Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

A Touching Plea for the Work Programme.

with 47 comments

The Void posts on this letter to the Guardian,

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.

Johnny comments,

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.”






47 Responses

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  1. Oh dear, looks like the pimps are running scared. And not before time either.

    jj joop

    September 11, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    • o dear there going to lose there slaves and the 15-20 quid fee they get per day for each one.

      Learn Direct Admin | September 11, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
      @ super ted employers get paid £15-20 a day per participant on placement.

      super ted

      September 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

  2. Cait Reilly being one of the examples (Poundland) of how the Work Programme has helped people,

    “Almost two years ago, the Guardian asked its readers to help us uncover what was going on with the government’s employment schemes. From a response to an FOI filed by Corporate Watch, we had a lead that jobseekers were being made to work unpaid in supermarkets but after making enquires and literally going into various shops around the country, we couldn’t find an actual individual to tell us about the scheme.

    So we appealed to our readers, asking them to fill out a form with some basic information. A small group responded, but it was a group who offered first-hand experience and a level of detail that was more than what we’d hoped for.

    Among those responses was one from Cait Reilly herself. She wrote about a retail open day, which she’d been encouraged to attend on a voluntary basis. When she got there however she realised not everyone had been given the same information:

    Many people had been told that if they did not attend the open day they would not receive their Job Seekers Allowance, whilst others (myself included) were told that it was just an opportunity to discover what was on offer within the retail profession and involved no commitment to any position offered.

    The staff at the open day then informed us that the training in fact consisted of 2-3 weeks of lesson-like training for a retail qualification followed by 2-3 weeks of in-store training with Poundland and Pound Stretcher stores across the city, and that if we weren’t looking to get into retail as a permanent career then this probably wasn’t for us.

    I, along with many others present, felt I had been mislead by my local Job Centre Plus, and felt that 4+ weeks of full time work for only £53 a week was nearing a joke.

    I brought this up with my advisor at a meeting following the open day and was told that the training was in fact mandatory and that if I did not attend I would lose my JSA.

    The story we published after following up Reilly’s short form entry and a few dozen others, allowed us to uncover the extent of the government’s new schemes and write this:

    “Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.

    “Under the government’s work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury’s and a multitude of other big-name businesses.”

    Not long after that story was published Reilly discussed her case with the law firm Public Interest lawyers. They believed that on the basis of what we’d written, they could win a case against the government.

    Two years later and the Supreme Court has now backed Reilly’s initial feeling that she’d been “misled”.

    On Wednesday it ruled that the the DWP has a “duty as a matter of fairness” to provide jobseekers with enough information before they are asked to undertake such decisions.

    Fairness therefore requires that a claimant should have access to such information about the scheme as he or she may need in order to make informed and meaningful representations to the decision-maker before a decision is made.

    This post is a thank you to those readers who filled in that original form, to those who followed this story through its many parts and joined the discussion about it on this site. It is for those who have prompted us to run further calls to action and investigate other leads in this story. So thank you, readers. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to uncover this story.”

    October 2013..


    Andrew Coates

    September 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    • But why should a middle-class “graduate” not be put on workfare schemes? Or are workfare schemes only for the “plebs”. Why should the ‘plebs’ be sanctioned into destitution for not attending these schemes whilst middle-class “graduates” are protected by virtue of not being sent on these schemes in the first place. You are falling into the Government’s trap, Mr Coates, re this poor “graduate” Cat Reilly being sent of workfare. People do *choose* to go to university. Jobcentre ‘provision’ is already becoming too segmented and it is the poor who are suffering by being ‘selected’ for these draconian schemes and punitive measure. ‘One size fits all’ should be the over-riding policy. Besides, the poor have less means to stand up from themselves; it is only when the middle-classes of better means to defend themselves are subjected to these schemes that they object. Stop falling into Iain Duncan Smith’s carefully laid traps, Mr Coates!

      One Size Fits All

      September 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

  3. There is.a ”Provider” in Ipswich. One of the now managers started life as a WPP MWA client. Once it was discovered she had been to a Public School and University she was put on the reception desk. She now manages the reception desk and is diary manager for said Provider. Yes she does become ”effective” when dealing with you. Patronising at times too.


