The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) represents workfare sharks like A4e who have won lucrative government contracts to run the Government’s flagship Work Programme aimed at ‘helping’ long term unemployed people into work.
Today they released a statement that seems to suggest that barely over one in five people who have been on the scheme have actually got a job out of it. According to the ERSA just 22% of people bullied onto the scheme under threat of benefit sanctions have found work so far. This shatters Chris Grayling’s deluded claims that 36% of people would find work on the Work Programme. In fact it is quite likely the figure represents people who would have got work anyway without any help from the Welfare to Work industry.
In the 90s Job clubs and Employment Service Programme Centres, many of which were run by charities or small community organisations, were expected to place a minimum of 45% of people in employment or face being shut down.
It is testament to the pressure from private sector parasites like G4s and A4e that this figure has already been driven down so significantly. But 22% represents a new low and reveals that no amount of motivational claptrap, workfare or sanction regimes will help the unemployed back into work when there are no fucking jobs.
Of even more concern is the ERSA’s claim that of that 22%, many of those jobs are likely to be short term. It has long been a perfectly legal scam carried out by Welfare to Work companies to place people in short term jobs and pick up fat ‘job outcome’ fees from the tax payer.
Whilst the new Work Programme claims to only deliver payment by results, private contractors get paid £400 every time someone walks through the door and is ‘attached’ to the programme. Whilst the Government has said this will be phased out, it has been estimated that Work Programme could cost around £1 billion before anyone has ever actually found work. So much for payment by results. This is on top of the £56 million that was spent on demolishing the current welfare to work schemes due to Chris Grayling’s desperate bid to rush this untested, un-thought through farce into existence. The DWP is handing out our cash like smarties to any bunch of dodgy fraudulent bastards who can bamboozle them with figures and flaky job outcome claims.
The situation for sick and disabled claimants would appear to be even more desperate. No figures yet exist as to whether any of those referred to the Work Programme have actually got a job. St Mungos, one of the largest homelessness charities in the UK, recently pulled out of the scheme after announcing that they had not been able to place a single individual in work via the Work Programme.
For a long time Iain Duncan Smith and his lacky Chris Grayling have promised the Work Programme would be the solution to all of society’s ills. It has been used as justification for both the Remploy factory closures and the brutal new regime for sickness and disability benefits which has seen hundreds of thousands of people stripped of vital financial support. In figures that now seem laughable, bold claims about Work Programme helping over two million long term unemployed people find work have now been demolished by the very companies being paid to do just that. After 18 months the ERSA say that only 66,000 people have found work so far.
At current performance levels it would take around 44 years for the Work Programme to even come close to Grayling’s predictions, and that’s providing that no-one else becomes long term unemployed in the meantime. Unfortunately recent figures show that long term unemployment is rising fast.
As ever Grayling has attempted to bullshit his way out of trouble calling these dreadful figures a ‘good start’. In the real world, someone who pissed away hundreds of millions of pounds of an organisation’s money with no clear benefits would be sacked without recourse. If ever there were a clearer example of gross misconduct it is Grayling’s stewardship of the DWP. That would be one addition to the ranks of the unemployed that we could all welcome.