Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Funding Cut for Providers Of Work Programme – Despite Having “Done Fantastically”.

Kirsty McHugh: Work Programme Providers have done “Fantastically”.

Last Week Boycott Workfare stated,

What might come next in relation to the Work and Health Programme?  Whatever form the scheme takes,it’s likely to ‘segment jobseekers by their characteristics, not by the benefits which they receive’. It can’t be coincidental that in a recent report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Matthew Oakley suggested: ‘a segmentation tool should be introduced to identify the relative difficulty a given individual might have in finding work because of the barriers they face’. DWP pilots involved telephoning claimants and combining that information with data already held by the department. And lengthy interviews with claimants to determine their attitudes to work. The DWP have tried this kind of thing before. It’s always invasive and it can lead to people with the ‘wrong’ attitude to work being penalised.

Signs of restructuring are coming in.

This was published yesterday.

Providers have been warned that government funding to help long-term unemployed people back into work was likely to be dramatically cut by 2020, FE Week can reveal.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) director for contracted employment provision Matt Thurstan last month sent a letter, seen by FE Week, to providers advising on what will happen after current Work Programme contracts end in April 2017.

The scheme, launched in June 2011, involves private, public and voluntary organisations helping to find jobs for people who have normally been unemployed for at least 12 months, although shorter-term unemployed people can also be referred by local Job Centres.

Total funding to providers through the payment-by-results scheme was around £2,001m up to June — which worked out at just over £500m a-year.

But Mr Thurstan said in the letter that the department now recognised “the number of those requiring this support is reducing” — so “core funding” could be cut to just £130m-a-year by 2020/21 for a replacement scheme expected to be launched from May 2017.

“Our new provision will support long-term unemployed claimants reaching the 24-month point in their claim, as well as targeted referrals of claimants with health and disabilities issues,” he added.

Funding cut for back-to-work support The DWP currently has contracts with 15 providers for 18 regions across the country.

The only FE college group contractor is NCG, which currently covers Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.

The DWP terminated NCG’s contract for the North East Yorkshire and the Humber last March, replacing it with Devon-based Maximus.

The DWP told FE Week at the time that this was because it was the “lowest performing [contract] assessed against a range of measures”.

No-one from NCG was available to comment, but Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) chief executive Kirsty McHugh (pictured above), which represents employment support providers, said: “The programme has done fantastically at moving the long term unemployed into work, but it’s no surprise that the new contracts from April 2017 will focus far more strongly on jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions.

“Our understanding is that the funding mentioned in the letter is the minimum available for the new work and health programme.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers said: “The number of people who have been out of work for over a year has fallen by a quarter in the last 12 months, so providers had anticipated that a replacement programme would be on a smaller scale.”

Our hearts bleed over the fate of the poor “providers” who’ve “done fantastically”.

This choice of words that suggests an “informal” use of the word “fantastically”.

The 6 other, principal meanings are: 1 conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque: 2. fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions: 3.imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational: 4 extravagantly fanciful; marvellous.5. incredibly great or extreme; exorbitant: and 6.highly unrealistic or impractical; outlandish.

But what is being cooked up in the DWP and Iain Duncan Smith’s minds?

We have yet to know.

Meanwhile remember this, as Boycott Workfare points out,

….as @refuted has pointed out, the 35 hours per week of ‘work preparation activity’ that claimants have to do under Universal Credit can include workfare. It means, potentially, that workfare can continue without the need for a named scheme.

69 Responses

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  1. May 2017 – therapy, therapy & and more therapy, not that it’s not happening already but you know it will be a lot worse than of what is currently happening. of course it will mean more and more sanctions. hunger, homelessness & suicide.


    December 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  2. The funding for the work programme? what is happening in your and everyone’s else’s town & city, who doesn’t know. – hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in their own little world.


    December 6, 2015 at 2:44 pm

  3. More how to live high on the hog on a shoestring bs

    How a family of 4 can live on £6 a week

    A Girl Called Jack Daniels

    December 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    • Hundreds of thousands of people are living on less than that.


      December 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    • Sorry, millions are, around the world.


