Bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling has handed a blank cheque to money grabbing parasites like A4e and Working Links after claiming that the derisory Work Programme performance figures represent a success.
It is unclear whether Grayling’s gushing support for the fraud ridden Welfare to Work companies who run the Work Programme is down to simple naivety or something more malevolent. With the Work Programme performance figures representing a new low for the Wefare to Work industry, it appears that the Minister has been bamboozled by the sharp talking spivs in cheap suits who run the sector.
In the 90s it was expected that 45% of people who attended Job Clubs or Employment Service Programme Centres would find jobs. By the time the Work Programme was launched last year that figure had slipped to just 36%. Now it appears that the Minister is quite happy with a rate of 24%, and this doesn’t even represent those who actually found work.
The Daily Telegraph recently reported that 28% of people would be expected to find jobs under their own steam with no help whatsoever from the Work Programme. That a mere 24% of people on the Work Programme have come off benefits is therefore a disaster for the scheme which seems to be performing far worse than if the Government had done nothing at all.
It is increasingly clear that the scant help offered by the Welfare to Work sector is directed at those who would have found jobs anyway whilst the more difficult to help are abandoned. There has been no break down in the figures for those on sickness benefits, ex-offenders or homeless people, the very groups that Work Programme was intended to work with most intensively.
Homelessness charity St Mungos recently pulled out of the scheme after revealing they had not placed a single person into employment on the Work Programme. This followed the decision of SHP (formerly the The Single Homeless Project) to hand back their Work Programme contract after raising concerns about the ethics of the brutal sanctions regime.
Whilst the charities involved in the Work Programme have struggled financially due to a lack or referrals, the Welfare to Work companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Despite Grayling’s claims that Work Programme providers are paid only by results, over half a billion has already been handed over to the sector. The results have been less impressive than if the Work Programme didn’t exist.
Grayling’s continual cheering for dreadful performance figures is merely lowering the bar even further. So desperate is he to hand over £5 billion of tax payer’s money to protect his political reputation, it now seems that any old crap the Welfare to Work industry comes up with will immediately be rewarded with wads of cash.
Despite the Work Programme, long term unemployment is rising. The very problem that the Work Programme was established to address is getting worse and all the Employment Minister can do is sing the praises of those fucking it up so dreadfully.
Chris Grayling must be a laughing stock in the boardroom of A4e. The worse they perform the more the Minister cheers them on. If he’s not getting a decent kickback from these private sector poverty pimps then he’s even more incompetent then he appears.
As part of the National Week of Action Against Workfare a communications blockade aimed at poverty pimps A4e is taking place today. Full details on facebook or simply ring their handy freephone number 0800 345 666 and ask them about exactly where the hundreds if millions spent on Work Programme is actually going.