97 responses to “Is Workfare Behind the Work Programme Disaster?

  1. @Johhny Void do you think that Sue Ryder has become no more that Poundland but with a ‘caring (haha) face? lets not forget that Sue Ryder has a trading arm to its business…as i posted on your previous blog..
    added to which they were slected for the ATM donation scheme along with others…..

  2. 22/2/13 update:

    Decision Makers Guide: Memo DMG 04/13: JSA and Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment.

    pdf download availible at: http://consent.me.uk/2013/02/13/workfareregs/

    Click to access viewer

  3. The way this government are looking at things is, they have five years to break up the welfare state.

    It doesn’t matter to then how stupid the measures make them look or how much money they waste as long as they get the job done.

  4. Apparently according to the young man at the DWP, Universal Job match is mandatory as of next month?
    Anyone able to confirm or deny this?

    • My understanding is that FOI requests are awaiting a reply to ‘how’ this could become so (will Data Protection/Human Rights laws be changed to enable it?). Any requests asking about this seem to have resulted in long delays/no concrete reply at all to now – some requests date from November last year.

      • @shirleynott the DWP are notorious for entying FOI requests for spurious reasons…mostly commercially confidentiality” which is against the public interests..i wonder what their terems of reference are for ‘public interest’ are? other than public are interested and it involves the public..

        • … interesting. There’s one person who is persisting with the request & won’t just accept “it has always been our intention to introduce mandation for some customers” – is trying to get information about how they could. Of course, they’re not saying (or haven’t re-written whatever they’re planning to rewrite yet & so they can’t say). Job adviser today has insisted he has heard nothing to the effect of any proposed 35-hour searching requirements up ahead & looked nonplussed at the idea – don’t know if he’s just a very good actor or I have entered a Kafkaesque world where nothing is as it seems …

          • My WP provider mentioned a 30 hour requirement for some claimants from April.

            Info on 35 hour worksearch.


            “Question 4 (answer to:)
            Meeting a work search requirement does not require full-time access to the internet as a range of activity – not just online searches – can be taken into account. Section 17 of the Universal Credit Act, which can be found here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/5/contents/enacted/data.htm outlines the sort of activities that can contribute towards meeting a work search requirement.
            Perhaps more importantly, it is not the intention to simply impose a standard requirement to spend 35 hours a week looking for work. Instead claimants are asked to do all that is reasonable to find a job and what this means will be set out clearly for each claimant by a
            Jobcentre adviser. This could entail 35 hours a week of worksearch but could often be less. For example, where a claimant has already done all that could reasonably be expected, or where the claimant is engaged in non-work search activity – such as work experience, training or voluntary work, that will help them get a job. The actions set out by an adviser will take account of issues such as a claimant’s access to the internet. Regulation 95 of the Universal Credit Regulations, which can be found here

      • I find it hard to imagine that a country that has degenerated into becoming so depraved and corrupt that its courts have found Workfare slavery legal, its governments pay a private company a small fortune to administer a computer assessment designed to find the chronically sick and disabled fit for work, passes legislation that allows the sick and disabled to be worked to death and forces the terminally ill to be forced to spend the last days of their lives slaving for highly profitable multinational companies, won’t find a way to make signing up to Universal Sanction Match compulsory.

      • FOI request from ‘Del’. Go read the full text.


        “Firstly, the Data Protection Act states that data must be lawfully processed and the Department takes its responsibility as data controller for the information that we control very seriously.

        It is also important to note the Government may set requirements for the receipt of benefit and anybody wishing to claim state support must abide and agree to the conditions for receipt.
        Anyone who does not wish to meet those requirements will not be forced to claim benefits, and therefore any benefit claimant has a choice.”

    • FAO Drew

      Have a read at the following document and then ask the PCS Union directly for an authoritative answer to your question:


  5. How has it cost 1 billion pounds when work providers are paid by results and they are not getting any results – I think a refund is needed.

