Number Of Jobs Gained On Work Programme Plummets: Are Benefit Sanctions To Blame?

no-sanctions-placThe latest Work Programme statistics (PDF) show a shocking fall in the number of people gaining work and suggest that being sent on the scheme is now actively harming people’s chance of getting a job.

The figures show that even after spending a year on the Work Programme, only 10.7% of people had gained a job which lasted at least six months.  This is a fall of almost a quarter since last year’s high in April when 14% of people on the programme for a year had found a long term job – figures which were regarded as a disaster at the time.  The Work Programme has been in steady decline ever since, with the percentage of people finding work overall – including those who have completed the full two years of the scheme – at a new low of just under 19%.  This is down from 22.5% just six months ago, and this figure was expected to rise as more people had been on the programme longer.

Astonishingly there is no mention of this dismal performance in the gushing DWP press release which accompanied this week’s statistics.  No longer are the DWP even reporting the job outcome rate, which is the only figure that matters when assessing whether the Work Programme is working.  Instead the Minister for Unemployment Esther McVey claims:

“Over a quarter of a million long-term unemployed people have been helped into a sustained job thanks to the Work Programme – that’s a quarter of a million people who previously might have been written off now with the security of regular wage.”

The DWP would like us to believe that no-one ever got a job without the help of welfare-to-work profiteers like G4S and A4e.  This is of course bollocks, and around 28% of people condemned to the Work Programme would have been expected to find a job under their own steam.  With unemployment allegedly falling, the companies running the Work Programme should be beating this figure by a long way.

Yet consistently the Work Programme has performed worse than doing nothing at all and these figures suggest that the scheme is now hampering  people’s ability to find work.

The secretive nature of the Work Programme means it is difficult to pin point exactly why it is failing so many people.  The so-called ‘black box’ approach means that the private sector providers are given free reign to mandate unemployed people to any activity they choose.  No-one really knows what’s going on except claimants themselves, some of who report endless harassment whilst others claim they barely hear from their Work Programme provider.

There is one feature however that is universal across the Work Programme and that is benefit sanctions.  These latest figures show five times more people had benefits stopped whilst on the scheme than those who found jobs.  Benefits can be sanctioned for missing or being late to a meeting with a Work Programme provider, failing to attend workfare, or not meeting the draconian, pointless and confusing conditions unemployed people now face to maintain a benefit claim.

Benefit sanctions demolish people, leaving many with nothing at all to live on.  A Citizens Advice report released last year warned that benefit sanctions were causing people to attempt suicide, making health conditions worse, or having to beg or go through bins to find food.  Unsurprisingly being driven to absolute destitution does not motivate people to find work. People who are hungry, desperate and can’t afford to wash their clothes do not generally impress employers at job interviews.

Of course no politician, from any major party, is aware of this because none of them has ever been poor.  To the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband alike, money falls from the sky and the idea of not being able to run the washing machine, or even have a washing machine, is inconceivable.  Let them use the dry cleaners instead they would likely think, or just send out the au pair to do that kind of thing.  This is why almost the entire political class, along with many highly paid charity bosses, support the system of sanctioning benefits as punishment and honestly seem to believe they are doing people a favour.

Approaching a million benefit sanctions are now being inflicted on some of the poorest people every year.  Many of them will be on the Work Programme and this leaves one very big question for the DWP. How many of these claimants might have actually found a job if they hadn’t been forced to spend time queuing up in foodbanks just to get their next meal?

Join the week of action against workfare beginning on March 29th, full details at:

Sign the petition to scrap all benefit sanctions without exceptions.

Above pic from a protest at Leith Jobcentre called by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

140 responses to “Number Of Jobs Gained On Work Programme Plummets: Are Benefit Sanctions To Blame?

  1. I have thought this to be the case for some time, it is common sense.

    The majority of jobs get released at start of business day, so the folks on work programs are not able to apply as early, and with so many applicants obviously most employers only take the first 50 or so applications per job, so, if I were working on some lame government scheme, when I walk back in the door at 5PM, most employers have already had their 50 or so applicants, in fact I would find many posts no longer open.

    Whereas, if I stayed at home a worked my 35 hours a week looking for work, I get my application in on time, and have more chance of meeting the first sift.

    • Looks like the IMF and the World Bank SANCTIONS are ,alive and well in the UK.

    • something survived...

      Or, by the time you have sat down to apply for the job, you are now late for your work programme and so get sanctioned and evicted, so the job offer would ~(if you got one) be withdrawn as you’re homeless.

    • This is a point I’ve mentioned to my DWP advisor several times and will become even more relevant if/when April’s proposed community service starts. If for example you are litter picking 30 hours a week from 9 to 5 (with one day off to job search) you aren’t likely to be browsing job websites first thing as will be in a bleedin’ park! Also has anyone actually had anything in writing yet about the community work or been told it’s been dropped? Which seems more than likely considering the administration costs let alone UG going the way of the dodo…

      • Landless Peasant

        @ Trumpton

        I haven’t been told anything yet about the proposed Community Service, either verbally or in writing. I doubt it’s going to happen. But if it does, I’ll refuse and take a three year sanction instead. Fuck ’em.

    • The early bird catches the worm (or job 🙂 ) … 🙂

  2. Another Fine Mess

    “The secretive nature of the Work Programme means it is difficult to pin point exactly why it is failing so many people. The so-called ‘black box’”

    I don’t think it’s such a big secret to us that have survived, and we’ve seen what’s in the magical ‘black box’ – don’t tell anyone, but it’s empty.