      December 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    • It is the same old ‘cheap and filling’ nutrient-bereft stodgy carbohydrates. Wheat, wheat and more wheat * More and more nutritionists are arguing that wheat should play no part in the human diet. that All you are going to end up is fat. You may as well just cut out the middle-woman and head straight to Iceland 😀

      * More and more nutritionists are arguing that wheat (the modern-day Frankenwheat) should play no part in the human diet.

      Kerry Katona

      December 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    • It is the same old ‘cheap and filling’ nutrient-bereft stodgy carbohydrates. Wheat, wheat and more wheat * All you are going to end up is fat. You may as well just cut out the middle-woman and head straight to Iceland 😀

      * More and more nutritionists are arguing that wheat (the modern-day Frankenwheat) should play no part in the human diet.

      Kerry Katona

      December 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      • Will we be getting diet sheets at the Jobcentre next or will they as to see our shopping receipts


        December 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

    • I loathe that woman, I wonder if the DWP will use her advice to set the amount of dole we get to spend on food.

      Andrew Coates

      December 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    • That woman is an abomination. Filling a hole (cheaply) in your stomach and eating healthily are not one and the same. It is disingenuous to confuse the two. Bread and especially spuds are the two things guaranteed to pile on the pounds and leave one malnourished. As the Bible says: Wo/man cannot live by bread alone.

      (Dr) Gillian McKeith

      December 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

    • £1 a day is a big extravagant! You can pick up a value loaf for 35p and a tin of value spuds for 15p. £1 will also buy you 4 packs of value ginger nuts. You can get loads of biscuits for a £1. There is a good selection of biscuits for a £1 in poundshops. And what about value beans and spaghetti? You could also pick up a breadmaker at a car-boot sell and churn out cheap and tasty loaves. Or how about Freeganism – ‘skip-diving’? That woman needs to tighten her belt.

      The Frugals

      December 8, 2015 at 11:56 am

    • You forgot the orange shop (Iceland) – loads of cheap and tasty food in there 🙂

      The Fatties

      December 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

  4. Don’t be thinking it will be without conditions.

    Finland plans to give every citizen 800 euros a month and scrap benefits.

    A recent poll showed 69% of people agreed with the proposal.

    Finland’s government is drawing up plans to give every one of its citizens a basic income of 800 euros (£576) a month and scrap benefits altogether.



    December 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    • An interesting proposal – which from the article looks to being trailed elsewhere outside of Finland as well.

      Just done a online check and for Students it is recommended they have 800 to 900 for living costs in Finland [usual thing, biggest outlay is accommodation which is why it goes up to 900]


      December 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      • I don’t think it will be any different to what is happening now.

        “Office advisors can discuss your skills and employment possibilities. You can tell the advisor what kind of work or training you are interested in, and go through the job-search process. Advisors can draft a job-search plan for you. Apart from job vacancies, your advisor will be able to tell you about other options available to you; these may include work experience placements, work try-outs, subsidised employment, work on combined subsidies, or even apprenticeship contracts”



        December 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      • As far as jobseekers are concerned this “Work & Health Programme” is Work Programme Mark 2. The only difference is that it will extend it remit to include the “sick and disabled”. i.e it is a “Work” Programme and a “Health” programme brought into one and run by the same shysters who run the current “Work Programme”.


        December 6, 2015 at 8:44 pm

  5. I emailed this story to a couple of friends of mine in Germany this morning and they just got back to me to say they could not believe what I was telling them, if a similar thing happened to public funds in their Country they told me , these providers would be interviewed under police caution with the view to being prosecuted for fraud.
    I now understand why this country is like it is; with skills shortages in every industry , a demotivated youth and most people moaning amongst each other as the Rich get ever Richer.
    This woman Kirsty McHugh is typical of a nasty new breed of people who now believe their own lies, she and her like have done immense damage to our Nation by deskilling and demoralising millions of youngsters for their own financial ends, they are like a Cancer in our Society and their influence now spreads to the heart of Government.
    When the History of current times comes to be written, people will ask themselves: How on earth could so called intelligent people allow themselves to be hoodwinked and brow beaten into agreeing contracts costing taxpayers 11 Billion Pounds and rising, that resulted in such an appalling success rate (2.6 out of every hundred individuals finding employment) but in upside down Britain where failure means success, Kirsty McHugh is happy with the fantastically good out comes , so that’s alright then. David Anthony Penson Bracknell Berkshire

    David Anthony Penson

    December 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    • David

      I noted your long blog on Jimmy Stirling about challenging your right to refuse to sign health & safety documents. Your reply makes very interesting/contradictory (legal) reading.