    • @Guy Fawkes the work program providers dump their ill gotten gains into off shore tax havens…it was documented

      • Has anyone completed the work programme to its full 2 year term as I am due to finish this shoddy scheme in August and even JC staff doesn’t know what happens then?

        • MOAB2013:

          The first people to finish their two years of hell will finish in June 2013 as the first Work Programme referrals were made in June 2011.

  6. Drew:

    Keep an eye on this website, if it is to become mandatory they will publish it.


  7. am in a different net cafe and again this blog junked the characters making it unreadable,,,why is that this is weird..

  8. The Tories aren’t even pretending to fix the country now. Forget Big Society. They’re just looking after themselves and their mates.

    • @Michael Fowke that is becomong self evident..in fact a tory mp at the foreign office in a mail to a fellow Mp admitted they will lose the next election..

      • The Tories will win the next election (If there is one ?), the ONLY thing that will change is the name, Tory party government will change to New Labour party government, same government, different name, then we all go onto the well ridden, steam-driven merry-go-round again, when out of power “Good cop”, when in power “Bad cop”.

  9. I just don’t understand why the hard working tax payer allows the DWP to waste huge sums of money doing absolutely nothing to ease the un-employment situation but begrudge the pittance that is paid on JSA.

  10. POUNDLAND charity competition ”THANK YOU FOR VOTING SUE RYDER”


  11. “Our new technology and extra staff make it easier for us to find you – no matter who you are.”

    Oh wait this is HMRC damn, i thought this was Universal Jobmatch..

  12. It is true about the Job Centre going about actively converting actual potential jobs into workfare placements, it has been happening since it started. I remember applying for a job at Haskins in Angmering in 2011, at first they had a large number of jobs going, (can’t remember the actual number so the number below is an estimate) the job centre was mangaging their recruitment and no sign of any workfare at the first stage, then I had an interview, the interview went well but the number of jobs on offer went down by like 20 and the next time I signed on I noticed Haskins was wanting something like 10-20, under 25 year olds on work experience placements, of course I didn’t get the job as why would they hire me when they have unpaid people around the same age as me?

    They never hired any young people (they hired a small amount from the workfare pool but 1 or 2ish out of 30-60 people every 3 months is still shit) as they felt young people should work for them for free plus they were being charitable and helping us poor thick youngsters who can’t stack shelves or serve people food. I’m not in the area anymore so I don’t know if they still do, but Haskins has been a persistant abuser of workfare placements since 2011.

    The Job Centre was originally supposed to get say 50 people for them but they offered them to join in the work experience program and the jobs went down to 30 or even lower. Like I said I don’t know the actual number,but I do know back then, the Job Centre pretty much abolished 20 potential new jobs. That was 20 people stuck at the Job Centre longer than they would have been. The worst thing about is that these “employers” actually think they are doing it for the greater social good. (Aside from lining their master’s pocket.)

    The Littlehampton Job Centre has/had been systematically destroying jobs in the region ( and Littlehampton is a shitty ghost town too) since it started, all the seasonal jobs that were there every year disappeared and reappeared on workfare adverts asking for some poor young fool to learn the complicated art of shelf stacking. The Job Centre also abolished nearly all chances for most people under the age of 25 to get a paid job in the region. And then they claimed out of their arses 90% of young people on a work experience placement got a job. (I had to repress the laughter)

  13. http://union-news.co.uk/2013/02/tuc-slams-work-programme-flop-after-it-helps-just-4-of-people-into-jobs/
    UPDATE: PCS calls for work programme to be scrapped
    The PCS has called on the government to scrap its controversial work programme after figures released today show it helped fewer than 4% of people off benefits and into work.

  14. chewie

    Just because said work providers are stashing their money in offshore accounts, does not mean they can’t be billed for a refund.