    “whilst others claim they barely hear from their Work Programme provider”

    Some of that will be because we learn’t how to get parked!

    • i used to go to ingeus every 4-5 weeks and in the final 6 months i used to get a phone call appointment every 4-5 weeks. i was lucky in a way, as i wasn’t hassled in the same way as some of them, particularly the younger ones. apply for jobs and fill in the tracker sheets.

      • Another Fine Mess

        I managed to have the last 10 months off, no calls, no letters, no exit report, nothing, JC have never even mentioned the Waste Programme or exit report. Now I’ve got my pwp appointments down to 1 a month. LOL.
        Now that I’ve got all that pointless time wasting crap out of the way, I’m having minor negotiations with an employer.

        • i had to do the exit report and have a post work programme appointment. that’s when they tightened the screw, i now have to do 15 jobsearches a week and minimum 3 apps. it’s hard work.

          • Another Fine Mess

            As far as I know I’m still on 3 apps a week, just as I had been all through the Waste Programme, it’s never been mentioned and I’m not going to rock the boat! I aim for an average of about 1 app day, even if it’s any old job I’m not going to get, so always well above the 3 a week min.

            Now I have to log on to UJM to show I’ve jobsearched everyday, at UJM and/or cv-library ect. and post something in the activity, so 7 to 15 jobsearches a week.

            I don’t know what you mean by ‘it’s hard work’. If you upload a CV to cv-library and others, you can apply with a single click, and copy and paste the confirmation into UJM activity. If I’m stuck I can do my days jobsearch in less than 5 minutes!

            In practice, I spend 2 or 3 hours a day, trying to turn my experience and qualifications into a wage, and still would do even if JSA was a lot more.

            • hard work=my old jobcentre expected me to do 35 hours a week jobsearch, the new one i’m at about 15-20 hours per week. when i left wp, she said we expect you to treat looking for work as a full time job of 35 hrs. my uj activity history is like a novel with all the stuff i have to put in it. thankfully, my new jobcentre isn’t quite as severe, although they are still pretty brutal with the sanctions.

              • Another Fine Mess

                Ocasionally if I find a real job that I really want then I’ll spend many hours researching the company and adjusting my cv ect. But spending 35 hours searching for fake and non exsistant vacancies is totally pointless.
                So they can stick it were the sun doesn’t shine.

            • Another Fine Mess:

              According to my JSAg, I have to check my UJM account 7 times a week to check for jobs, which I do. However, the whole exercise is utterly futile because they can’t look at my UJM account witjout my consent.

              • they said to me that either i give them access to my uj or i would have to provide printouts. as i didn’t have a printer, i made access public. i’m hoping that i may be signed off soon, they’re awful people.

        • Obi Wan Kenobi


          After the 6 month PWPS appointments finish you’ll go onto something called 25 plus ‘Q-2’ or so it will say on your signing on booklet, it’s more or less the same as PWPS, the only difference is that the adviser only sees you when you sign on and they rotate you round differrent advisers.

          It’s not quite as bad as PWPS.

          • Another Fine Mess

            I got a simple Jobseekers Allowance ES40JP which I take with me, and a
            My Work Plan WS1 which I’ve never used, as they never ask for it.
            Can’t see any mention of 25 plus ‘Q-2′ anywhere.

        • Same here, dumped by Ingeus for the last 12 months of the Waste Programme. Never did find out what was in the exit report lol

      • Obi Wan Kenobi

        I used to use Ingeus to my advantage, I used to print off tons of CV’s for free – It saved me a small fortune in printer ink cartridges, also used to gulp down a gallon of free coffee anytime I was there – which wasn’t often, I got PARKED!

        • When I had and early appointment I used to watch van-loads of paper and ink cartridges being delivered to Ingeus. They must go through mountains of paper printing off all those CVs lol 🙂

          • They used to stack them up to the ceiling. lol 🙂 Boxes and boxes of paper and ink cartridges lol 🙂 They must have chopped down the Amazon rain-forest or something lol 🙂

            • And the free coffee/tea/chocolate machine was good. I loved the choco 🙂 used to get through litres (or gallons in old money 🙂 ) of it lol 🙂

        • I was PARKED by A4e when I used to sign, now on ESA, they used to say “should be in support group” then say we will phone you in 6 months as they don’t have my numbers they cannot call. For over 4 years they have said ” should be in support group” then not called or sent a letter.

      • Tracker sheets! Seetec have Job Logs, which I refused to filled in. I asked them if it was legal requirement to fill these in, and they refused to answer. I just evidenced my Job Search on paper and printed it out using their printers. They asked me if they could make a copy for their records. I told them to write it up longhand in front of me.

        Advantage: joop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • JJ Joop, Seetec ate stingey nazis… they won’t even refund your bus fare to go to their appointments either. They set up your apps on the same day you sign on and then say they can’t refund you because you come into town that day to sign on anyway. All they’ve done is find all the loopholes to keep whatever money they were given by the gov’t to “help” you. More like help themselves though. They don’t let one penny escape if they can help it. while at the same time squeezing you in the hope of getting a big payout if you do manage to get a job.

      • The one I was with, Seetec in east Anglia… all they did was keep on rounding up the same people over and over, week in, week out, folks that are in their 40’s and 50’s who look knackered from already doing 20 or 30+ years of working (or end up looking knackered by the time they’ve finished bull dozing you) for weekly job searches and other useless on-site crap. Plus, the parasites love to send you out on unpaid caravan cleaning when you’re nearly 60 to do the deep cleaning in February, like pulling out the cookers, fridges, sofas and beds to clean them.