      You say you got a barrister’s letter to prove this to be the case. I am experiencing problems with refusing to sign in (health and safety sheets) on attendance on the WP at present. However, as the building does not belong to DWP or WP provider, WP still mandate me to sign in or immediately sanction me indefinately.

      Is there any chance you could expand on your experience with regards this issue. I totally agree with you and your barrister but am not getting anywhere but on-going sanctions/failed appeals, bullying, intimidation, threats etc. I told them I was under no legal obligation to sign any provider documents but the Landlord mandated everyone sign in when attending/do business at the building.

      Would it be possible to have the details of your barrister/see a copy of his letter backing this up. This would be very helpful?

      Please could you reply ASAP due to pending case.

      Many thanks.



      December 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

  6. OT: New “Health & Work Programme”

    DWP better be careful [surely they won’t be so dumb to fall afoul of this?] with the use of psychometric testing. Its been shown in the past to breach the Equality Act. Now I wonder….


    December 6, 2015 at 5:27 pm

  7. Widening benefits ban to young Britons as leverage in EU talks not ruled out.

    Iain Duncan Smith has declined to rule out imposing a four-year ban on young people in Britain claiming in-work benefits as a way of securing a deal in David Cameron’s EU negotiations.

    Amid strong opposition across the EU to the prime minister’s plans to impose such a ban on EU migrants, the work and pensions secretary raised the possibility that the change could be achieved by imposing it on UK citizens as well.



    December 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

  8. Using council tax to offset care cuts ‘will widen gap between rich and poor’

    George Osborne’s decision to use local rises in council tax to offset cuts to social care will lead to thousands more vulnerable older people missing out on vital services, an authoritative new analysis has found.

    You may see social care providers collapsing, more people going without the care they need or having to pay for it themselves.



    December 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

  9. enigma

    December 7, 2015 at 8:37 am

    • “Anchoring” is also used in sales. Say for instance you spend £1000 on a colour flatscreen TV. The £100 HDMI cable is “anchored” to the TV purchase. The salespersons proposition of “You have made an excellent investment in this TV Sir/Madam. Why go and ruin it with a cheap cable?” sells itself Even though a £1 cable from the poundshop will work the same. Of course for a £1,000 you would expect there to be a cable in the box and even if there is the salesperson will still dismiss it as “cheap junk that won’t do your new TV justice”. And they also know that you want to play with your new toy as soon as possible, not shop around for a cable.

      N Flanders

      December 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    • Just look on a electrical retailers website and you will see buy ‘bundle’ – TV + £50 HDMI cable. The retailer is going to make a lot more profit on the HDMI cable then they do on the £100 TV!

      N Flanders

      December 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

  10. The Prophet Mohammed expressly forbid our religion from working paid or unpaid with the Salvation Army.

    British Muslim

    December 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    • “British Muslim”

      Where does the Koran say that? I did not know the Salvation Army was around at the same time as Mohammed!


      December 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    • Anyone can proclaim to be any religion they choose and you don’t need to attend a place of worship, have a reference from the preacher, have ‘tablets of stones’ from the Mountain, be in possession of the Holy Grail to prove it. As the Holy Bible says: “Where one is gathered I will be there too”… 😉 Religion can be a private matter!

      Bible Thumper

      December 7, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      • FAO “Bible Thumper”

        Yes, there are many religions and people are indeed free to choose.

        But how many ways to God are there, and by what means?


        December 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

  11. Allahu Akbar! – God is Greatest! The Salvation Army can go suck cock!

    British Muslim

    December 7, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    • If you made these crude remarks verbally out in the street, you would be arrested and charged under British Law – and rightly so.

