Is Workfare Behind the G4S Olympics Farce?

G4S are one of the largest companies involved in the Government’s flagship Work Programme, the scheme currently failing miserably at helping long term unemployed people find work.

Participants on the Work Programme can be sent on unpaid work for a period of up to six months.  It is unclear whether those who refuse still face benefit sanctions as the Government have repeatedly changed the rules, plunging the scheme into confusion.  It is also not possible to find out where people are being sent on workfare as part of the Work Programme as the Government is refuses to answer Freedom of Information requests on the subject.

What is abundantly clear is that G4S have access to thousands of unemployed people, and the power to mandate them to do almost anything they choose.  Alongside this G4S had a separate contract to recruit and train thousands of Olympics Security Guards.

Now it’s clear that G4S had a business  opportunity here.  G4S can use the funding they receive on the Olympics contract to train people on the Work Programme.  Should any of the people on the Olympic contract get jobs, then G4S get to claim Job Outcome fees on their Work Programme contract.  This is known as a double fund.  Two contracts to do what appear to be different things, merged into one with huge savings for the company involved.

The other lucrative opportunity for G4S is to use unpaid workers as Olympic Security Guards, much in the way Close Protection did recently at the Queen’s Jubilee.

Is it possible that G4S panicked after the Jubilee story broke plunging their plans for an unpaid Olympics workforce into chaos?

We may never find out.  Chris Grayling, the minister in charge of the Work Programme, is unfortunately prone to lying through his teeth.  But it reveals the dangers of private sector companies handed huge and diverse contracts to carry out public services, whether they be for  stewarding and securing the Olympics or helping people get jobs.

Profit hungry sharks like G4S will cut every corner they can in the search for a quick buck.  With their operations shrouded in secrecy it is near impossible to find out exactly what’s going on.  All we know is that this represents a yet another disaster for the company who began life under the last Tory Government as Group 4 Security and quickly established themselves as a national joke.

The joke stopped being funny when G4S immigration staff killed Jimmy Mubenga whilst he was being deported.  This hasn’t stopped G4S being handed endless Government contracts to carry out everything from running prisons to harassing benefit claimants.

Once again a private company is running rampant with public services and all the Tory Party can do is wring their hands and then slip them another billion.

There is no clear evidence yet that G4S were planning on using mass workare as part of their Olympic Security provision.  But there is some.  This website mirrors the job vacancies available through JobCentre Plus.  Whilst the vacancy in no longer on the Government site the details appear legitimate.  The Job Description states: G4S OLYMPIC RECRUITMENT- G4S will be here on the 22nd February as part of Security Month to recruit for the Olympics jOBS ALL They will be interviewing in the 2nd Floor Interview Room.

Under the section indicated salary is says: Wage/salary unknownMore tellingly it points out: This is not a job vacancy but you might find it interesting to read.

There’s also this youtube video featuring an undercover reporter, of admittedly unknown providence, who claims to have blagged his way into a job training as an Olympics Security Guard.  Unfortunately he is being interviewed for the inane conspiracy site infowars and therefore should be treated with caution.  Alongside wild speculation of a planned mass evacuation of London, he mentions that many of the people he was being trained with were unemployed and on some form of training scheme with G4S.

34 responses to “Is Workfare Behind the G4S Olympics Farce?

  1. Scary to think of all those jobseekers being trained in ‘security’ anyway. How would they react to people demonstrating against the very same Workfare as they are doing? I’d down the HiViz and fuck off to the side of the people.

  2. Yes I smell a big smelly rat and am pleased that this shambles of private contracts with G4$ is all over the news. Pity the shambles of ATO$ isn’t all over the news too. That’ll be the day.

  3. I assume that the risk of Workfare being declared illegal by the High Court could be behind the reluctance of the Home Office to allow its use during the Olympics. The fall out from bad publicity if it happened in the middle of the games would be particularly worrying.

    On another note I see in the Independent:
    A husband and wife who “brutally manipulated and exploited” destitute men by forcing them into servitude were today jailed for 11 years and four years respectively.

    James John, 34, and Josie Connors, 31, who are both members of a traveller family, were convicted of controlling, exploiting and abusing the men for financial gain at a caravan site near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

    Sentencing them at Luton Crown Court, Judge Michael Kay QC said: “The way they brutally manipulated and exploited men is pure evil. It is at odds with the moral code of the religion they profess to hold.

    “Their disdain for the dignity of others is shocking. They were not Good Samaritans but violent, cold, hard exploiters.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/travellers-jailed-in-slaves-case-7938769.html

  4. Even if this was all legit, what do these people think they are going to do with their security qualifications once the Olympics is over? There’s going to be a surplus of unemployed newly qualified people and no demand for their services.

    • I ain’t gonna be your SLAAAAVE…I ain’t gonna pay for you WELFARE!! I ain’t gonna be your SLAAAAVE…I ain’t gonna pay for your MEDICAID!!