    • Messy

      Have some free time now. So like good little job seeker, have logged into

      No vacancies for: Shop Assistant Extraordinaire`, or Tea Mashers, Mate Apprentic. Guess that`s it for now.

      • something survived...

        The mystery of the black box revealed!
        There was a black box and it was moved to the House of Lords. For a while there was indeed nothing in it. Gradually, however, the residents who were laziest, couldn’t be bothered walking to the toilet, and took to defecating in the black box. It got heavier and smellier each week. Finally, someone dragged a cleaner into the House in the middle of a well attended session of debating. He was ordered: “Please get rid of this horrible pile of stinking turds at once.”
        The cleaner looked around the House and said, “Okay, but it could take me a while. And when I’ve done that, do you want me to deal with that box of shit?”

  3. Don’t forget that thousands and thousands of the poor on ESA WRAG are being sanctioned too, often with open ended sanctions. These people are those that qualified doctors have deemed unable to work, but because of our 100%corrupt, tick box culture where one size fits no one, these sick and disabled people are regular targets of the repulsive work programme advisors.

  4. overburdenddonkey

    the reason that the WP appears to be secretive is that it has no basis to be in reality, and IS based entirely on a false assumption….it is like walking into an m/t room and then being told to furnish the room by not going outside of the m/t one must find the furniture to furnish the m/t room from within the m/t room…the WP is based on jobs being en masse freely available and would be taken if only the/some seekers of work, were not so reluctant to take up this available work, which simply aren’t available in sufficient numbers to satisfy huge and rapidly increasing demand, for them….this is clearly shown by/in all the whole statistical analysis of the presented figures, and the political bent to only include those figures that suit the political argument of others…even if there were the millions of extra badly needed jobs, which there aren’t sanctioning people only makes the situation worse…the overall production figures continue to stagnate at best…

    • Another Fine Mess

      Agree, but you missed a vital bit.
      Even when the Waste Programme is successful at getting a long-term unemployed a job as a retail asistant/shelf stacker, it causes an other unemployed asistant/shelf stacker to become long-term unemployed somewhere else.
      So despite the Waste Programme being designed to fix long-term unemployment, it actually creates it.

      • overburdenddonkey

        a f m
        yes, true..a plunging down ward spiral, until we (the non-chosen), are all eventually on the WP/workfare, the uk plc effectively being our employer, it is totally destructive…..

        • something survived...

          It’s a Hayley Taylor sort of A4E problem solving character building exercise. How to get out of an empty cell: Draw some curtains, climb up an imaginary ladder and out of the window, shout yourself hoarse, get on the horse and ride away. This is quite funny for about 2 minutes if you’re aged about eight. Otherwise, it has no practical applications in the real world, unless you’re planning to learn it for use in a new career as a one-routine standup comedian at a persistent vegetative state ward.

          Alternative team building activity: Push IDS, Grant Shapps, George Osborne, and Michael Gove into a pit full of hungry crocodiles. Laugh at their pathetic struggles to escape. Play their ‘best’ speeches over a loudspeaker, to further motivate the crocodiles. Cheer on the crocodiles. As the politicians are eaten, deride their lack of ambition and application.
          After completion, give immediate honours to the crocodiles for keeping Britain tidy.

  5. “whilst others claim they barely hear from their Work Programme provider”

    I managed to get parked for 10 months – essentially half the sentence – which was nice, but was made up for in the rest of the time with a sanctions attempt (the old ‘you didn’t attend an appointment we didn’t tell you about’ scam) which was overturned, and followed up by me making two official complaints against the adviser, culminating in a showdown with the office manager.

    All good fun, of course, but ‘help finding work’ ? No, no-one ever seemed to mention that. Do they do that as well, then ?

    • overburdenddonkey

      imo, it all ties into the orwellian bingo card sage, and keeping the lower classes fighting each other…whilst the rich prosper from our labours…

  6. They have as much work ethic as Freud, IDS or any of the Tory peers who use their wealth to make money for them while, they sit back and take parliamentary expenses while dictating to us that we are not trying hard enough or being productive enough.
    The should be put up against a wall and shot.

  7. i finished my work programe last november and can confirm it is absolutely useless lol.

  8. Molotov Cocktail

    I work on this ridiculous work programme. The Govt is talking nonsense. About 80 per cent of people attached to the scheme find work without help from work programme providers. In almost all cases clients are them harrassed by the provider to supply employment details, so the “provider” can claim the fee from the DWP/Taxpayer. The Govt may claim that hundreds of thousands have found work through this scheme, I may suggest it’s 20 per cent, tops, of the official figure. Should Mr Void wish to contact me, via my email, which he should have as I’ve commented, I’ll explain what’s really going on. It’s worse than you may wish to think

    • Here here! I only ever did induction at wp then found a job off my own bat (I already worked 6hrs a week also off my own bat). When I signed off wp told me I had to attend appointment still or have my tax credits ect sanctioned. I’d already refused to sign data waiver. I told them sod off n blocked them on myphone. They were useless. At induction we were told if u have an interview, it’s a good idea to wash?? Really? I bath every day aanyway..

    • Another Fine Mess

      Spill the beans.

