solved
Carole Swanton Poppies
Ian Gaskell Poundland
Mark Bamford Poundworld Retail
Kirsty McHugh Employment Related Services Association
A quick glance shows that sellers of cheap goods to the poor, Poundland, get on the list.
A quick thought – the studies showing how useless the Work Programme has been would fill a Homebase warehouse.
The last signatory on the list may reveal one explanation for how this strange initiative came about. Kirsty McHugh is the Chief Executive of the Employment Related Services Assocation, or ERSA for short. This is the trade body established to lie on behalf of the welfare-to-work parasites like A4e and G4S who run the Work Programme. Just last week they published a breath-takingly dishonest report making wild claims that no-one believed about how much money the Work Programme is saving the country. It seems likely that this latest letter was co-ordinated by ERSA as part of a shabby PR campaign designed to convince the DWP to keep giving welfare-to-work firms billions of pounds of our money.
What is Rotherham Council doing on it?
Rachel Blake, “Senior Economic Development Officer at Rotherham Borough Council
Policy and Partnership Officer at Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership
Work and Skills Board Manager at Rotherham Borough Council.
You’d have thought Rotherham Council (Labour) had enough on its plate at the moment.
Beyond the Work programme what do these organisations and companies think of the new workfare scheme?
Here is what Ipswich Borough Council (Labour) says about workfare,
Ipswich Borough Council will not take part in Government unpaid work schemes
Ipswich Borough Council has confirmed that it will not offer unpaid work under the Government’s ‘Help to Work’ schemes, ramped up versions of which came into force at the end of April.
Under the schemes, known as ‘workfare’, there are mandatory work activity and community work programmes in which benefit claimants are placed on 30-hour a week jobs without pay and with the threat of their benefits being removed. The mandatory work activity programme is for 4 weeks and community work placements for 6 months.
It has also emerged recently that there could be sanctions for those who refuse to take a job on a zero-hours contract.
Campaigners have been calling for the government to remove the schemes, which they say are not working and which lock people deeper into poverty.
Today Ipswich Council has stated it will not be participating.
Council Leader David Ellesmere said:
“As a council we aim to be a good employer. That’s why we pay our staff the Living Wage and why we don’t employ staff on zero hours contracts.
It’s right that if someone can work, then they should. But they should also be paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
The effect of the Government’s unpaid work schemes will just be to undercut the wages of people already in work, adding to the cost of living crisis already affecting families in Ipswich.”