      Remember, keep it clean. Anything that offends the dignity of man is Satanic.

      By the way, are you talking about The God whose Son died on the Cross at Calvary? Does Allah have a son?


      December 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    • As one Muslim to another that’s not an Islamic way to speak!


      December 8, 2015 at 2:24 pm

  12. regards the work and health program I hav dun a foi request to see what input and design the health department have had if at all and if nothing why ever not when it shares its namesake my view is dwp to big for its boots got control of to much of nations state pension should be with t3easury under paymaster general and all health benfits with health department


    December 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

  13. enigma

    December 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm

  14. Plans to clamp down on FOI rules will take Britain back to the ‘dark ages’

    The Information Commissioner has said the Freedom of Information Act is the price the government must pay to be a “modern” and “accountable” democracy in the 21st century.



    December 7, 2015 at 9:29 pm

  15. Why don’t these ‘providers’ just fuck off? Seriously! Nobody wants their ‘help and support’! Nobody wants them meddling and interference in their lives! Why can’t they get the hint? Why don’t they just fuck off and die!

    Why don't 'providers' fuck off?

    December 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    • Why don’t ‘providers’ just fuck off? If only.

      jj joop

      December 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      • JJ Joop

        I hope all is well with you and everyone else here.

        Recap of last weeks episode of the hit TV Forced Participation Show “CWP – We’re here to Sanction You!”

        Sign. Nope. Must Sign as we’re the same as DWP. Nope, no act of parliament. Must Sign. Nope.
        Repeat, add salt and stir. Right go away and come back in a week. Hmmm…. no high backed chairs…
        So to this weeks exciting episode.

        In the introductory letter it says “We will go through what we have agreed you will …”
        Strange that – I was chucked out before we got to that. Obviously people at this place are on some powerful drugs to be having these delusions/hallucinations…

        Manager: Ah Mr Gazza, Sit down. Right is this your CV – its rather long at 5 pages.
        G: Yep just wanted to show complete work history – 2 page on UJM.
        M: So, when are you going to supply CV?
        G: Nope.
        M: But I want it so you can apply for for jobs here.
        G: Nope.
        M: But but but
        G: Not my problem, unless you care to put it in writing as a Mandatory Requirement?
        M – Whinning now : No, but can’t you email it to me?
        G: No.
        M: Okay you have a UJM?
        G: Yep dont use it
        M: Okay work search all new week & week after
        G: Okay [myself decides time for pen and paper and leave nothing behind – multiple pages open all at same time]
        M: Here you go.
        G: Where’s the high backed chair for my neck?
        M: No need just take a break.
        G: Whoa, you MUST supply or in breach, there consequences…
        M: [very uncertain]: I’ll have to talk to my manager

        There ends this weeks episode of the hit TV Forced Participation Show “CWP – We’re here to Sanction You!”


        December 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  16. For those of you concerned about the many thousands of benefit deaths, why don’t you sign the petition to have the DWP charged with corporate manslaughter:



    December 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

  17. enigma

    December 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    • Important new post from the Void just out:

      “Sliding Towards Disaster, How Universal Credit Is Already A Failure

      Two reports have been released by the DWP this week which show that Universal Credit is fast becoming the toxic mix of poverty, insecure work and demoralising Jobcentre harassment that many feared when plans for an overhaul of the benefit’s system were first proposed.”


      Andrew Coates

      December 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      • I had just read it, and yet many people in the local JC are going onto UC. now we are seeing more and more people come into the food bank who are waiting on their first payment.


        December 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      • And as is seen on Void, many people here too will end up with rent arrears and so some will become homeless because some landlords won’t wait until that first payment from UC.


        December 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      • Government plans to cut unemployment benefits for disabled people will make it harder, not easier, for them to get back into work, according to a House of Lords report.

        The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is set to be cut by £30 a week for new claimants from April 2017 to bring it in line with Job Seekers Allowance.



        December 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      • 2017 is going to be bad for millions, with the work & health programme and the cut to disability benefits. will UC still be going, what else in in store for 2017.