  9. “UK continues mass experiment in human despair”

  10. Pingback: Work Programme in UK – A shocking fall in the number of people gaining work writes The Void | Job Market Monitor

  11. Landless Peasant

    In my experience the Work Programme is a complete and utter waste of time and an absolute waste of public money. I completed the full two years and didn’t get one single job interview. The harassment and bullying I endured whilst on the Work Programme contributed to making me ill and I have been on medication ever since, and at what cost to the NHS?

    • something survived...

      Cheer up, said IDS (Thin Controller). If you get better or stay as you are, you’ll be sent on workfare. If you die, you’ll be buried by workfare. If you get worse, you’ll be put on a list and eventually sent round a carer, who is of course on workfare. And preferably one who uses your arse wiping cloth to then wash your face, then wipes down the kitchen tables with it then the floor, then goes and watches your TV while you sit in a growing pile of your own excrement…
      Eric Pickles (Fat Controller) waddled in at this point. “MORE PIES! MUST HAVE MORE PIES!”

      We had to get rid of the NHS, they agreed. It was giving those skiving scroungers a licence to be ill.

      “Please sir can I have some more?”
      would now be responded to with the scheduled destruction of the wretched child, for being so weak they were hungry and whining about it!
      (At least Fagin’s kid thieves got some bloody food)

      Lots of workfare opportunities though digging your own mass graves.
      IDS’ heroes: Mengele, Himmler, Goebbels…

  12. “No longer are the DWP even reporting the job outcome rate, which is the only figure that matters when assessing whether the Work Programme is working.”

    Nah. I mean, ostensibly, yes, that *would* be the only figure that matters. But you have to remember that the point of the Work Programme is, and always has been, to appear “tough on the unemployed”, to the type of Great British Scumbag who believes that unemployment is a crime (i.e. Tory voters). That and, of course, to provide sub-minimum wage labour for Tory donor companies.

    That’s the truth of it. This programme was never meant to help the unemployed. It was meant to help the Tory party and their friends.

  13. never understood the logic of sanctions, especially long term ones or taking a 100% of peoples money, how is anyone supposed to go look for a job, when u have nothing for bus fare, or a cheap suit from a charity shop, or a packet of razors for a shave to look presentable,(blokes that is) or even to be able to print up a cv or send it even using the library..its utter bonkers, and the work program is a farce, from mr voids figures its gone up in recent times as at one point the highest was only 7% of people going thru it were getting a job,,
    the whole thing is just mismanaged nonsense..g4s couldnt find enough security people for the olympics,,, well maybe if they had told other work program providers and allowed them to find people, that might not have happened,,, but oh no, g4s want the cash and the prestige of finding all these jobs for themselves, hence the screw up..point is, the providers are in it for themselves and not the people they are ment to help..

  14. Baffles me how reducing someone to a malnourished quivering wreck of a human being with no food and possibly living on the streets is not prosecutable under the human rights legislation.

    The very act of stripping someone of everything they have in order to instigate a condition of penury is against every decent trait that humanity possesses.

    But that’s what this bunch of sadists thrive on..

    • hear hear raining!

      • something survived...

        offtopic but proof there’s no justice: A cop just got convicted of seriously sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl. That not only makes him a perv, but a paedo. But they sentenced him to 18 months, and he’ll therefore be out in 9 months minus any time he’s already served.

        To be a cop and sexually abuse a child, gets you silly jail time people get for robbing cigarettes/sweets.

        To get sentenced to 36 months of sanctions, you don’t need any evidence or trial, arrest or court. You only need to be poor, and your poverty and unemployment will convict you on the spot. It doesn’t matter how good a citizen you are, if you’re not a fucking stockbroker or some other chinless wonder, then you’re either a criminal or a potential criminal. Failing to earn enough/profit enough for the sacred Economy.

        • Something survived: Reminds me of that Michael Douglas film Falling Down with the guy outside the bank speaking about not being “economically viable” “Here come the police to take me away! This is what happens when you’re not economically viable!”

          Think that was the quote if i remember correctly. Anyway it tells it like it actually is and your post reminded me of it.

          If you’re poor then you get no consideration and seem to have no human rights. You just become slave fodder to be ordered about like a lackey on these Work programs or Workfare.

          Does a lot for the already low self esteem.

          • The mass surveillance and harrassment of the poor (when in reality fewer than 1% commits any form of benefits fraud) is surely another symptom of a society where our phone and email messages are monitored, where we are filmed by cameras on our streets, and where even our most sensitive NHS data is sold on to outside bodies without our consent.

            The fact that the govt can get away with this intensive state policing of the most vulnerable means that we are ACTUALLY ALREADY IN a police state.

            This is a society where everyone has been criminalised. We are all ‘suspects’ these days, remaining guilty in the eyes of the government, however much proof exists of our innocence. Thus you are still a ‘scrounger’ even when you work every hour God sends, but still need an in-work benefit to make ends meet. Or you are still ‘fit to work’ and ‘skiving’, even with a degenerative or terminal illness, and when the doctors treating you have SIGNED YOU OFF WORK as unfit.

            Such obsessive control is the classic stance of any totalitarian government against its people, because their power is fundamentally threatened by the natural human instinct for freedom, as it is by Natural Law itself.

            Sanctions, forced labour, and the Atos Inquisition epitomise why the spectres of ‘benefit fraud’ and ‘conditionality’ must be understood by the Left as fundamental attacks on human rights and freedom.

