Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Unemployment Business Prospering as Seetec Boss Rakes it in and Expands Empire


SEETEC has offices in Ipswich, running the Work programme, and (until George Osborne pulled the plug on that nice little earner) and the Help to Work Workfare programme.  Many of our readers are all too familiar with this company which lives off public money.

It now runs one of the newly privatised probation services in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Private Eye this week (No 1411)  reports that this arm of Seetec  is already in  “trouble”. An audit completed before Christmas found “problems” with Seetc and South Yorkshire CRC, run – no you could not make this up – by French catering and cleaning firm, Sodexo.

Private Eye notes that this bunch of chancers had a turnover of £1.4 million; today this stands at more than £80 million, largely by profiteering from state money.

The report states that Seetec was part the national Help to Work – that is Workfare schemes, work for no pay –  only got 4.7% of participants into work.

Seetec, the articles notes, had a “mixed” performance. People round here know just how “mixed up” this scheme was.

Private Eye says that Seetec’s owner-boss Peter Cooper got £1.6 million in dividends alone last year.

Here is their latest scheme to expand their empire and rake in more income from the public purse:

Seetec launches new Skills Academies

Over 40 guests attended the launch of the Seetec Skills Academies at Essex County Cricket Club on Wednesday 25th November with guest of honour Graham Gooch OBE.

Seetec, an Essex based skills and employment specialist which has been supporting people back to work and improving their skills for over 30 years, was delighted Graham Gooch could attend the launch of its exciting new skills provision and celebrate the new partnership with Essex County Cricket Club.

This is their own puff:

Seetec has over 29 years experience as one of the UK’s leading employment and skills training providers, supporting over 100,000 customers per annum to move into sustained employment.   Seetec delivers large scale national contracts such as the Department for Work and Pensions’ Work Programme across 3 regions as well as various ESF programmes through the Skills Funding Agency and Apprenticeships.

Seetec also delivers a range of contracts designed for specific customer groups such as our Work Choice contract for disabled customers and local programmes for lone parents, young people and NEETs, ex-offenders and graduates.


Last we forget another gang running the Unemployment Business here is a report from earlier this month.

Scandal-hit welfare-to-work agency A4E sees its profits quadruple

A4E, the welfare-to-work agency rocked by fraud allegations which led to the resignation of its founder and chairwoman Emma Harrison in 2012, saw turnover fall but profits quadruple last year.

The firm, which is a key partner to government schemes, said the number of UK jobseekers referred to it was falling due to the economic recovery, but that it was seeing an increase in its Australian operation.

In the last set of accounts before it was bought by rival Staffline Group, A4E recorded turnover of £166million in the year to March 2015, down from £189million, and profits of £9.2million, up from £2.3million, due mainly to a fall in operating expenses.

Harrison, who has appeared in TV’s Secret Millionaire, set up A4E in 1991 but resigned after six staff were jailed and four received suspended sentences for falsifying the number of people helped back into work.

Harrison, who stepped down as David Cameron’s families tsar, was also criticised for taking an £8.6million dividend from A4E on top of her £365,000-a-year salary.

Staffline has said that after a full audit by the Department for Work and Pensions, systems were now in place to prevent any recurrence at the Sheffield-based company.


Written by Andrew Coates

February 7, 2016 at 11:51 am

69 Responses

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  1. Work Programme provider guidance updated 3 February 2016


    jj joop

    February 7, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    • Chancers: stand by your troughs and get ready for a right good tuck in!

      jj joop

      February 7, 2016 at 5:18 pm

  2. Curtis Allan annotated his FOI request yesterday:

    “Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

    You have not replied to my FOI request Work and Health Programme
    Documentation promptly, as normally required by law.

    Please do so immediately or explain your reasons. Or I will be
    obliged to request an internal review.