    • @guy fawkes i agree but the govt HAS to be willing to do that..and somehow i dont think they are..IDS and co said at the time of the wp disaster they would give them a ‘telling off’ by er..giving them MORE contracts!!!…and yet the HMRC seem to like pursuing small businessses and individuals..

  15. “should be denied access to government contracts”

    or is that ”should be denied FURTHER access to govt contracts.”??


    ” A DWP spokesman said: “This report paints a skewed picture. More than 200,000 people have moved off benefits and into a job thanks to the Work Programme.
    “It is making a real difference to tens of thousands of the hardest to help jobseekers. Long-term unemployment fell by 15,000 in the latest quarter.
    “The Work Programme gives support to claimants for two years and it hasn’t even been running that long yet, so it’s still early days. We know the performance of our providers is improving.”


    OH , SO IT WAS CRAP THEN? or to put it another way POOR…

  17. ” But Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said it would take time to see better results.”

    “The programme is in its infancy and gains will come over the longer term,” she said.


  18. The killer blow should be that IDS lied to parliament in presenting figures taken from profiteering Work Providers and passed them off as DWP stats. It won’t be though it does indicate how deep the corruption and graft has gone in this government.
    Laundering taxpayers money into the accounts of Work Providers was always somewhat dodgy but using their lies as justification is taking all of us including the House of Commons to be fools.

  19. “If things don’t improve the firm could lose its contract with DWP, as official departmental advice makes clear:”DWP expects that providers will significantly exceed these minimum levels. However, should providers fail to reach minimum levels for any of the customer groups, it will lead to contractual action up to and including contract termination if improvements to performance are not made.”

    so to teach them a lesson we shall be awarding them MORE contracts !!!

    and they have….

  20. ‘Fit and proper’

    The MPs also said the DWP had not been specific enough with its terminology, including failing to define the standards a provider had to meet to be a “fit and proper organisation”.
    Continue reading the main story
    A4e’s history

    * A4e, which stands for Action for Employment, was established in Sheffield in 1991
    * It was set up to provide redundant steelworkers with the training they required to get jobs in other industries
    * The company then steadily expanded across the UK, before entering Poland in 2008, Germany in 2009 and Australia in 2010

    The DWP “has said on the public record that it would terminate its commercial relationship with a provider if there was evidence of systemic fraud in either current or past contracts”, Ms Hodge added.

    “However, it has not yet provided a clear definition of what it means by ‘systemic’.”

    A clearer understanding of these terms would help government departments decide which firms to do business with, the committee suggested.

    Further, the DWP must put in place better systems to help whistleblowers bring any abuse of taxpayers’ money to light, it said.

  21. The failing Work Programme – the PAC report
    It’s all over the papers this morning; the report of the Public Accounts Committee into the Work Programme. We already knew its conclusions, but the various newspaper articles highlight different aspects of it (when they can be bothered to go beyond the press release). The Telegraph, for instance, reports that some of the companies are in danger of being stripped of their contracts and even of going out of business. The Guardian points out that all 18 organisations involved have been put on “performance improvement plans”, with 7 of them being sent formal warning letters. Margaret Hodge was also angry that the DWP had published unvalidated data from the ERSA. We do learn that the next set of performance data is due to be published in March.
    It would appear that Richard Johnson, formerly of Serco, is now the go-to person for an opinion on all this. He was the man who was in charge of WP stuff for Serco, but now that he no longer works for them he’s free to criticise. He said, on the BBC Today Programme this morning, that the design of the contracts made “creaming and parking” inevitable. I notice that the BBC is asking for experiences of the Work Programme, so perhaps they are planning a proper investigation of the subject. Let’s hope so.



    “We Make Millions From Forcing Sick and Disabled to Work Unpaid Boast Sue Ryder
    Posted: 21 Feb 2013 10:52 PM PST
    The Void.

    Spivs Comment.