  15. Obi Wan Kenobi

    ‘The figures show that even after spending a year on the Work Programme, only 10.7% of people had gained a job which lasted at least six months’

    This is what the DWP/IDS call a success but on the flip side everyone else KNOWS and can clearly see it is a 89.3% FAILURE.

  16. Can I just say that I hate this fucking government

  17. My experience of the Work Programme consisted of monitoring coupled with a little bullying, work club, and some classes about how to make your CV more attractive, become more self-confident, and such like. The classes were mixed with men and women ranging in age from 19 to late 50s all from widely diverse backgrounds and next to nothing in common. There was no real training provided. If it works at all it only does so by keeping its participants noses to the grindstone as far as jobsearch is concerned: every person who was with me on the Work Programme who found a position did so by means of their own efforts. I think the basis idea is is piss people off so much that they become softened up enough to accept any poorly paid scraps of work – and I really do mean any! – which happen to be going in order to escape scrutiny, threat of sanction and have some peace and quiet for however long the job lasted. Of course the threat of a sanction for some inadvertent mistake hung over everybody’s head like the fucking sword of Damocles and we all knew that staff were just waiting for one of us to step out of line in order to give us a penalty.

    The Work Programme is only a goad to make people exert themselves.

    No wonder it doesn’t work.

  18. “The secretive nature of the Work Programme means it is difficult to pin point exactly why it is failing so many people.”

    Because it’s crap, that’s why. The only ‘support’ Arse over E seems able to provide is having unemployed conscripts along to sit doing jobsearch at Arse over E’s slow, outdated computers. Many people forced to do this under threat of losing their only source of income search for jobs on the internet every day at home anyway.

    From what I have experienced, the waste-of-time programme provides zero opportunities to gain qualifications and training which would actually make people more attractive to employers. I’ve been saying this all along, but it is indeed one massive waste of public money. All those ‘hard working taxpayers’ that Cameron likes to harp on about should be outraged that so much money is being wasted on the scam that is the Work Programme.

    • A4e Sucks and Lockie:

      Your views and experiences of the Work Programme mirror my own completely. I can’t really add anything else to your comments. I was with Seetec; what a bunch of chancers and spivs. I used to fantasize, and still do sometimes, about bursting into one of their team-building sessions and rippling the shit out of them with an AK47. I would use hollow-nosed bullets, of course.

      • You find yourself holding a loaded double-barrelled shotgun in a room with Hitler, Stalin and Iain Duncan Smith. You are told that you HAVE to shoot someone in order to save lives. What should you do?

        Answer: Shoot Iain Duncan Smith twice, just to be sure!

      • Seetec, yeah… I’ve thought that too. Was thinking if this was the USA, someone would’ve likely gone in with a gun by now.

  19. It’s all rubbish. Everyone and their dog is now chasing the handful of unskilled jobs. Not only the influx from overseas but all of the previously left alone are now being brought into the competition for what little is out there. No wonder employers are overwhelmed with applications. It’s a disaster.

    I agree that it seems the only people that really know what’s going on are the unemployed.

  20. Older people i.e. those over 21 are now actively discriminated against thanks to the government apprenticeship schemes. It makes sense doesn’t it. I mean why would employers not employ those subsidized? How many once ‘ordinary’ jobs now have the title apprenticeship.

  21. A Citizen Writes

    Dear Grant Shapps,

    I am interested in doing anything I can to prevent the Conservative Party from winning the next General Election. I know that you have considerable expertise in this area, so any help and/or advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated.



  22. Yep I have been on that waste of time and effort program. I was the highest qualified in my group and did I get any helo? How to do CVs etc. At least I am seeing something with Work Choice, I have a learning difficulty. Thanks for nothing government!!

  23. Rosemarie Harris

    There are not enough jobs for the majorty of the unemployed, we all need different help i am over 50 and i would like the idea of doing say getting a say 16 hour week job just to get back into employment even if it means i have to get 2/3 small jobs per week, but i need it to pay proper money so the tax payer would need to help me achive this by topping me up after all i would be taking less from the taxpayer as i would be getting a small income from the jobs … my rent is now getting on to £95.00 per week, then there is c/tax of £20.00 per week so i would need to earn £115.00 per week just to cover these, then there are All the other bills … Governments need to do something for us by making it easier to take P/T and still be self relient i am not asking for Holiadays, cars, a posh house .. Just an income to live on …not just to exist.
    We should all be able to get training not just the young’uns’ who have spent the last 15 years in education using computers, and getting jobs in their holiday periods, they don’t have to declare it either all the while the parents are getting childbenefit and Tax credits for them!

    • Rosemarie Harris

      You sound like an advertizing campaign for two bit part time jobs for the over 50’s and if they could only get 2 or 3 of them and race from employer to employer with no travelling time paid in between they would be ok.
      What jobs do you know that are for say 5 hours that need extra training for the over 50’s, other than computers. If you do not know most of the jobs women have been deigned to do over the years part-time i.e. cleaning, childminding, bar work, stacking shelves etc then where have you been? none of which needs training.
      What about a well paid full time job with a living wage so they are not reliant on benefits at all? because you know they are rarer than hens teeth and you are just promoting over 50’s as flexible cheap, fill in labour everything this government wants them to be so long as they are alleviating the taxpayer of enough money to pay the politicians an increase in their salaries.
      why the jealousy of parents of school leavers getting benefits to help keep them,who despite years of schooling and college are then expected to go on workfare for nothing, who do you think you are the chancellor of the exchequer?