    September 12, 2014 at 9:57 am

  4. Jobseekers mandated to Supervised Jobsearch will be attending supervised sessions in a local centre not the Jobcentre.


    jj joop

    September 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    • Pimp Seetec, etc.

      jj joop

      September 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      • What About
        Papworth Trust
        Or are these out of the loop ?


        September 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      • The YMCA’s Dencora House Detention Centre to rise from the ashes?


        September 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      • I would imagine all the old suspects will be involved in this scheme. I only know that Seetec is the main pimp for my area.

        jj joop

        September 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  5. Forgot about that one. Don’t forget that there is a Large office block near Cardinal Park that’s empty…St Vincent House Plus the old RIP building Crown House has spaces too.
    On an after thought. If it’s YES in Scotland next week. Would the DWP as it’s now be defunct and would the SNP lift any sanctions issued there.


    September 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

  6. Question: If this scheme (35 hour a week job search) is going to be run by the pimps, what’s going on at Bradford Jobcentre? Are those poor buggers incarcerated all day or do they just have to do a daily sign?

    jj joop

    September 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  7. Friday 12TH posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain
    Campaigners turn out nationwide against cruel Tories

    “Merely a week after their abject defeat in the bedroom tax debate, Tory MPs were put under further pressure yesterday as protesters took to the streets against benefit sanctions.
    Welfare defence groups including the Anti-Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Campaign and Disabled Peoples Against the Cuts (DPAC), together with civil servants union PCS, hosted a day of action with demonstrations taking place across the country.
    In Manchester and Birmingham activists assembled outside local job centres, while marches and rallies were also organised in Leeds, Huddersfield, Ashton and Milton Keynes.
    Brighton activists are planning direct action for today — much like Oxford protesters, who headed to Witney to lobby a Conservatives event with tax-dodging MP Nadim Zahawi.
    Yet it was in London that much of the main action took place.
    Activists set up camp in front of Parliament from early in the day, naming and shaming politicians complicit with an increase in sanctions from 100,000 to more than a million in the last three years.
    Dpac spokeswoman Paula Peters said the action was a celebration of all the campaign’s recent victories but there is “a lot more work to do in the months to come.
    “We have got to get a lot more people to wake up and see what’s going on because they too can lose their job, and they can become sick and disabled, and go through the work capability assessment process,” she added.
    The groups had also recently revealed that cuts to the employment and support allowance alone deepened by 580 per cent in the last year.
    The abolition of the independent living fund, which allows disabled people to lead independent working lives by covering the costs of care assistance, will be challenged in court this October.
    The closure had been stopped by the Court of Appeal at the end of last year, having been deemed a breach of the Equalities Act.
    The will of these campaigners for social justice to take action, however, is unrelenting.
    “I think these protests are always important,” said National Pensioners Convention general secretary Dot Gibson.
    Ms Gibson that “a lot of the issues that are faced by disabled people and homeless people, and people who are on short term contracts and zero-hours contracts and unemployed” were the same.
    “Yet of course the powers that be keep on trying to separate pensioners from them — it’s not a question of young or old it’s a question of rich and poor.”
    Ms Gibson agreed with Ms Peters that in the months coming to the general election much needs to be done to catch people’s attention to these problems.
    “There is going to be a watershed because people are aching for something to really represent them,” she argued.
    She told the Star of her frustration that many young people think there is no future as, unlike her, they had not grown up with a government supporting “policies on social justice and nationalised industries and developed housing estates, and the NHS.
    “Now we are talking about is actually standing up for our rights against those profiteers and privatisers who are taking everything that was gained,” she said.”


    Andrew Coates

    September 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

  8. What does the European Commission On Human Rights have to say in this. I also too remember an United Nations Commissioner getting involved in this matter. What happend there or did I miss something


    September 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

  9. Iain Duncan Smith and the tall tale of the feckless layabouts.

    New research suggests that the work-shy scroungers who live off benefits as a ‘lifestyle choice’ may not actually exist.

