New Unemployment Figures Only Highlight The Desperate Failure of Welfare Reform

Long term unemployment is at the highest levels seen since 1996 despite the multi-billion pound Work Progamme.  Today’s Labour Market Statistics reveal that the number of people unemployed for over 12 months increased by 26,000 to reach 883,000.  This is despite almost 400,000 people being sent on the Government’s flagship scheme aimed at tackling long term unemployment.

The Tories will make much of this month’s blip that shows unemployment has fallen slightly, but the reality is far from rosy.  As ever it is women bearing the brunt of this Government’s policies, with the number of women out of work up 8000 to the highest levels since 1986.  The Claimant Count, which records the number of people currently claiming Job Seekers Allowance, is also up by 3,600 – this means that whilst unemployment may have fallen slightly, the cost of unemployment has gone up.

It is the number of people out of work for over twelve months however which most starkly demonstrates the failure of current Welfare Policy.  Once someone has been signing on for a year they are referred to the Work Programme.  This means being sent to a private contractor such as fraud ridden A4e who then have the power to mandate the claimant to do pretty much whatever they choose to ‘help’ them find work.

‘Help’ can mean six months workfare.  The DWP claim they don’t know how many people have been sent on workfare under the Work Programme, and astonishingly the minister in charge, Chris Grayling, has lied about it even happening.

If unemployment has fallen, yet long term unemployment is still soaring, this is a damning indictment of the Work Programme, which is set to cost up to £5 billion pounds.  The Government are refusing to reveal details of how many people on the Work Programme have actually gained employment.  Today’s statistics give us some idea of why that is.

Grayling will give a speech today defending the workfare scheme aimed at young people, the notorious Work Experience.  Despite ongoing protests and both charities and private companies abandoning the scheme, Grayling will claim that of course young people should be forced to work for free.  Continuing his creepy obesession with a female Guardian columnist,  he will claim that the ‘Polly Toynbee left just don’t get it’*.  This is a man who compared a suburb of Manchester to a fictional television programme, thinks hotels should be able to ban gay people, has lied repeatedly to both the public and Parliament alike about workfare and thinks the SWP are hacking his email.

We really don’t need lectures on reality from an increasingly demented Oxbridge little fuckwit who appears to be furious that the public don’t share his delusions.

Grayling is to brandish new DWP research claiming that young people who have attended Work Experience schemes are 16% more likely to come off benefits than those who don’t.  That Grayling can claim this as a success is staggering.

Young people go on Work Experience, which can mean up to two months unpaid work, in the hope that they might actually get a job with the host organisation.  These figures reveal the truth is they are only slightly more likely to get a job than the people who did nothing at all.  Given that the DWP claim Work Experience is voluntary it is obvious that many of those who attend are more motivated to find work.  It is also clear that they are less likely to have criminal records, be homeless, have mental or physical health conditions,  or need literacy or numeracy support – meaning they are the young people who are the most likely to find work anyway.

That this group are only 16% more likely to find work after the Work Experience simply reveals that the whole shabby affair is a disaster.  All the flustered defences Grayling made, the emergency meetings with employers and charities, the threats to clamp down on protests, was all for a meagre 16% increase in the chance of finding work – a 16% increase that very probably already existed simply because of the nature of the people who volunteered for the scheme.

Just like the Work Programme, the Work Experience scheme has had little, if any, impact on reducing unemployment.  Whilst millionaires running flaky training companies are picking up billions of tax payer’s cash administering the schemes, the benefit to the unemployed appears to be virtually non-existent.

Grayling will carry on regardless, immune from any semblance of reality.  So intent are this Government on proving that forced labour is good for us they are reduced to pretending a study which shows the scheme is failing miserably actually demonstrates it is a huge success.  As some of us have suspected for a long time, Chris Grayling is a compulsive liar who has started to believe his own bullshit.  Perhaps he hasn’t even noticed that no-one believes a fucking word he says any more.

May Day has been announced as a day of action against workfare. 

*Disclaimer – many of the left ‘don’t get’ Polly Toynbee, but that’s another story.

14 responses to “New Unemployment Figures Only Highlight The Desperate Failure of Welfare Reform

  1. Is it 16% more likely to find work or to come off benefits? The two are very different. A proportion of that number many have been able to live off mum and dad anyway, but just appreciated the extra cash. Then, once they’re forced to work in Tesco for no pay, they might think “To hell with this” and sign off until they can find work. A proportion may also be ill or disabled and forced to claim JSA as they can’t claim ESA anymore – then, once they’ve been forced onto workfare, their symptoms have gotten worse so they’ve been forced to forfeit their benefits entirely. There are any number of reasons for that 16% if it’s only measuring how many people have signed off, NOT how many have found work.