    • Getting 2 or 3 short time positions, without the times conflicting, is harder than you think. Plus once the employer of the second position, knows you already have one job he will loose interest in you.

      • something survived...

        If you get child benefit, the second any of your kids does any paid work, their child benefit gets stopped. I was being moaned at for years to get a job. I managed to find a job. Child benefit was pulled. I was then shouted at for losing the child benefit payment, so you can’t win.

    • Rosemarie, The over 50s face an unbelievable mountain to climb in attempting to find regular work with a decent wage. Therefore, please continue in your quest to find 2-3 small jobs at week but just make sure that they are CASH IN HAND. Keep signing on and FUCK THE TORIES. Indeed, the TORIES/voters are the ones who are happy to pay cash in hand. In fact, I earnt a nice wage from corrupt Tories in the 90s whilst signing on.
      CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!!!!!

  24. my WP provider was mentally harmful and absolutely backward in there approach to get me a job. I will just sum it up as bullying, they where spiteful, aggressive and made assumptions about me. i stay off benefit because i can not bear to see them. I job search on my own, with no harm from them.

  25. off topic
    Iain Duncan Smith’s election present for the Golden Oldies: Bye Bye bus pass and fuel payments

    • Pat

      They need the taxpayers money for their limousines, not for bus passes for the over 50’s.
      Golda Meir who was once the Israeli pm used to travel by bus and meet the people she was governing, not hide behind security guards in limousines, she was not afraid of her own people.

  26. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  27. percy silk slippers

    The wp what a bag of shit waste of time it was a fuking joke,, there is not enough jobs to go round supply and demand,, so shove your wp ,sanctions and all the other shit there AINT NO FUKING JOBS

  28. I was one of the first in my area (Clacton-on-sea) to go on the Work Programme. I saw the number of participants and staff increase, plus a move to larger premises. During my 2 years (June 2011 to June 2013) I had many rows with the 5 different advisers, assigned to me. I did not agree with their methodology and made that clear. I was threatened with sanctions on many occasions, including 3 letters from DWP. However, I was never actually sanctioned.

    You don’t get to be over 55 without learning a few things.

    Always stand your ground
    Don’t let females influence you, just because they’re female.
    Remember others only tell you what they want you to know.
    Be active in your own education.
    Don’t be afraid to use your own personal experience against others, this can be your most effective means of defeating them.
    The word professional, simply means “gets paid to do it” it is NOT a measurement of anything.

    • Don’t let females influence you, just because they’re female

      If I see any man who’s not a biologist, zoologist, SOCO/police officer, or anthropologist use “females” as the default for describing women and girls, then I know that there’s no need to take heed of anything else being said.

      Case in point here. Along with the reducing of women to their body parts we have random “I’m old so I know best” babble, interspersed with bilge culled from poor quality motivational posters from the eighties, and paranoid wibbling about defeating people who are hiding things from you.

      You and Rosemarie ThreeJobs up there should get together.

    • Martyn, nothing but latent hostility coming from this little bunch. They try to hide it, disguise it and play nice but you can still feel the hostility, it’s still there. I always had the feeling, they’re just watching and waiting with their finger hovering over the sanction button on their computer to bring about our execution at the first chance they can.

  29. How can these people be considered to be professionals, like bankers, politicians,doctors, lawyers etc when most of them are failures is beyond me. They get paid for their failures too, yet the unemployed get sanctioned for nothing.

  30. DWP unsatisfiable conditionality part of an overall strategy to create what is termed – the mobile homeless – a financially precarious and trancient labour force that will be suseptable to exploitation, those that fall beneath this category will be deemed to be unsustainable and forced into absoulute penuary. The purpose of the absoulute penuary pool is to hold the mobile homeless in constant socioeconomic fear and alarm.

  31. something survived...

    China has them they are called internal migrant workers, and are one of the lowest status/power and income groups there.

    My city has 4000 signing on, all subject to work programme. In the 2 years there, not one of us at work programme (at our WPP) got a job. Because they’ve not signed us off we are still on it and in a while we’ll have been on it 3 years. And during that time we got no training or experience, but we got lots of sanctions.

    IDS stuck in a box sanctioning himself forever.

    • Something Survived: – If your Private Provider tries to keep you on the Work Programme after 104 weeks (2 years) then this is illegal.

      Duration of the Work Programme.

      11. Once Jobcentre Plus refers a participant onto the Work Programme, you have 104 weeks to work with that participant to help them into sustained employment.

      Follow the link below and print off the information.

      Click to access wp-pg-chapter-1.pdf

      • Also once you finished 104 weeks on the WP you can never be re-referred again.

        DWP Central Freedom of Information Team.


        Our Ref: VTR 5466 & 5529

        28 November 2013

        Post Work Programme Support (JSA claimants) Guidance Queries and Help.

        10. Those who reclaim 12 weeks or more after their WP end date will not be assigned to PWPS.
        NB: If the NJI is conducted by an Assistant Adviser a separate WPCI must be booked with a Personal Adviser as the WPCI is a full diagnostic interview.

        Important note: WP completers must not be re-referred to the WP at any
        time or under any circumstances.

        • People on ESA WRAG are mandated to the WP from day one of their ESA award.

          Unlike the “lucky” souls on JSA who are on the WP, those on ESA WRAG have NO END DATE to their time on the WP. In theory an unfortunate soul with a long term condition could find themselves on a life long WP with no way of escaping it, apart from dropping their claim.