      • lol Alex Jones is as he said himself: “more right-wing than Genghis Khan”. In the meantime, why don’t you make good use of your “worthless, fiat federal reserve notes” and send AJ and his fellow right-wing anti-welfare/anti-healthcare whacko Ron Paul a “moneybomb” lol

        • Protect yourself – BUY GOLD!! Call Midas Resources NOW!! Tell ‘em Alex sent you and receive a FREE ‘Infowars’ and ‘Vote Ron Paul for President’ bumper sticker! Call Midas Resources NOW!!

  5. Uk Column have got an interview out with a different guy, a reporter of sorts I think, who similary infiltrated the G4S Olympic ‘training’ programme. Maybe G4S London is staffed exclusively with undercover reporters just at the moment :-)… anyway, he too says he was told of plans to evacuate London. So I’ve heard it twice now in one morning.

  6. Joseph Rybicki

    Kay, that’s the same guy :) He used a pseudonym for the original radio interview he did, but then feared he could be in danger so went public. The reason he went on the ‘inane’, as the author of the article put it, InfoWars, is because the mainstream media refuse to report on it as there is apparently a ‘media blackout’. And the guy is a pretty reliable source, he worked on the Cook Report for example.

    • If the only site prepared to publish his story is infowars than that in itself is reason to doubt his credibility which is why I urged caution.

      • I agree about Infowars, Alex Jones is not someone I take seriously.

        However the video linked above has a Telegraph ident. I don’t know what that means, but it’s at least a bit more credible than Infowars (though there’s a link off that clip to him being interviewed by Alex Jones).

  7. What a vile country we have allowed this place to become.

    I don’t think they will get much in the way of training though… and it won’t really be in security.

    I wouldn’t want to be in London over the next 2 months. I wouldn’t even want to be in England.

    Very frightening.

  8. Eric Greenwood

    Surrey police shelve privatisation plan after G4S Olympic failure

    Force suspends plan to invite private firms to take over police functions, while West Midlands police consider their position. Just need them to look at WP..http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/12/surrey-police-privatisation-g4s-olympic?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

  9. Agreed with this 100%, so obvious this was what they were planning to do.

  10. SkyNews @ 18:00 had a rather more senior whistle-blower – a G4S trainer and security industry insider who said that he’d only employ 10% of G4S’s security staff, if that.

    He said that anyone has a “fifty-chance” of smuggling in a weapon.

    Later in the report they revealed that only 8 people had showed up for a security guard training “induction” at which 150 were expected. I doubt that would have happened if they were being paid to turn up.

  11. I meant to write, “fifty-fifty chance” , of course.

    • Becoming a Security guard, let alone close protection involves 5 or 10 years history, Criminal record, background, character & previous employment checks. You have to jump through flaming hoops.
      Who wants to go through all that for a months work?
      The hours are long, it’s in all weathers and the facilities, pay, management and training are poor.
      If you divide the total budget paid to G4S, (£284 million according to the Guardian) by the number of staff they were contracted to recruit for the Olympics, (14800)
      you can see the “margin” they might possibly retain.
      The processing centre carrying out the checks have been understaffed & poorly managed.
      G4S have had plenty of time to recruit for this and other events, sporting, cultural and entertainment. They seek to win contracts for roles the Police are responsible for, security, surveillance, visible presence, cctv monitoring & close protection.
      Many G4S staff are ex Police or ex military.
      Its a commercial, global, multi billion, limited company, in the pocket of governments, regimes & despots, trading on an indeed promoting a global brand of paranoia.
      George Orwell saw it coming..
      . G4S are, big brother.

  12. Remember when the Tories said they’d get rid of the SIA and its silly, pointless and expensive licences? It was meant to be part of their “bonfire of the quangos”… in the event, the SIA didn’t like the idea – what would happen to their cushy little non-jobs? – and the Government basically said “that’s OK, we won’t abolish you then”. As an ex security guard (only factories and building sites, nothing oppressive) who hasn’t worked since SIA licencing came in, and the small firm I worked for couldn’t meet the costs and closed down, I was looking forward to a world without the SIA – but without it, the big players in the industry wouldn’t be able to compete against small, agile firms doing a better job for less money, and treating their staff better in the process. Once again, big business has it all nicely sewn up!

  13. While G4S are to some extent obviously responsible for not recruiting enough staff, I don’t see how people are trying to relate this to the Work Experience program.

    For starters, the Jubilee workers were drafted in to do ‘Stewarding’ NOT security, to do Security work in the UK you have to be SIA licensed, event stewards are employed or volunteer to handle queues, direct people and help with evacuations. Security work has to be handled by SIA licensed staff, this is stuff like body/bag searching, X-Ray, Close Protection etc.