    This provider also informed vulnerable adults that wanted to work in shops that it was their duty to apprehend shoplifters personally.

    This is the specialist help given from the Work Programme 🙂 Great eh! (the quality is not due to my scans btw)

  3. People are not signing off they are sanctioned,stepson missed two appointments, six month sanction,I disagree but he has taken a job cleaning 10 hrs a week crap money ,he hates it,but “he did it on his own” well actually we kicked him up the ass,WP now want to claim for putting him in work and call non stop,also they want him to sign on every two weeks and attend “courses” as well as do job searches. He now also works as an apprentice chef 30 hrs a week,WP is not happy as he told them to FO.

    • Easy solution, you’re under no obligation to tell them the truth; they are harassing you with nuisance phone calls; you want them to stop. Solution – tell them he committed suicide as a result of the sanctions they imposed. They wont call you again, they wont get paid and they’ll feel guilty – not good for their moral.

  4. How many are on so called training courses but the JC+ class them as not being unemployed? a recent drop of 35,000 is the sort of thing that can mean that 35,000 training places have cropped up and being filled by claimants being forced to attend with the threat of sanctions if they don’t

  5. Chris ‘Business-Class Air Ticket’ Grayling is at it again, popping up here, there, and everywhere, spinning away like mad. Look in his eyes, he needs you to believe him, he wouldn’t lie to you. Now he’s having a go the union leaders whom he accuses of demanding ‘swingeing taxes on wealth creators’:

    In other words, Grayling wants us all to stop bashing the bankers. I wonder if he’s trying to line himself up for a directorship with one of the top investment banks? After all, once he’s been relegated to the bank benches he’ll have that much more time on his hands. I should imagine even Cameron is getting fed up with him by this time. Does anybody actually believe what Grayling says anymore?

  6. Of course, I meant to say ‘having a go at the union leaders’. And ‘bank benches’ should have been ‘back benches’. But then again…

    Something to do with the psychopathology of everyday life, I believe.

  7. The providers of the Work Programme get lots of money if they can claim that they were responsible for your stepson finding employment or training. They get £400 “attachment” fee for the first contact (yep that first phone call). The “employer” can get up to £3K for taking claimants on. The provider can get up to £14K if the claimant stays in the job/non-job for a while. It’s all on the DWP website in the Work Programme documents.
    Jack – they want him to say it was their help that got him his job so that they can get the dosh.
    Programme providers and employers can cost the taxpayer up to £20K over time for this – per claimant – and the youngsters cost just £2,700 PA if they get full JSA, which a lot of them don’t.
    A million NEETS, some of whom don’t show in the stats – that’s an awful lot of money. Plus all the costs of sanctions, appeals, etc. It would be much cheaper – and the results would be the same or better – if the whole thing was scrapped and jobcentres left to get on with it. They could use the money saved to get real jobs and training for people – or just pay better benefits.
    The Tories, ably abetted by the LibDems, and not a peep from Labour (who brought in Atos, so no hope there), fully intend to have everyone who isn’t working on workfare to swell the profits of their corporate paymasters.
    I hope things look up for your stepson.

  8. I think the idea of the WP isn’t to find people work, it’s to provide free labour to major companies like Tesco. It also serves as to make peoples lives on benefit so miserable they just end up saying “sod it” and either starve or take any old job scraping crusted shit of public toilet 50 miles out 10 hours a week for minimum wage.

  9. Eric Greenwood

    Have you seen what Fishy (grayling) has said “British employers should hire “surly”, hoodie-wearing young British men, rather than experienced eastern Europeans, the Employment minister, Chris Grayling, said yesterday” So he is calling all young british men surly, and eastern europeans experienced, So with those phrases he has told people to hire experienced people from europe.

    Second point, Unemployment in the North West of England, has gone UP by 18,000. Third there are a lot of seasonal jobs occuring at this time of year. Fourth There are less full time jobs down by 27,000 part time jobs up 89,000.

    • ‘Hire a hoodie’ is a symptom of the panic setting in. I’ve got a feeling figures on the work programme are going to be released soon. He’s blaming the employers/immigrants because he knows what a disaster they’re going to be.

  10. Is there any way we can find out just how many of the increase in JSA claimants is in fact really sick people just booted off IB or ESA??

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