          If you sign off ESA WRAG, maybe you get well, maybe you get a job, then have to claim again, if you get put into ESA WRAG it will be straight back to the WP even if your claim is a brand new claim taking place any time after your previous claim.

          For those on ESA WRAG there appears to be no escape from the WP.

          Let’s not forget that the advisers on the WP do not discriminate between people on JSA and those on ESA WRAG. Those on ESA cannot be mandated to seek, apply for or take a job (it’s in the rule book) but these shabby advisers regularly apply the JSA rules to those on ESA who are defined as not fit to work. Consequently thousands of people too ill or disabled to work or take part in WRA are routinely sanctioned, bullied into applying for jobs, forced to take part in activities which are beyond them or totally inappropriate, with no thought or regard to their limitations or the rules.

  32. I think before theses idiots put something into affect, they need to go out and try to survive for 13+ weeks without money, see how thats helping anyone, bunch of ignorant fools behond desks is what that is…

  33. totallygivenup

    sorry a little off topic but i was reading an artical by polly tynbee who is a devisive character but does occaisonaly right some meaningfull observations,thatcher had a tried and trusted method of winning elections during the 80,s and as we know gideon and cameron worshipped the women,basically by “pleasing” 40 per cent of the population and letting the rest “rot” you can just about win,gidders has learnt well,blue rinse back on board and rich middle back on board,fuck the sick poor low paid no paid and workfare and those on jsa and more disturbing ly the young people,the premis being the down trooden wont bother to vote cause they “giveup” i can see how this works and after the budget looks like gidders got it right,passed the local con club,oaps parked bumper to bumper,we need to vote or its 6 more years of hell and yes i know labour a buch of idiots but dont you ,like me want the tories out? thoughts?

    • Read this too, but we seem to be long past the point where ‘voting for the opposition party’ will make an iota of difference. (See many/most of the Void’s previous writings and many of the comments/responses to them).

      It’s (basically) one big stitch-up – establishment-wise?

  34. What percentage will vote ukip too another right wing party?

  35. Pingback: Number Of Jobs Gained On Work Programme Plummets: Are Benefit Sanctions To Blame? | the void « this 'n that

  36. I wonder what class the students who will not be repaying belong to, I bet it is not the working class who are forced into any job to pay off their debts.

  37. These DWP programs were never intended to get people into paid jobs, so it’s naive to say that the schemes ‘don’t work’. They want to keep people within the benefit system (even when sanctioned — because you can still be put on workfare, and have to keep pursuing claims for hardship money, etc.) to use as workfare serfs and as scapegoats. For all their hypocritical rants against benefit dependency, the very last thing they want is full employment at adequate wages, freeing people even from top-up benefits. Benefits = state control of people. Wages = independence (or as much as you can have as a wage-slave). And as for universal, non-means-tested benefits for disabled people and parents — forget it. They want a nation of humble, defeated beggars. Don’t let them have it.

    • overburdenddonkey

      k p
      we already know that these schemes were never intended to do anything other than crush people…what on earth are you saying?

  38. Note to forward to your friends:


    I just signed the petition “David Cameron: Grant legal aid for the inquest into the death of Cherry Groce” on

    It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:


  39. “The largest food bank in Scotland, which exists to help feed the poverty stricken, has run out of food.”

  40. Have we forgotten Labour pouring the political concrete for the foundation of welfare reform and applauding the evil IDS in his current endeavours to outlaw the poor and make work pay.

    The coalition government was an Orange Putsch, not of the post war British consensus of soft conservative and socialist politics but of neoliberal totalitarianism.

  41. The fight against apathy – why the right and the left are wrong if the left does not follow a socialist agenda.

    I agree with everything that has been said apart from the piece on free movement of labour. Yes we have welcomed immigrants that have contributed to the economy by starting up businesses or running our public services because we failed to train our own, but was this money their own or were they given loans by our banking system, something people in this country without any collateral or very little are denied? although I do appreciate they did eventually proffer start up grants for small businesses but wanted funded matched and guarantees such as using their homes or other assets as collateral to secure a loan.
    If this country can provide it’s own citizens with the education and the opportunities to earn a decent wage without being saddled with debt for tuition fees, we may not need so much immigration except if they were fleeing a country for various reasons. Only when our own are in employment should we think about using migrant labour.

    The amount of money that successive governments have spent on useless trraining and exploitative work programmes, they could have provided real training and I don’t mean cheap labour apprenticeships.
    Even Adam Smith and his wealth of nations could not guarantee capitalism would provide work for all and without socialism supply and demand would only benefit the industries that produced the goods that could command the most when exchanged in global markets.
    where you have fluctuating labour costs throughout the world cheap labour is enticing to the capitalist.

  42. Another Fine Mess

    More than 1,000 people queued for three hours to interview for just 40 jobs at supermarket chain Aldi.

    • And the fucking tory lunatics claim that unemployment is falling sharply. Fucking lying tossers. Been on Universal shitematch this morning and I cannot even find ONE decent job to apply for. Full of tosspot scam, fake vacancies yet again. I’m pretty sure that if I complain about the piss poor website at the JCP I will be marked down as a troublemaker. Fucking JCP cunts.