    Hmmm. Seems the NSPCC are not the only big charity to take the piss. My advice would be to cease donations straight away. If you have proof of giving a donation, ask for it back. You probably won’t get it, but it will un-nerve the piss taking wankers.

    As for the NSPCC. They are the reason that I haven’t been about for the past day or two. Today will be the same I’m afraid, but stay tuned because I have a major story and response to the criminal c*nts.

    Spivs Recommendation.

    You should check out the Void (The authors of the article below) for some good articles on the corrupt Iain Dickhead Smith.

    from spivey blog…

    An explosion in poverty-related hunger in Britain is putting the government in danger of failing to meet its international human rights obligations to its most vulnerable citizens, charities have warned.
    The UK is a signatory to a UN economic and social rights convention that sets out minimum standards of access to food, clothing and housing.
    Campaigners say austerity measures could put the UK in breach of the convention as welfare cuts threaten to leave hundreds of thousands of low-income households unable to afford to eat regularly and healthily.
    A 70-strong consortium of charities, including Crisis, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK, the Disability Rights Alliance and the Child Poverty Action Group, has been formed to monitor the growth in UK food poverty, with a view to the possibility of triggering a formal UN investigation
    The combined impact of policies such as the overall benefit cap, local housing allowance limits, bedroom tax, cuts to tax credits and council tax benefit and the freeze in the value of welfare payments will have devastating consequences for Britain’s poorest, it says.


    This fucking Govt do not care, their mantra is “””lets cut the scroungers benefits, lets sanction the lazy scroungers, lets kick them out of their homes, and let them fucking starve”””.
    I have never ever felt so much hatred for 1 person as I do towards IDS/GESTAPO HEINRICH MULLER.
    Muller quoted “””You are in the hands of the Gestapo. Don’t imagine that we shall show you the slightest consideration.”””

  24. Does anyone think the true figure is as high as 3.6%. Same goes for unemployment figures, all lies.


    Your wrong, as many Tories have said over the years, their mantra is…”The strong survive, the weak shall perish”…I believe its got something to do with what they call “social Darwinism”, which is strange, as the Tories believed and practised in it long before Darwin was born!!!.

    • Of course, they only believe in survival of the fittest for other people’s children. On their children they bestow every advantage in the world – the finest schools money can buy, the best jobs (secured with a phone call to an old family friend) trust funds when they hit 21 and a substantial inheritance when they die.

    • something survived...

      I reckon it’s a typo. They misplaced the decimal point, as it is likely to be closer to 0.36%.

  25. YOPS – TOPS – YTS – Community works programme – Empolyment Training – New Deal. If any of thse things could have worked, they would have worked. The didn’t work, because they don’t work. But as long was we maintain this myth that unemployment is a life style choice for the majority of folk, rather than a situation caused by many factors including the economy, then they are going to keep pissing money up a wall.

    • @james morton of course they will fail as long as this mantra about outsourcing this to private companies it will always fail..that idea of using private greed to ‘help those unfortunate’ will always fail..its like ‘trickle down ‘ economics’ it doesnt work….

    • Landless Peasant

      Of course they didn’t/don’t work. That’s because the notion of full employment is a complete myth. What all politicians (should) know, but none will say, is that Capitalism cannot function without unemployment. There has to be more workers than jobs in order to maintain the balance of power in favour of the Capitalists and not the workers, otherwise it ceases to be Capitalism and becomes Communism.

  26. Pingback: Is Workfare Behind the Work Programme Disaster? | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  27. What a colossal fucking mess.

    • You are wrong, it is a “colossal” stunning success for an extremely small group of already unfathomably wealthy people to gain even more wealth, but that is as nothing as the their real aim is to grab global governance off the whole of humanity. Not all the very wealthy wanted it, their voices were silenced…


      “full speed ahead for the rocks”… Indeed, but the unfathomably wealthy planned it to be that way, they own the salvage company, they never lose.

