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 unknown. More 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.