    Yours sincerely,

    Curtis Allan”


    jj joop

    February 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm

  3. The new Seetec Skills Academies will help people to find traineeships and apprenticeships supporting their career development by learning on the job whilst attaining accredited qualifications. The Academies provide people with the opportunity to explore a variety of exciting career paths without the need to go to University or higher education. – the majority won’t be able to afford to so they will be taken advantage of and used for life long workfare.

    Exciting careers not.


    February 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    • If claimants don’t have to sign to give these companies the right to claim SFA funding on their behalf, provide real skillsets that lift not only your chances of employment but also provides a self employed route without the need for the claimant to take out costly debt, then well done.

      Without the need to go to college or uni ?


      February 8, 2016 at 7:23 am

  4. Work choice – Customer Consent Form.



    February 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm

  5. The industrial prison complex begins.



    February 8, 2016 at 7:25 am

  6. In-work Conditionality

    Universal Credit plus zero-hours contracts mixed with “inflexible” Jobcentre appointments spells “Shockingly Harsh Benefit Sanctions”.

    Not a new subject for regular readers on here, but at least the subject is getting aired further afield in the mainstream media now:



    February 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

  7. My own experience of Seetec ‘education’ includes a half-day course on management.

    The instructor began by citing the Italian theorist of elites (and Mussolini), Pareto on the best 20%.

    The implication of this “principle” (the ‘law of the vital few’) was you concentrate on the top pergoemrs, and, well, sod the rest.

    Imagine Academies based on this!


    Andrew Coates

    February 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    • These Skills Academies require SFA funding which the providers cant get without your consent, a clue is to ask them prior to dealing with the topic of paperwork, will they need to see proof of unemployment and make a copy of it.

      Don’t take the clue as absolute proof as DWP might have changed the system to supply such data to the provider now.

      Ultimately if you don’t wish to learn something regardless of reason, DONT SIGN THE PAPERWORK and be aware DWP may attempt to get you to sign this away prior to attending a Skills Academy.

      Also if while at the Skills Academy after not consenting they say you can leave then, don’t do so until they have given you written evidence that it was them that asked you to leave and why so you can take it to DWP or phone them in front of you. If they refuse that also, stay seated, don’t even leave the building for a lunch break and turn up for the times and days your suppose to as requested by the document DWP will issue you prior to the course or the provider will post prior to. Also stay within your group as this adds witnesses so don’t let them take you to one side for a chat, explain your happy where your sitting and give them full permission to speak in front of the class.Then they will have no choice to call the police if they don’t want you their who will have to log it in their book. Explain you would love to leave but need paperwork from the provider giving you consent to leave as DWP said you must participate (show DWP letter).

      REMEMBER TO BE CALM AND COLLECTIVE, DONT GIVE PROVIDERS EXCUSES AS THEN IT WILL IF THEIR BRAVE ENOUGH, FORCE THEM TO LIE TO THE POLICE. Recording your interactions like you do DWP will act as evidence if the provider lies.



      February 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      • Even better if other group members are declining the ‘providers’ ‘kind offer’ to sign/fill in the ‘providers’ ‘documents’ 😉

        Safety in Numbers

        February 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      • Sadly safety in numbers when this occurred for me and despite clearly explaining it to the class and tutor, they all chickened out for that fear of being sanctioned. Even one who said he knew to regs chickened out.

        I hate to say it but most claimants don’t have a back bone, that somehow their situation is different to yours and its not that simple.


        February 9, 2016 at 11:59 am

      • We are fucked, basically!


        February 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm

  8. Recently unemployed public realise universal credit is shocking and terrible.


    When we all have such diversified needs, the box ticking profiler we call UC simply cant adjust and thus leaves the individual penniless for long periods.

    DWP made the assumption that all people losing a job would apply straight away, assumed they could borrow or have financial credit, they also assumed people wouldn’t have debt to pay prior to claiming benefits, this mirror story being point in case.

    The system it appears is still failing to address its own short comings, partly dew to DWPs refusal to make each benefit self contained within the UC software rather than the conveyor belt this benefit calculated first, then this, then this approach.