  28. Pingback: Is Workfare Behind the Work Programme Disaster? « Launchpad: By and for mental health service users

  29. Surely, now, with the downgrading of Osbourne’s credit rating – the one thing he cherished above all else, this government is finished. It’s reputation is in tatters, it’s policies have failed more spectacularly than the Labour government of the 70’s they like the slag off and compare the last government to.
    Surely now, all we need is a hard and persistent effort from the unions, from the opposition (such as it is), and from decent progressive people nationwide and we can get the tories out now and forever.
    Where the fuck are the unions? Yesterday PCS tweeted about the Work Programme, asking how can it continue? Boycott Workfare’s astute response was to point out that PCS staff are providing it.
    Let’s not have a repeat of last year where nothing happened after the November 2011 protest.

  30. This has to be heard to be believed (it’s about the bedroom tax).

    In the brave new world of tory britain, blindness is a ‘lifestyle choice’.

    What an inconsiderate, unfeeling, cunt you are, ‘Lord’ Fraud.

    • I really hope Hot Kate isn’t drawn into this, I really like her, and I really take exception to the papers correspondants calling her a royal baby machine, it’s ladies like this who are really OK, it’s just the messed up newspapers or a fucked up journalist on ‘crack’ or worse that needs the story to fund their fucked up habits. Oh yes it’s not just the unemployed who have drug, emotional or alcoholic problems.

      All employers, look at your own workers, because if they are working, the workers are more likly to be drug addicts or alcoholic’s – us lot on the dole seriously can’t afford it and wouldn’t want to!

  31. Lord Freud – no idea whats already happening in his own department? – his own department should DEPART!

  32. Just had a visit from my work programme at my home, They caught me right off guard & I’m not happy about it at all… Just had to say what they wanted to hear to get rid of them. Are they allowed to do this? Thought they had to send out letters to make appointments, not stand at my door asking me questions about my circumstances,

    • You don’t have to invite them into your home and they do have to make appointments. If you don’t want them at your door send them a polite letter advising them so. If they ignore that then write to your local Job Centre to register a complaint (copy to your local mp) and ask them to instruct their agents accordingly. People have enough hassle with ignorant WP agents at their offices without having to put up with them on their doorsteps as well. Don’t say anything to them that is untrue but if they are asking questions they have no right to ask them refuse to answer and tell them why – it’s none of their business.

  33. rainbowwarriorlizzie

    Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    In Solidarity!

  34. Pingback: Is Workfare Behind the Work Programme Disaster? | Human Rights & Political Journal | Scoop.it

  35. I don’t see why the department or IDS would ever back down over the work programme. There was never any possible scenario where it could succeed. Even if it filled every one of the 500,000 pseudo-job vacancies, it would only resolve 20% of unemployment.
    I’m fortunate in that I, to the best of my knowledge, have enough experience to rule out workfare. I have over 7 years of paid experience in customer services/retail, over 10 years of voluntary work, and I have a degree in microbiology.
    Incidentally, work experience in a lab would suit me quite well but obviously, that isn’t something the DWP will look at because trainees would need specialist knowledge and offering that experience wouldn’t be punitive.
    I actually had a WP workshop ‘person’ (I forget what ridiculous title they invented for themselves) say I would be great working in the welfare to work sector. I mean, that’s like telling a girl she’d make a great Sugababe. It’s not exactly a high-performance career.
    BUT, she added “you can’t have a vacancy here, we wouldn’t get an outcome payment for you.”
    That’s dedication for you.
    Also, my brand new advisor delighted in mocking his colleague, and my former advisor’s, redraft of my C.V, on account of it had 1 typo.
    I got his back via email and it contained no fewer than three appalling lingual abortions.
    I gotta withdraw my consent to them messing around with my data. I’d be ashamed if they sent that C.V to an employer on my behalf.

  36. Pingback: Welfare Reform Is Costing A Fortune IDS Admits – And It’s Barely Even Begun | the void

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