        December 8, 2015 at 8:05 pm

  18. The DWP is cutting a disability benefit that already leaves a third of recipients struggling to afford food.

    Employment and Support Allowance WRAG payments are being cut by £30 a week from April 2017.



    December 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm


    If your sanity can stand it, have a listen to IDS on R4’s “The World at One” programme” earlier today, in which he still claims Universal Credit will leave no one worse off:



    December 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm


    Cheating firm Maximus is struggling to find medical staff in the UK to run fit-for-work tests after many doctors and nurses refuse to work for them. As a result, they are losing income because performance targets are not being met.

    Now if only ALL doctors and nurses took that line!



    December 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

  21. OT: Worked 10 weeks and expect to get paid, no me Lad its Work experience!

    Hat-tip to Refuted



    December 8, 2015 at 7:39 pm

  22. Thres more “upbeat” news here.

    Universal credit claimants more likely to get jobs, government research finds



    December 8, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    • Yes because government research says so !!! compete nonsense.


      December 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    • I see governments still working on the basis that people dont want to work.

      How does rebranding a benefit, even tightening efforts change ones chances of gaining employment, especially in areas where industry is small or non existent.

      For over a year ive had just three jobs, all of which lied outright in order to gain an employee long enough to get what they want then let you go.

      My recent employers just let me go right before Christmas just so they dont have to pay hoilday wages what with building sites shutting down next week friday. This is the second year in a row this has happened.

      If you go to an interview, make sure you grill the crap out of your potential employer to the point of where they feel like a criminal as the chances are there lying to you.


      December 9, 2015 at 7:24 am

  23. Carltona Doctrine. – Civil servants are apparently covered by the Carltona Principle, which makes them non-accountable for their actions as they are acting on behalf of the 5ecretary of State for the DWP.



    December 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm

  24. So does that teenager have any chance of getting his money – was he promised payment verbally or in writting – were NI documents submitted to HMRC – I’m sure the “employer” has done something wrong somewhere – I hope they individual finds someone to help them get a positive result on this.

    I’d immediately report him to the police for slave labour, theft and to the HMRC for tax evasion myself if it’s practicable in the case to do so.

    • Sebastian

      Not sure whats going to happen there – its going to be his, & his parents words against the manager [a woman who is the reason for a very very high turn over of young staff surprise surprise – obviously one of Thatchers Admirers].

      I would not be surprised if this particular store sees a big drop off of local custom. Locals are not happy.


      December 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      • “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages and giveth him not for his work” – Jeremiah chapter 22, verse 13.


        December 9, 2015 at 9:25 am

  25. Now we have a soldier losing £100,000 pension after 18 years service and 6 Military Medals for bravery. The soldier was sacked only 72 HOURS before he retired!

    It is thought the soldier is one of at least 80 service personnel who have deliberately been made redundant just before they officially retire, so the MoD will save millions of pounds:


    Meanwhile, other military veterans are throwing their medals away in protest over Syria. Well, well, well. What is it coming to?


    December 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

    • I seen many people leaving just before their 22 years which they wanted to do in the 90’s while in, the armed forces, no longer a good career. less and less people are joining up.


      December 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

    • The Worst part?

      That he only found out after the fact that he was the 21st, and they wanted only 20!
      Also his termination date fell exactly 72 hours before he’d served 20 years and would have gotton a full pension.
      Well done MOD, potential recruits will read that and know exactly how they will be treated.
      According to MoD they did nothing wrong.


      December 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    • And if instead the soldier had been working for the DWP with their gold-plated Final Salary Scheme he would have been promoted to “Manager” just 72 hours before he retired…. 😉


      December 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

  26. There will be more break-ins of food banks of course, for the obvious.

    Raiders broke in to the West End Foodbank Centre in Benwell, Tyneside, in Monday night and took wrapped up presents which were earmarked for youngsters who otherwise may not get anything else this year.



    December 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

  27. Bedroom tax harming children’s learning amid stress and hunger, experts claim.

    Parents cutting back on food and clothing due to benefit reforms lead to adverse impacts and material hardship for children, researchers find.



    December 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

  28. DWP’s Providers Subcontractors (Subs) for Community Work Placements across the UK.



    December 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

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