    February 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    • The recently unemployed are shocked and terrified of DWP, UC, sanctions and the welfare reform, because many of them have never known what it all means. until that first day in a JC.


      February 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm

  9. Obesity: Cutting benefits to help people lose weight ‘would not work’, says health adviser


    A government health adviser personally commissioned by the Prime Minister to review removing benefits from obese and addicts has black balled idea on a BBC radio show that it appears DWP didn’t know about.


    February 8, 2016 at 12:49 pm

  10. OT: GP Referral – NOT Mandatory

    Hat-tip to Refuted:


    FAQs on the new Fit for Work Scheme

    Do GPs have to refer patients to this service?

    No – there is no contractual or mandatory requirement for GPs to refer patients to this service, but DWP guidance urges GPs to refer all patients that are eligible for the service.

    What are the criteria for referring patients?

    – patients of any age in paid employment
    – the patient is likely to be absent from work for four weeks or more
    – the patient has a reasonable prospect of returning to work
    – the patient has not already been referred within the last 12 months and has not received a Return to Work Plan
    – the patient consents to the referral

    Let me repeat the important part again:

    – the patient consents to the referral


    February 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    • Didn’t gaia say that last year about fit for work and incited all employees should refuse consent because it has a legal basis ?


      February 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      • Gaia did! I commented and gaia gave me more links to follow


        February 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

  11. The new Seetec Skills Academies: are they mandatory and what age group are they aimed at?

    Old Codger

    February 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

  12. Found this on ‘another forum’:

    “Speaking of claimant commitments, that reminds me, the day my work coach first referred me to CWP, he – without me knowing – made some minor changes to my existing CC, and added this line: “I will attend the Community Work Placement Scheme as agreed with Learn Direct”. Then he told me to sign using the electronic signing pad, but I couldn’t actually even see what I was signing, except the line where my signature would go. I didn’t know it was a new CC until he printed it out and handed it to me, along with the CWP referral letter”

    So this ‘electronic signing’ extends beyond simple signing. And it is possible to ‘sign’ documents you don’t even have sight off.

    No doubt it will extend to ‘third-party ‘providers’ as the biometric data will be passed to the ‘provider’ as a ‘data dump’ with the rest of the claimant’s personal and confidential information. And as the ‘providers’ will have their own signing pads it will also act as a signature verification check.

    Fucking DWP – you always have to be one step ahead with these c****s. What can seem innocuous at present can turn into a fucking nightmare further down the line.


    February 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    • The signing pad is effectively a physical signature collector that in practice can be placed on any document any time. In an age of electronics why sign on twice for two different things when you can sign for them once.

      I cant say I’m surprized DWP would change tactic what with certain claimants refusing to sign the papered version.

      In order to make any contract legally binding the consenter must be presented with the facts prior to such consent being given so they are what’s termed legally informed.

      If you can prove they didn’t then you can reverse it by appeal.

      What has come of this though is you have now warned others who will hopefully spread the word so claimants ask prior to signing the pad, what is it I’m actually signing for before I sign (record this).


      February 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      • It now appears that there is more to the signing pad than just verifying an electronic copy of the signature to authorise a payment in the same way an ATM uses a PIN. And that the signing pad could be used to trick jobseekers into signing other documents at the same time. If you don’t sign on (and sign the other documents) you won’t get paid!


        February 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      • For the record the pad like a tablet can more than easily produce what your signing for so I suggest claimants check to see what data is their and if not then ask for written evidence of what their signing for for the purposes of records.


        February 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      • Does signing something when you don’t know what you are signing not strike anyone as kind of strange?

        Death Warrant

        February 9, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      • Does signing anything under duress, the threat to lose food and shelter through sanctions – to work for your dole not seem strange?

        A barrack room lawyer comments, “A contract under duress is pretty dodgy:

        Duress in English law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duress_in_English_law

        Andrew Coates

        February 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      • Well actually no death warrant as people seldom read the small print in contracts, seldom read the associated regulations and thus you get what you see at DWP.

        Take when people first make a claim, DWP slips in a certain piece of paperwork involving giving them the right to process (that includes share said data with third parties). Even though clearly written on it is that you don’t have to sign it and it doesn’t effect your benefits or rights to, DWP deliberately fold it so only the signature area is on display. Now in addition to this they don’t attempt to get you to sign it straight away and thus throw it into other paperwork requiring signatures hoping you wont notice and just sign it.

        After watching this process many times, every person making a claim signed it without reading it. Now I know this is contrary to what they would do as when I interceded and explained what it was and how it doesn’t effect their benefit, not one would sign it.


        February 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

      • As for your question Andrew Coates, a contract is not legally binding if consent to agree to the terms was gained by force, threat or deception.


        February 10, 2016 at 8:38 am

      • True, doug. Did anyone read the “Terms and Conditions” before posting on here? 😉 “We collect personally identifiable information which may be shared with third-parties, including but not limited to, government agencies and law enforcement; including but not limited to, the Police, DWP and it’s executive agencies, including but not limited to, Jobcentre Plus and third-party providers of services to the DWP and it’s executive agencies; for the purposes of, including but not limited to crime prevention and detection, including but not limited to, fraudulent benefit claims and activities, actions, and incitement to actions which hamper the operation and functioning of DWP and it’s executive agencies, including but not limited to, Jobcentre Plus and third-party providers of services to the DWP and it’s executive agencies…..

        “Ipswich Unemployed Action”, “Andrew Coates” and the “Andrew Coates Avatar” are intellectual property of the DWP.”

        Small Print

        February 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      • Another thing that the jobcentre do when the give you a new jobseeker’s agreement is that they turn it over, slap it down hard on the desk, and keep their hand on it so that you can’t turn it over if you wanted to, then in a commanding way tell you to SIGN, when all the stuff you have agreed to lol is on the other side of the paper lol

        princess l

        February 10, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    • This is a very worrying development. Like doug I have to say this new tactic doesn’t really come as a big surprise. If anyone here is worried about their signature being pimped out then either decline to sign electronically, or make a mess of your signature on the pad and then they will have no choice but to let you sign clerically. i.e. pen and paper.

      I’ve found that it’s not just the way you sign your name but you also have to exert a certain amount of pressure on the pad as well, otherwise your signature will be rejected.

      jj joop

      February 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      • Also, TIT’s posting serves as a salutatory lesson to us all.


        jj joop

        February 9, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      • Yeah, it uses pressure and contact angle of the ‘pen’. You could always try using your opposite hand 😉


        February 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      • And it also using timing, how long it takes you to sign 😉 Just take it slow and easy 🙂


        February 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      • ..or rush it 🙂


        February 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      • Or try holding the pen at a different distance, use a different grip 😉


        February 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

  13. Internet monitoring bill ‘must do more to protect privacy’

    Plans to authorise mass data collection and hacking by Britain’s spies do not do enough to protect privacy, a watchdog has warned.



    February 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

  14. Dyslexic employee wins discrimination case against Starbucks

    Guardian – 9th Feb 2016

    Campaigners say tribunal finding in favour of Meseret Kumulchew highlights duty to make allowances for dyslexic staff


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    • Good news but there is still a lot of discrimination going on.


      February 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm

  15. I was only saying the other day that the UK was in financial trouble, that markets had seen a massive drop in investment, that people were dumping shares, that export was still flat lined, that the whole UK GDP was held up by the publics personal spending and credit/debt and the heavily inflated housing bubble the Tories deliberately engineered and ignored but no one would listen.


    Well, it appears we might not have to wait till 2020 for a tax rise that should have happened last year but all parties were to scared to mention for fear of not getting elected.

