Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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Archive for the ‘Action 4 employment’ Category

Claimant Segmentation Survey: More Nosey-Parker Questions.

with 68 comments

Claimants to be Lab Rats for Iain Duncan Smith’s Latest Mad-Cap Plans.

We recently covered  the DWP’s intention to give claimants psychometric tests.

Boycott Workfare posts today on the department’s plans as they will soon be rolled out, to use so-called “segmentation survey”.

Now it’s first of all important to note that your answers are part of a test using you as lab-rats to sound out their plans to make your lives harder (if that’s possible…).

The DWP states, 

“The Claimant Segmentation Trial is being rolled out to 27 Jobcentre Plus (JCP) offices across  the country. It aims to test what the impact of weekly jobsearch reviews (WJRs), also known  as  weekly  signing,  is  on  claimant  success  in  finding  work,  and  most  importantly  identify  which groups of claimants respond best to WJRs.

The trial will use an approach known as ‘Randomised Controlled Trials’ (RCTs) to rigorously test  the  impact  of  WJRs.  This  means  that  we  will  need  to  randomly  assign  claimants  to  either  WJRs  or  standard  fortnightly  jobsearch  reviews  (FJRs),  also  known  as  fortnightly  signing,  and observe the outcomes.

This is the bit we’ll be interested in (all from DWP link above) with instructions for your lab technician (job ‘coach’):

NINO and consent 

To begin a new survey, click ‘Begin new survey’. You must then enter the claimant’s National Insurance number. Please ensure that this is correctly entered as this will be the only means we have  to  track  claimant’s  data.  If  the  number  entered  is  not  a
valid NINO you will be prompted to correct it.
You must then ask for the claimant’s consent for us to collect information  about  them.  This  is  necessary  because  we  are collecting additional information beyond what is necessary for the  claims  process  for  the  purposes  of  research.  Please  read out the passage to the claimant and ask if they are happy with this. Please click either the ‘Agree’ or ‘Disagree’ buttons.

If they disagree they will still be part of the trial using the data  we already have available and the questions about your views  on the claimant, and the NINO must still be entered.

If the claimant has any questions about this trial, see the FAQs below,  which  should  address  most  of  their  concerns.  If  the claimant  requires  further  information  still,  please  seek  advice from your SPOC or manager

The DWP repeats this point saying,

Q: What if the claimant refuses to take part? 
A:  The  claimant  may  refuse  to  answer  the  survey  questions;  however,  they  cannot  opt  to not take part in the trial. 

The trial is looking at the impact of receiving WJRs / FJRs, and as such  they  must  adhere  to  the  signing  regime  they  are  assigned  so  long  as  their  claim  is active.  If  a  claimant  is  worried  about  being  part  of  a  trial, explain  that  their experience  of claiming  JSA  will  not  differ,  except  in  the  frequency  of  the  signings  which  is  nationwide policy.

Boycott Workfare says,

These surveys are completely unethical. Attempting to classify people according to their feelings about work is being used to stigmatise and pathologize certain claimants. The tests are part of the DWP’s efforts to pretend that unemployment and a low wage economy are a result of individuals’ bad attitudes, rather than a deliberate policy. Esther McVey talks about ‘psychological resistance to work’.  The test assesses people’s attitude to work through just 20 widely varying and unrelated questions, placing claimants into in the following four bizarre rigid categories:

1 Willing but nervous Jobseeker
2 Eager Jobseeker
3 Ambivalent Claimants with few barriers
4 Other Jobseekers

You do not need to be a docile lab-rat.

Boycott states,

These are the facts:

  • If you are asked to agree to take part in the Claimant Segmentation Survey you can disagree to take part (see picture ) – it is an entirely voluntary survey.
  • Refusal to take part or answer will not affect your benefits in any way: you cannot get sanctioned for refusing to answer any of the test questions or for refusing to take part in this test [Link 3]:

“There is no obligation to answer these questions and it has no bearing on your entitlement to benefits whatsoever.”

  • Your advisor has to ask for your consent before going through the questions, because they ‘are collecting additional information beyond what is necessary for the claims process for the purposes of research’.

They conclude, and we agree (repeating our earlier posts),

“Workfare and others have consistently called on the British Psychological Society to challenge the use of ‘psychometrics’ and ‘psychological surveys’ and ‘attitude profiling’ to scapegoat and coerce claimants. And we do so again.”



Is Seetec the new A4e?

with 32 comments

Seetec (South East Essex TEchnology Centre) is a relatively local “training” organisation that has become a significant workfare player in recent years. Their wikipedia page states their success of seeking 4,417 benefit sanctions to “Work Programme conscripts” in just a single week. They use the Provider Direct sanction hotline more than any other provider. Read the rest of this entry »

a4e 2012-2013 accounts reveal worrying times for a4e

with 29 comments

Is a4e continuing to do well with Welfare to Work contracts or is their time up? Their latest published accounts (snippets and downloads included) seem to suggest they had a really bad time, further allegations of their credit rating being cut since then doesn’t paint a rosy picture for Emma Harrison and A4e.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Universal Jobmatch

January 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Poor Emma Harrison ‘Bullied’.

with 16 comments

 writes in the The Guardian, Thursday 25 October 2012

Emma Harrison’s interview on Channel 4 News. Link to this videoDavid Cameron‘s former families’ tsar gave an extraordinary performance in defence of the welfare-to-work company A4eon Wednesday night in her first lengthy interview since quitting the firm.Emma Harrison told Channel 4 News she was “bullied” out of her job in a Westminster “maelstrom” and she rejected claims that A4E was missing targets for the government’s work programme. She resigned as Cameron’s adviser and then as head of A4e in February, amid fraud investigations into the firm, but she remains its biggest shareholder.