  43. “Ex Tory Treasurer and City Grandee: ‘I prefer to be the house, not the punter’”

  44. Pingback: Number Of Jobs Gained On Work Programme Plummet...

  45. ids is gunna get ya

    i was on that bullshit work program seetec Manchester whitworth st absolute shithole place reeked of stale piss, no room to sit down pcs running windows 98!!!! they started sending my appointment letters to the wrong address for over 12 months resulting in sanctions which i got over turned the lot of them!!! I’m on esa now and when my medical with atos looms i will close the claim then go on jsa for two weeks, get one giro then close the said jsa claim and re claim esa then 2 months of that the atos medical looms again and i repete the process simples hit the cunts were it hurts the pocket!! it cost a hell of a lot more than 144 quid to open and close esa/jsa it’s the only way i can look for work i cant look for work under jsa as i never got paid off it because of sanctions

    • My time on the bollocked-up WP is soon over. Fucking good job too. If those JCP nazi’s try to get me back on it, I will throw their new guidelines in their smug faces – post WP clients are not to be referred back onto the failed cock-up.

      • Unless of course you are on ESA WRAG then it’s immediate referral to the WP (previous JSA participation isn’t counted if you go from JSA to ESA WRAG) and ultimately, no end date, no escape from the WP, ever!

        • No wonder then that the system under Idi Amin Smith is completely crazy and run by confirmed lunatics. They will do anything underhand to enforce attendance of the failed WP by whatever means possible.

  46. The Right-honourable Iain Duncan Smith MP

    I will have all you workshy plebs signing on every day, using UJM 40+ hours per week, attend the successful work programme every day, and at weekends make you work for your JSA.

    You’re all lazy fuckers. I want you to stop claiming JSA/ESA as is it not your money nor do you have any rights to claim that money. I am in line for my deserved knighthood in June following my scare tactics and reforms of the system.

  47. is that comment really true?

  48. Pingback: Who The Fuck Does Esther McVey Think She Is? | the void

  49. hopeforjustice

    even more farcical when,like me, you are not in receipt of the JSA allowance or any benefits but the decision, without consultation was that I should be placed on the Work Programme and remain on the Work Programme and then be allocated to the post Work Programme scheme.
    It appears no one at the DWP pays any attention to the High Court judgement, the Appeal Court judgement or the Supreme Court judgement or no one in the DWP can read and understand the written word.

  50. How long do you stay on the work programme ? and when with whichever programme (I’m with I2I)do they have the right to put you forward for jobs without you knowledge and/or consent.i will just get an email or text out of the blue saying put you forward for such a job interview tomorrow which would be great if it was for a job i knew about or even wanted. I just feel as if they want me in and out as quickly as possible to hit there targets.

    • Some of you are quite lucky I have been punished by the DWP for not partaking of a mandated work placement on the basis I was not receiving the JSA allowance, or indeed any benefits, and was not going to be paid by the employer, I was even expected to fund my trips to and from this work place.
      The DWP are adamant that such a mandated compulsory state funded work detail could not be construed as a work placement as they had decided I had volunteered to undertake such a placement.
      Human Rights forget it, you are dealing with the DWP, I have written to the Minister who robustly defends the actions of his department.
      Long live state slavery

      • You must appreciate the reward system, ex offenders are immediately allocated to the WP, when released on bail and as part of their bail arrangements. Effectively they can be ordered to comply with any instruction otherwise they can face belng sent back to jail. They are worth multiplies of a normal individual.
        I was on the work programme for two years and the only advice given was that I should amend my CV as my current one was off putting, academic qualifications were a disadvantage and to show that I had worked for 35 years in fairly senior positions was again detrimental, I should accept that I had been allocated to the WP as the DWP had deemed I was “most vulnerable”. Ironically 11 months later I qualified to take my work pension which meant the entire exercise was a complete waste of tax payers money.
        I was with SEETEC and the only training they had for the over 25’s was to help you if you were a drug/alcohol addict or you were totally illiterate as they made a big deal of helping you attain the life changing experience of being able to learn to read and write.
        It’s purely a government con as they are able to report that they have training schemes to help the unemployed, which is farcical.
        My abiding memory od Seetec was when I was informed that having been allocated to them I had immediately surrendered all my rights under the law, their modus operandi can only be compared to the Krays as they employ purely intimidation, bullying and blackmail to survive. The staff I speculated had only been employed as they were “cheap” as they had no idea or abilities to help anyone.

  51. Molotov Cocktail

    Interesting. As a former consultant on the Work Programme, I can confirm that the vast majority of those who find work, whilst attached to the scheme, do so without any help from the providers. I spent a lot of my time ticking boxes and chasing people for their employment details. First we heard of most people having found work was when they signed off. If we got the details we claimed it as an outcome and got paid for a service we hadn’t provided. Job outcome figures are falling as JCP have by and large, stopped referring JSA claimants to the Programme, and are referring those on ESA. As the Work Programme providers are not geared up to dealing with these people, we weren’t, it is unsurprising that outcomes figures have declined.

  52. Juliet feitelberg

    I went to seetec in southwark last year the programme was for six months. I got nothing out of it. I am doing voluntary work now at my local library one day a week and befriending work one day a week. Seetec are a lot of shit and can’t get u work. They try to but change advisors every time u are with them . I won’t recommend them to any one. I went fir an interview with marks and Spencer’s failed the interviews and seetec said not our fault. The only thing I gained from them was a customer service. Qualification. These work programmes are shit I am going on another one soon but these people help disabled people . Seetec didn’t they just won’t help and when ure time is up they won’t get in touch with your advisor they are just interested in.getting paid and reaching targets Any way I am on different benefit now and feel more focused now.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s