Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Archive for the ‘Community Work Placements’ Category

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Opposes Mandatory use of Psychological Therapies in workfare programmes

Iain Duncan Smith Adviser tries out Therapy for Jobseekers.

Thanks to Enigma:

The BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) issued this statement this week.


This, however, still stands:

Campaign against introduction of psychological therapies into Job Centres




* A pilot project to bring CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) into Job Centres starts at Streatham Job Centre Plus in June 2015.

* In the same month, Lambeth “Living Well Hub” for Community Mental Health Services is due to open in the same building.

*Mental Health Resistance Network is unhappy with these developments which are part of the government’s brutal “back to work” agenda.

*Mental Health Resistance Network has called a demonstration which will march on Streatham Job Centre on Friday 26th June.

*Mental Health Resistance Network is circulating an open letter to relevant individuals, charities and professional organisations stating our position and asking them to join us in our condemnation for these developments.


The text of the open letter is as follows:

Mental Health Resistance Network is organising a demonstration to take place at Streatham Job Centre Plus on Friday 26th June 2015, protesting against the opening there of Lambeth’s principal community mental  health centre  (“Living Well Network Hub”) the following Monday.

Streatham Job Centre also, from June 2015, hosts the first pilot of the DWP’s scheme to provide psychological therapies – specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – at Job Centres for people suspected of having mental health problems. This is the first of ten pilot schemes in advance of a national project planned to begin in January 2016.

We are calling on you/ your organisation to state your position on these issues, and we hope join us in our condemnation of these developments.

As mental health service users, we are extremely unhappy with these developments. We deplore the government’s brutal “back to work” agenda, which is a front for cutting disabled welfare benefits for the most vulnerable. Mental health service users are understandably terrified of Job Centres and the threat of losing their benefits through Sanctions, or degrading and unfit-for-purpose Work Capability Assessments. With the main point of access to Community Mental Health services in Lambeth on the 3rd floor of a Job Centre, many of us will feel too frightened to ask for the help and services we need, and lose contact with services altogether.

Mental health service users are already reporting higher levels of fear, anxiety and anguish as a result of the increasingly difficult welfare benefits system, which is linked to an increasing rate of suicides. This situation will be exacerbated by the new developments.

We should not be put under pressure to look for work unless we feel capable. The competitive, profit-driven and exploitative nature of the modern workplace is not suitable for people whose mental health is fragile. But the location of the Network Hub at Streatham Job Centre put us under such pressure if we try to use mental health services.

Experts agree that CBT does not work for everyone; that psychological therapies are ineffective if they are forced on people; and that they need to take place in safe, unthreatening environments. We do not think making people have CBT at Job Centres will make anyone magically “fit for work.” We are concerned that people will be Sanctioned (i.e. have their benefits stopped) if they do not co-operate with this “therapy” either out of principle or because they are not well enough. “BACK TO WORK THERAPY” IS NO THERAPY AT ALL!

Additionally, we are concerned that this amounts to an extension of the coercive powers of the 1983 Mental Health Act amended 2007. Whereas at present people can only be forced into “treatment” under in-patient Sections of this Act or by Community Treatment Orders, making welfare benefits and by extension housing conditional on agreeing to psychological treatment broadens the principle of compulsion.

We condemn the involvement of  IAPTS in this attempt to make people undergo “therapy” at Job Centres, which we believe goes against professional ethics. We are also unhappy that psychiatrists, occupational therapists, nurses, social workers and other mental health professionals are also expected to work at Streatham Job Centre, again compromising their professional ethics, and we call on individual staff and collective agencies representing them to publicly oppose this development.

For more information contact:


Name and Shame Workfare Exploiters!

Refuted carried this information yesterday,

Court orders DWP to name and shame workfare exploiters

View full decision: “The DECISION of the Upper Tribunal is to dismiss the [DWP] appeals” https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwd25z9g2tFPNzZfbVdQSFRZM3JwZzVwX1hDS01Kc0R0V05z/edit?pli=1 (download as a PDF) and the full history of one of the FOI request’s of 25 January 2012, concerning the names of Mandatory Work Activity placement hosts. This tribunal decision concerned DWP appeals against three ICO decision notices (FS50438037,FS50438502 and FS50441818) all requiring the DWP to name workfare placement hosts.

Above via https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/successful_bidders

On the 15th of July we carried this on the notorious SEETEC (which ‘delivers’ workfare in the Eastern Region, including Ipswich).

We are interested in approaches from all organisations which feel may be able to offer project or placement opportunities. We have expert supervisors in place to manage and run projects but we are also happy to discuss existing projects which have supervisors already in place.

Of particular interest are opportunities which exist within Local councils and Housing Providers to increase numbers on existing projects or to create new projects of benefit to their residents and the local area they serve.

Examples of such projects include estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services. The list of potential projects is almost endless.
If you are interested in working with Seetec to develop innovative and engaging ideas for the delivery of CWP please e-mail in the first instance to: bizdev@seeetec.co.uk or call Peter Walkerley, Business Development and Partnership Manager on: 01702 201070 Ext. 8262.

Alternatively, if you would like to offer support in the form of venues, projects or placements please call Seetec on freephone: 0800 65 25 414.

Who are the exploiters SEETEC operates with?

We want to know!


Meanwhile Boycott Workfare has its own list of workfare exploiters here.

Iain Duncan Smith stays as welfare chief.

Rewarded for Failure.

New Cabinet: Iain Duncan Smith stays as welfare chief after rejecting move to justice job.

The BBC reports,

“..he has successfully  reinvented himself as a social reform champion who, with his centre-right think tank Centre for Social Justice, has played an influential role in developing Conservative policy on welfare and the “broken society”.