    Now before anyone thinks theirs only income tax then think again as their are tons of forms of taxes that will still hurt the public that experts suspect will be coming sooner rather than later now Osborne’s plans lay in tatters as regards reducing public service expenditure and thus producing a deficit surplus.


    February 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    • The issues and challenges facing Chancellor George Osborne as he prepares for his Budget in March. Additional analysis has been provided by ICAEW and Oxford Economics.



      February 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      • How anyone could ever believe a man who has no real economic and financial experience could make things better while Europe lay in tatters are so deluded.

        Osborne like other chancellors treats running a country like trading business on the markets which is the fundamental flaw and as a direct result is faltering now.

        Unless the UK public get on board Osborne will only hoodwink them again like he did the previous five years.


        February 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm

  16. Off topic but sometimes I post about problems and conditions at the school I work in. It’s in one of the most deprived areas of the town. One of the neediest kids stopped having free meals and moved to packed lunch because someone in the house got a job. Today her “lunch ” consisted of a bag of crisps and 2 chocolate bars ” because there’s no money ”
    When I gently asked not even bread for a sandwich? She said it’s stale and no money to pay for more!
    I’m assuming it’s a move to working tax credits. Because UC. Isn’t here yet, it’s coming end of this month for new claims and single ppl only. I don’t know what will happen about the girl, I reported it as a concern as per job requirements.
    It’s really choked me up….


    February 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm

  17. jj joop

    February 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    • Thanks, I had almost forgotten this new threat!

      Andrew Coates

      February 10, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      • ‘threat’!? You sure you didn’t mean to type OPPORTUNITY? 😀

        DWP Newspeak

        February 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm

  18. Penalties For Refusing To Sign Documentation Drawn Up By Providers

    how do they plan on getting round that then?


    February 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    • Technically they cant when you consider their are laws regarding gaining consent (must be freely given without force, threat or deception) and the processing of personal and or sensitive data (consent required by law) this includes sharing data with a third party).

      One worth looking at as I can only speculate how they might get around this without contravening said laws.


      February 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

      • Well, in that case, doug, I will have to send your claim to a ‘decision maker’. Oh, you decided to sign after all 😉 Nothing like the (implied) threat a sanction to concentrate the mind 😀

        Doug's Work Roach

        February 10, 2016 at 9:42 am

      • Only problem with that dougs work coach besides the fact I’m currently not signing on is that I’ve been threatened with in the past more sanctions than I care to remember but here’s the important thing,


        You know what else,


        Aah, what it is to know the laws/regulations.


        February 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

    • superted:

      “Penalties For Refusing To Sign Documentation Drawn Up By Providers”

      Where did you see / read that?

      jj joop

      February 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      • It will soon be the case that you can be sanctioned for up to 520 weeks (10 years) for refusing to sign provider documents… 😉

        Rumour Mill

        February 10, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      • in the link above my post but its down now pmsl 🙂


        February 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

  19. What a fucking knobhead!!

    Collective Amnesia

    February 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm

  20. The poor go hungry yet instigating a cold war against Russia gets more taxpayer money.



    February 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

  21. New taskforce launched to combat fraud across UK


    Doesn’t mention anything about banking fraud, stockmarket fraud, corporate fraud does it ?


    February 10, 2016 at 9:21 am

  22. Lord Turner warns of indefinite low rates


    Peer to peer lending is doing quite well despite Lord Turners assertions which are dew because it cuts the banks out of it completely. Banks are at a loss what with this and the likes of bitcoin as the public effectively through their investments become the banks. To put it bluntly as theirs risks in all forms of investment, if this succeeds which currently it appears so, it would without doubt mean the total end of the banking cartel for ever.

    I’m not sure if any have taken it onboard yet, is the idea that no one can see anymore invested going out than someone else, meaning no one person can get ridiculously richer than anyone else, no one losses anymore than anyone else.