    Iain Duncan Smith seems as adept as anyone at constructing a questionable narrative to advance political objectives, according to new research the government’s narrative exactly fits the profile of the stories spun by the likes of Clinton and Bush; helpful to the teller, but not quite true. Four years in, subjected to scrutiny, that approach may at last be starting to unravel.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    September 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm

  10. 8 Months And Counting To The Next Election. QUESTION. If IDS is Scots, and if the vote is YES next week. Can he still sit in Westminster


    September 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

  11. Full briefing on Oakley benefit sanctions ‘review’ and Gov response

    Posted on 11/09/2014 by http://www.refuted.org.uk

    JSA Sanctions: A guide to the Oakley review and the Government response

    View online – Download original (.docx)
    [ 29 page briefing on DWP JSA and ESA sanctions stats of 13 Aug 14 & Report: Welfare sanctions and conditionality in the UK by JRF (11Sept14) ]

    Expert says UK Benefit Sanctions System incompatible with “UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights”

    Benefit Sanctions expert calls for an “urgent” & “comprehensive independent inquiry into the UK sanctions system”

    There are 4380 JSA & ESA Benefit Sanctions per working day.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    September 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm

  12. In relation to the number of sanctions issued, Was is the average number of sanctions of people that use this and allied sites as opposed to those that have never logged on or posted on these sites


    September 12, 2014 at 6:50 pm



    September 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm

  14. I have my own touching plea for the Work Programme and its new best friend 35 hour a week supervised job search, which is: FUCK OFF!


    September 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    • Very moving!

      Andrew Coates

      September 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

  15. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    September 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  16. It’s amazing who gets awarded Government contracts these days – it doesn’t seem to matter much if you are under investigation for serious fraud or the like.

    The company, Maximus, has already been mentioned on here recently in relation to the sick being assessed by telephone on their ability to work. You will remember this new arrangement will result in the sick being “emailed back to work” – presumably including stroke victims unable to use a telephone!

    Here’s more on “Maximus”:



    September 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

  17. Interesting article about 35 hour supervised jobsearch:

    With a total of 6,000 claimants being selected to take part, these “chosen ones” will be selected by two criteria: the first batch will be aged between 18-24 and have been claiming for 20-24 weeks, while the second group will be over 25 and have been claiming for 33-37 weeks. They will only be selected if their job adviser thinks they will benefit from the extra support to find work.



    September 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    • “They will only be selected if their job adviser thinks they will benefit from the extra support to find work.”

      What the hell does that mean? Oh, I know. If your adviser’s got it in for you, watch out!

      Chosen One

      September 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      • An Off Topic (Slightly) Question. You are in work but go sick. Your GP and your Company Doctor BOTH tell you that you need time off work. Maximus/Atos say you must go back to work. Your Company Doctor and You both tell Maximus/Atos to F Off. What can they do to you then


        September 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      • … sanction you?

        R Kube

        September 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      • Put it this way CHOSEN ONE, I read in one document (wish I saved it) that a LACK OF INTERVIEWS is grounds so basically even if you did already search 35 Hrs a week, they’ve still got you if that stands.

        As for PUZZLED, nothing really unless your claiming sickness benefit or your employer is handing out subsidised sickness pay.

        Their not going to tax you for the days you could have worked, well not yet anyway.


        September 14, 2014 at 6:28 am

      • “lack of interviews” is fast becoming grounds for a sanction!


        September 14, 2014 at 8:56 am

      • SO The Pa at JCP/WPP stands over you tells you what to say in your speculative letters. Rechecks the CV you are sending approves them. You send 50 out and get squit all in the way of replies or interviews. This happens for 3 weeks. NO replies NO interviews. Remember the PA has approved what you have sent. Cannot sanction you then can they?. Just suppose for one minute it turns out that you are some sort of ”Hidden” blacklist even a historic blacklist for some reason or other. You can’t be historically sanctioned for that as well can you?. I think I am on a historic black list 98% certain but it’s NOTHING to do with the building trade one. What can I do about getting myself off it?