David Cameron reportedly tried to persuade Mr Duncan Smith to move to become Justice Secretary in his September 2012 reshuffle, but Mr Duncan Smith opted to stay with the welfare brief.”

We cannot but admire the BBC’s irony.

Nothing succeeds like failure for the Liberal-Conservative Coalition.

Think:  ATOS,  Universal Credit, Sanctions, Universal Jobmatch, ‘Help to Work’, Workfare, crooked companies running the worse than useless Work Programme……(there’s plenty more).

Full List of Touts Running ‘Community Work Programme’.

The List of Shame is out (Hat tips to Another Fine Mess and Watching A4E),

We publish this in full – from TWPSolutions.

Following on from our article yesterday on lack of information re who won where on Community Work Placment tender round – we now have the full list from DWP so here it is:-

Community Work Placement Suppliers


Contract Package Area  Coverage Supplier
1 East of England: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire; Cambridge and Suffolk; Essex; Norfolk Seetec
2 East Midlands:  Nottinghamshire; Derbyshire; Lincolnshire and Rutland; Leicestershire and Northamptonshire G4S
3 London West:  Ealing; Hammersmith & Fulham; Brent; Harrow; Hillingdon; Hounslow; Richmond Upon Thames; Kingston Upon Thames; Wandsworth; Enfield; Kensington & Chelsea; Barnet; Camden; Westminster; Islington; Haringey G4S
4 London East:  Hackney; Newham; Tower Hamlets; Barking & Dagenham; Redbridge; Havering; Waltham Forest; City of London; Croydon; Bexley; Lambeth; Bromley; Greenwich; Lewisham; Southwark; Merton and Sutton G4S
5 North East:  Northumbria; South Tyne and Wear Valley; Tees Valley Pertemps
6 North West 1:  Cumbria and Lancashire; Merseyside; Halton G4S
7 North West 2:  Greater Manchester Central, Greater Manchester East and West, Cheshire and Warrington Seetec
8 Scotland :  Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde; Edinburgh; Lothian and Borders; Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside; Glasgow; Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian Learndirect
9 South East 1: Hampshire and Isle of Wight; Thames valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire) G4S
10 South East 2: Kent; Surrey and Sussex Seetec
11 South West 1:  Devon and Cornwall; Dorset and Somerset Rehab
12 South West 2: Gloucester, Wiltshire and Swindon; West of England Seetec
13 Wales: North and Mid Wales, South West Wales; South Wales Valleys; South East Wales Working Links
14 West Midlands 1:  Birmingham and Solihull; Black Country Seetec
15 West Midlands 2:  Coventry and Warwickshire; Staffordshire; The Marches Pertemps
16 West Yorkshire  Interserve
17 South Yorkshire  Interserve
18 North East Yorkshire and The Humber G4S


Well,  SEETEC has a very bad reputation to start with …..and it goes downhill after that…..

We are waiting for the list of the ‘voluntary” sector and Charity scabs who will work with this merry crew.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

Biting Back Against ‘Help to Work’ Unpaid Labour.


Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘chain-gang scheme’ says Daily Record.

We now know 4 of the 6 companies who will be profiting from unpaid labour under the Help to Work scheme: G4S, Seetec, Interserve and Pertemps. 

The Void observes,

G4s will operate the flagship contract to provide Community Work Placements in six regions.  This is despite the fact that up until recently they were  banned from carrying out new public sector contracts due to concerns about fraud.  The company are currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office after over-charging huge sums on their electronic tagging contract.  Other companies with their snouts in the workfare trough include Pertemps, Seetec and Interserve.

We await news of the other 2 companies and a list of the scabs in the ‘voluntary’ sector hoping to make money out of forcing people to work for nothing.

How should we react?

First of all by making our opinions known, above all to the touts running the Community Work Programme.

Next, by making it as difficult as possible for them to run their little money-earner.

Finally, by getting as many bodies, charities, local government, companies, as possible to boycott the scheme.

How are the media reacting?

We can expect little from the mainstream television: the BBC is frightened of the Cabinet, and anxious to present ‘balance’.

The far-right press loves the idea of us cleaning the streets with our toothbrushes.

But not everybody is the same.

The Scottish Daily Record says this,

THERE is nothing wrong in principle with expecting people who have been out of work for long periods to undertake work experience or a more intensive search for a job.

But two things have to be in place for such a scheme to succeed – real work experience placements which are more than just slave labour and real jobs at the end of the process.

The Help to Work scheme, which came into place yesterday, offers neither.

Instead of offering real opportunities to people worn down by no work, it will belittle and stigmatise people by forcing them to carry out menial tasks.

This is a case of punishment for being on the dole – meted out by trust-fund Tories who have no idea what it is like to actually have to look for work.

Participation in these “chain-gang” schemes does nothing to improve people’s chance of getting work after six months – as the Government’s own studies have shown.

In fact, there’s every possibility that being sent on one of these schemes could make it harder to find real work at the end if employers end up discriminating against the people who have been sent on them.

Real work placements, paying real money at the minimum wage level, and guaranteed work for the long-term unemployed along with training … now that does produce results. How do we know? Because it was called the Future Jobs Fund under Labour.

Then the Coalition Government scrapped it for this punitive, menial, work-for-dole scheme that denigrates benefit claimants.

It ignores entirely the fact that many of those currently on the dole have paid decades of National Insurance contributions and are therefore perfectly entitled to the state’s help when they need it.

Attacking the jobless for the “crime” of being unemployed is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Tories.

But the question, as ever, is: “Why are the Lib Dems – the party of David Lloyd George, who helped pave the way for the Welfare State – helping them do it?”