    G4S provide at least the standard 4-Day SIA training course in Door Supervision for EVERYONE doing Olympic Security (Unless it is already owned), it is a legal requirement, which is paid for (Training and attendance hours) provided you attend at least a certain number of shifts during the Olympics. This is followed by specialism training if you have been selected for it (again paid if you work during the olympics and at a higher rate than the SIA section). They may well be training a lot of unemployed people doing this (Is that a bad thing?) but it is not a part of any Work Program since, as long as you complete training and work during the Olympics you will be paid. G4S staff working security during the Olympics will be no less qualified than security you see at any other event in the UK, in fact they’ll more likely have more training.

    As for post-Olympic prospects, security work is practically recession proof, in fact during a recession prospects go up as people look towards more physical protection for assets. There are always security jobs going. The job however is hard, turnover is around 33% a year, bad news is it’s not always the best job thus the turnover rate, good news there are always jobs popping up to replace the numbers. With the turnover rate, anyone who sticks in for the long haul (3 years plus) has a good chance of securing pretty well paid work, potentially in basic-mid level management, if you continue to advance qualifications i.e. get close protection SIA then you have the potential to earn a very good wage if you’re willing to work for it.

    Events Security is OK for the experience and a bit of quick pay, it won’t be great if you plan on doing for a long term job, what the DS SIA gives you is the foot in the door to the wider industry, get suitable qualifications and experience (Such as at the Olympics) and you can work in everything from corporate security to aviation security, risk management companies, security audit to celebrity or overseas close protection, there is endless opportunity if people are interested. A month or two at the Olympics and someone doing searches for example will probably have more search experience than most doorman will have after a lifetime of work on the door.

    Think of the potential prospects for those who get experience in team management, X-ray, search, rapid response and close protection in particular.

    • Eric Greenwood

      G4s Runs work programme in part..A group that is supposed to get people jobs, g4s trains people for jobs in security. I guess you work for a security firm Anonymous. You seem to know a lot. This is just another sign that if the company that cant even do the job they are contracted for by the government, what makes you so sure they are doing the work programme job.

      • Eric Greenwood

        “G4S Welfare to Work is delighted to have won these contracts to manage the Work Programme across the UK. We believe our unique and innovative approach will support more individuals into sustained employment.

        “The Work Programme has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of unemployed people and their families across the country. http://www.g4s.com/en/Media%20Centre/News/2011/04/01/Welfare%20to%20Work%20Contract/ If they are incompetent in one area chances are they are incompetent in others

        • They may well be running work programme aspects in general but I am aware that there are different things in place for the Olympics. I am aware that people who attend training and work for G4S as part of the Olympics get paid for both training and work as part of the contract for example which would breach the rules of the Work Programme.

          Can’t comment on the Work Programme in general, but I am unaware of anyone in one of those programmes being used during the Olympics for security. I know they were advertising heavily at the jobcentres etc. because it’s part of the Legacy deal to help out as many unemployed as possible getting into work and trained. The same way as a lot of apprenticeships now are mainly aimed at people who are unemployed.

          They may well be incompetent in the Work Programme, I couldn’t comment as I don’t know. All I know is, when it comes to recruitment for the Olympics Work Programme people haven’t been drafted in. Wouldn’t be surprised if people doing them have been offered training and work with G4S like everyone else, but it wouldn’t have been unpaid, it would have been contractual paid work like everyone else.

  14. As for Dan, it costs around 150 quid for the Door Supervisor SIA training, less than 100 if you only want a building Security Guard one, then 220 quid for the SIA license which is valid for 3 years. Are you honestly saying you were put out of work permanently because between you and an employer neither of you could come up with the combined cost of less than 400 quid and take a few days out to do the training? All kind of industries are licensed and it costs far more than around 100 quid a year to maintain the licenses that’s hardly a clear reason for not being able to do security. The only people I know who have struggled since SIA licensing came in were people with fairly significant convictions and there’s a damn good reason why they were blocked.

  15. Hi Johnny Void,
    While I agree with you on Alex Jones, I think the ukcolumn made some good points about the Olympics and G4S ‘security training or lack thereof’ on their most recent video. I suppose Brian Gerrish could be an element of controlled opposition. (who knows?)
    I’m glad this story was published because I wondered exactly the same thing about G4S and workfare, tried to comment on another site about it and was magically refused.
    I’m a Lincolnshire Lad and the police here are being sold off to G4S . Sucks.

  16. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    Will there be room under London Bridge for all these soldiers to sleep?

  17. Pingback: Unemployment and Workfare: The Anger Grows. « Ipswich Unemployed Action.

  18. I think that if the Tories are eventually thwarted in their plans to have a permanent supply of unpaid labour by it being found illegal in the high court, they will immediately time limit Jobseekers Allowance in revenge (Cameron has already confirmed that they are planning to do this anyway in the near future) which will lead to the unemployed being left without a source of income and homeless after they have reached their allotted amount of weeks. If the unemployed are of no use to them the Tories will cut them off.

    • I wouldn’t put it past the Cameron cunt, I believe too that this is this bastards evil intent. Farmer DO NOT keep pets!

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