        September 14, 2014 at 11:15 am

      • Everyone will be put on the 35 hour scheme at some time, it won’t matter what your circumstances are.


        September 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

  18. Without the funds dipping pool that is the work programme these providers couldn’t afford to operate on just work placements and 35 Hr jobsearch alone, their just isn’t enough money in it.


    September 14, 2014 at 6:19 am

    • After what I just read scrap that last post as guess what, their still going to send individuals on conditionality skills courses, take Math, English and computer courses. Cv lessons, interviews,Etc.

      This means in all likely hood the work programme will be faded out as with CAP and this 35 Hr jobsearch gig it would MEAN, that all claimants will effectively be on a work style program for 6 months every year they are unemployed.

      So HELLO work programme, you just became fully funded forever and all it cost you was the NAME.


      September 14, 2014 at 7:23 am

      • Or if their feeling really crappy, they could have the individual on CAP for the first 6, then 35 Hr jobsearch on the next every year their unemployed after the first 6 moths of claiming benefit.


        September 14, 2014 at 7:26 am

      • Some may be lucky to find paid employment but millions of claimants will be on such schemes for life.


        September 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

  19. So that means with somebody standing over you watching you apply for jobs and you still can’t get an interview despite being told what to say in the application you can still be sanctioned


    September 14, 2014 at 7:50 am

    • Your have a few people wondering around until their phones ring but do remember,


      As it may allow them to come into contact with your personal and or sensitive data.

      AND YES, it would also imply your legal right to abstain from transferring any such data on their system so basically they can make you look for work but NOT APPLY, NOT ENTER YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT, NOR ENTER ANY JOBSITES OR ANY ONLINE ACCOUNTS WHERE SUCH DATA MAY BE CONCERNED.

      How one choses to use this information is purely for the individual to decide.


      September 14, 2014 at 8:22 am

      • Thanks I’ll Keep This Flagged In My In Box And Show Them It If And When I Have Too. Especially The Wpp Pa. Do You Have The Actual Regulation Details Too Please.
        Thanks For This


        September 14, 2014 at 8:27 am

      • In Both the data protection policy/privacy and cookie law, lawful consent must be gained.

        Lawful consent must be given voluntarily and not under any form of duress or undue influence (force, threat or deception).

        Have a nice day greenford


        September 14, 2014 at 8:57 am

      • Top postings, gaia!

        jj joop

        September 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

  20. Heres an interesting report on CAP


    Out of 115 referrals just less than a 1/4 (24.35%) found employment which only 4.34% were still in for at least 26 weeks exactly or longer.

    So to put perspective on this the work programme claims successful for getting a 1/3 of its referrals into work YET CAP only managed 1/23 where the pattern was sustained.

    So and this is just a educated math possibility, if we take the 4.34% (10 hours of jobsearch an individual does while on CAP) and multiply it by 3.5 to represent the 35 Hrs it would suggest that the NEW supervised jobsearch will only help 15% gain meaningful employment. This inturn means unlike the work programme (1/3) we are only likely to see around a 1/6 of claimants gain meaningful employment through 35 Hr supervised jobsearch.

    SO why are the taxpayers funding schemes that have and could produce less meaningful results yet absolve providers of a great deal of responsibility and cost on staff (work programme) what with ditching you on a placement for 6 months, then a VDU for the remainder YET STILL COST THE TAXPAYER THE SAME AMOUNT ?


    September 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

    • gaia:

      “SO why are the taxpayers funding schemes that…?”

      In answer to your question: (a) the taxpayers are being mislead on a massive scale by a duplicitous bunch of wankers who have fully mastered the dark arts of spin; and (b) they (the public) are so wrapped up in their own problems they just don’t have the time to give a fuck!

      It’s a shit life, for sure.

      jj joop

      September 14, 2014 at 10:27 am

  21. Traiteur Rabat Regal; Traiteur de ronome au Maroc

    This is my expert

    traiteur rabat

    August 29, 2017 at 1:56 am

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