    These peer to peer methods are used for all sorts of things like for instance have an idea for a business, put it out their and see if anyone thinks it worth funding and is used quite effectively in indie game development that’s been growing from strength to strength what with triple A titles become unoriginal and costly these days.


    February 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

  23. Tory policies failing left right and centre


    Well its official, another failed policy to join the rest questioning what it was the public were voting for when they decided on the Tories for government.

    Notice how the Tories don’t deny the figures or enter into debate about the quality of the people they did attract and how boring, boring yet again “everyone else is wrong, only the Tories are right”, how its the fault of unions and others, its “scaremongering” ?

    How many times are Tories going to use that tired mantra like they already do with healthcare, transport and all the rest.

    If you can find fault in one thing an important person says, everybody will question everything they say and that is precisely where we are at, everyone questioning government whos spin is failing to cover their past recorded failings.


    February 10, 2016 at 9:55 am

  24. Climate change ‘to make transatlantic flights longer’


    How can we talk about climate change and aeroplanes in the same sentence like this. Shouldn’t we be looking to get rid of them and not worry about how slower they will go ?


    February 10, 2016 at 10:03 am

    • Funny isn’t it, if you put sanctions on people creating Co2, theirs a public uproar yet when you do it to tiny groups by asserting all manner of untrue things, the public are right behind it.

      Connection, peoples money again,

      Money is the root of all evils.


      February 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

  25. San Bernardino attack: FBI still trying to crack phone


    FBI just trying to make the case that encryption should be banned outright, made a criminal offence to make or use, and or force developers to supply back doors, duplicate keys etc.

    Currently if your suspected of murder, theirs no physical evidence it means police are reliant on an admission. No court order can change whether or not this person will do so. I say this as effectively your mind is encrypted in quite a unique way as yet cannot be reproduced.

    Now what is contained in this phone cannot be said from an engineering and science stance to be considered physical as while the memory its on is, the data contained within isn’t, its a set of instructions that formulates a picture of words if you like (very basic explanation).

    Digitally you don’t have tons of letters of the alphabet dotted around your various files on your hard drive, PCs only need and use one of each letter of the alphabet no matter what you do on a PC.

    So technically if someone cracked how the mind works, this law if allowed to come to bare would grant governments or their respective departments the legal right through court order to probe a persons mind.

    I say this as I don’t want people hung up on what governments are saying is simple data as a PDF file for instance isn’t as it appears when you read them, that’s the shop window, the end product, go have a look and see what you can see, show how in its native state it contains all the letters in the alphabet it requires or does it as I state contain instructions to source/generate such letters ?


    February 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

  26. Now DWP use the threat of going to hell on claimants (MUST READ FOR ALL CLAIMANTS)


    This is simply the best news your read all day right before you go WHAT ?


    February 10, 2016 at 11:19 am

  27. Want to know the future of pensions then read on


    America like the UK government like to paint the picture that everything’s fine, that the country is doing just dandy when precisely its most certainly not.

    This was when aired quite a few years ago labelled a conspiracy, still think that’s the case ?


    February 10, 2016 at 11:26 am

  28. Anybody know what has happened to one of Universal Sanction Match’s most prolific bogus job poster UK Recruitment Website seems to have done a bunk leaving pages and pages of ‘vacancies’ on UJM which lead to nowhere. Interesting, the site is hosted on the shady US-based ‘Cloudfare’ network. UJM is nothing but a joke!!

    Frustrated Jobseeker

    February 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

    • Chrome is blocking this dodgy site:

      “This webpage is not available

      Hide details
      A secure connection cannot be established because this site uses an unsupported protocol or cipher suite. This is likely to be caused when the server needs RC4, which is no longer considered secure.”

      Too bad if you are using the Chrome extension Universal Automation to do your ‘job-search’ 😉

      IT Expert

      February 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

  29. This website certainly has all the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    Free Coins for Pokemon Go

    August 28, 2016 at 2:33 am

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