The Government have been refusing to tell us how many people have actually gained work under the flagship muliti-billion pound ‘Work Programme’ scheme which can see claimants forced onto workfare for up to six months without pay. Step forward the dimwits at A4e who last night accidentally released 100’s of megabytes of information to the public via their website.
The eagle eyed folks at Ipswich Unemployed Action spotted the security breach and whilst A4e’s site is currently down, documents have been backed up and can be downloaded at: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B44Vecyf9ngyS0p5YVZBdi1UMDJTTUNoQ0JGaVlFdw/edit?pli=1
By far the most embarrassing information released are the performance tables which indicate that barely anyone is getting a job through the Work Programme: http://workprogramme.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a4e-performance.pdf
A quick calculation reveals that possibly less than 10% of people forced to undergo Work Programme have found work. This is a truly derisory sum, particularly as the Government promised us 40% of participants would find a job through the scheme. It’s difficult to draw a full conclusions of how the programme is performing overall based on a rough analysis of the internal figures of one provider. However if these figures are reflected across the board then this is almost certainly less than the number of people who would have found work anyway, without being harassed and sent on workfare by poverty pimps like A4e.
It is quite possible that sending people on enforced six month work placements for the likes of Argos and Pizza Hut is actually creating higher unemployment. Companies know they can get staff for free so don’t recruit job seekers, and claimants are too busy working nightshifts for ASDA to have time to find real work.
This could not have come at a worse time for A4e, already embroiled in fraud investigations and having recently lost their Chief Executive, Emma Harrison. To embarrass yourselves is one thing, to embarrass the Government, particularly when they are already floundering around desperately on workfare, is quite another.
Of course, everybody else thinks it’s funny as fuck.