She rejected claims A4e had found jobs lasting at least six months for fewer than 4% of people referred under the work programme, adding she had been a “useful face for the politics people to have a go at”. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has set a 5.5% minimum target for private firms in the payment-by-results arrangement.

Comment it was also extraordinary with her claims that her children were bullied because of this.

But we had the heart-warming tale, by Emma herself, that the poor and needy frequently came up to touch the rim of her coat and tell her what a wonderful job she was doing.

Harrison repeatedly said the information was wrong, but she was not able to supply the correct figures.

“What really, really matters is that, through the work programme, tens of thousands of people are getting jobs,” she said , adding that the taxpayer received £2 back for every £1 spent. Official statistics on the performance of the programme are to be released by the DWP later this year.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Posted in a4e, Action 4 employment, Cuts, DWP

Tagged with ,

Channel Four Makes ‘Gobshite’ Attack on Unemployed.

with 31 comments

Gobshite” is how one respected commentator (see pic)  described last night’s Channel Four attack on the unemployed.

A group of Tory boys filmed on their mobiles  an “exposé” of how not to fill in your ‘Job Search’ .

They called it “Tricks of the Dole Cheats”.

With hand-writing that would take an expert in palaeography to decipher they struck on the wizard wheeze of not really trying to get a job.

That is by scribbling something down that the hard-pressed Dole Assistant couldn’t be arsed to read.

Given the amateur status of their efforts we would say: can’t you toffs find something better to do?

Channel Four used to be highly respected.

I am told, though I was not in England for most of the 1980s, that it was  left-wing.

Now it’s mainly about  Come Dine With Me.

Plus they see fit to broadcast this complete and utter right-wing gobshite.

Charities, A4E and the Unemployment Business.

with 6 comments

Leading philanthropists have added to pressure on ministers to rethink plans to limit tax relief on charitable donations, by saying it “will deprive charities of much-needed funds”. The BBC reports.

Emma Harrison, owner of welfare-to-work company a4E , runs a charity, which she used to help a4E win government contracts” reports the latest Private Eye.

“The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) claims to be ‘all about supporting the small charities”, but A4E used it as ‘bid candy’ while trying to win Work programme contracts from the Department of Work and pensions (DWP) to help find jobs for the unemployed. A4E also used the supposedly independent charity to recruit other charities as A4E subcontractors”.

They further state,

“FSI recently won an £85,000 contract from Richmond on Thames council in South-west London for training and ‘capacity building’ in the borough’s voluntary sector – work previously done by the local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS)”

Charities, whether A4E fronts on not, have got into the Unemployment Business.

Just as SEETEC began as a small Essex company offering computer courses, that massively expanded with the New Deal and the Flexible New Deal, so too have some charities seen an opportunity in the Work Programme.

Papworth Trust (in Ipswich) is subcontracted from Ingeus. It started as a group helping people with disabilities. Now it is a Work Programme Provider.

What these groups actually do is unclear.

Their ‘training’ is ‘black box’ up to them.

With the funding structure for the Work Programme geared towards rewarding people who get jobs they drop those they think unlikely to find employment.

But they still snaffle a hefty fee for doing…..nothing for them.

So from A4E’s FSI to elsewhere Charities are not the unambiguous ‘good thing’ some people think.

We would be interested to know what Tax Relief Emma Harrison gets for contributing to her charitable upkeep  through Foundation for Social Improvement

Written by Andrew Coates

April 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

Emma Harrison CBE prepares for Jail

with 41 comments

A4e’s founder and former chairperson Emma Harrison CBE along with top A4e execs prepares for a significant jail term after an internal audit report got leaked to the press. (anyone with a copy, send it to us we will publish it!)

Despite so many fraud investigations which exceed the number of fingers I have, A4e’s management decided to hide this report – which claims systematic fraud – from DWP. This is serious – A4e have deliberately withheld this information from Government bodies (DWP, NAO, police etc.) whilst Emma Harrison milked these illegal monies from the business through dividends, other businesses and salary known from here-on in as money laundering.

  • 1 in 25 claims described as fraudulent (or irregularities)
  • A further 1 in 8 claims (approx) were described as risky
  • systematic fraud found with numerous cases across the country
  • Only 70% of monies claimed by A4e, has entitlement to be claimed
  • A4e management was aware of, failed to eliminate, and refused to deal with the problem that they knew was common place and somewhat encouraged by management, whilst suing everyone who spoke out, undertaking internet censorship and undertaking numerous false statements repetitiously to get people to believe them as fact

Of course this report was in 2009…  A4e would claim things have changed since, however, unlike “past fraud” swept under the carpet… A4e have kept this audit findings secret for up to 3 years to keep its contracts. The length of secrecy of this document is significant.

This is no longer about A4e just losing their contracts but key management officials being prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry »