Tag Archives: Chris Grayling

Information Commissioner Slams Chris Grayling and DWP

The Information Commissioner’s Office has slammed the DWP’s refusal to name the companies and charities benefiting from forced labour on the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) scheme.

Previously Freedom of Information requests asking for this information had been granted by the DWP, but when the workfare row blew up earlier in the year, this information disappeared.  Further requests asking exactly where people on workfare were being sent were denied by the DWP, which led one person to issue a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Despite some desperate wriggling from Cris Grayling and the DWP, this complaint has been upheld, with the full ruling now available on the consent.me.uk website.

Those who’ve followed the workfare scandal will be all too aware of the toxic culture which has developed at the DWP under bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling and the increasingly absent Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith.  Documents have been ‘disappeared’ or hastily re-written to cover up for ministerial lies, whilst Freedom of Information requests have been rejected on the flimsiest of excuses.  Information provided to benefit claimants themselves has been so bad that the DWP may find themselves having to pay out millions in backdated sanctioned benefits after the recent workfare court ruling.

It is now a well established fact that Chris Grayling is a lying bastard, and his lackies at the DWP have only been too happy to play along.  The ruling by the Information Commissioner however does demonstrate that persistence in exposing his lies can pay off.

In a move which will unsettle several charities, who have also been disingenuous to say the least about their use of forced labour, this ruling means that the DWP has just 35 days to provide a list of organisations using workfare workers on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

Despite what some charities have claimed, Mandatory Work Activity is four weeks unpaid work, used as punishment by Jobcentre officials who believe that a claimant is not trying hard enough to find work.  Charities like the British Heart Foundation and Scope, who have both exploited the free labour under the scheme, claim these people are ‘volunteers’.  This is despite the Social Security Advisory Committee noting, when MWA was first introduced, that it is impossible under the rules to volunteer for the scheme (PDF) .

Claimants face increasingly brutal benefit sanctions for failure to attend MWA, leaving people facing destitution, poverty and even homelessness.  Charities like @Scope and @theBHF have been only too happy to ignore this inconvenient fact and mislead their supporters about the nature of the scheme.

Nest Saturday 8th September sees another National Day of Action Against Workfare, which will concentrate on the so called charities involved in the scheme.  Protests will take place in towns and cities around the UK, for the latest information visit Boycott Workfare or join the facebook page.

Above pic from: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/liverpool/2012/06/496930.html

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Chris Grayling to Staff Care Homes With Unpaid Teenagers

According to today’s Evening Standard, bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling is planning to send unemployed teenagers to work in care homes for no pay across the capital.

The Government is planning to force young people to carry out full time unpaid work for three months before they become eligible for the scant support offered by Job Seekers Allowance.  Young people will not be given any time to find a job under their own steam, as many do, but will instead be dispatched to care homes and charities to carry out unpaid work.

The scheme will be launched in areas affected by last year’s riots, seemingly as a form of Collective Punishment.  The sentence for being young and unemployed is to be set at 390 hours unpaid labour, 90 hours more than the maximum Community Payback sentence for serious criminal offences of 300 hours.

With stiffer sentences now facing the unemployed than those handed out for burglary, concerns have been raised whether this move will push more young people into crime rather than forced labour for meagre benefits of £56-a-week.

Chris Grayling has said that sentences will be community work only, but astonishingly this could include working for private companies such as care homes.  The care sector, already reeling from a string of abuse scandals, is now to benefit from an influx of unpaid, untrained, and no doubt very pissed off teenagers and young people.

6000 young people are to be bullied onto the scheme despite insiders from welfare to work companies claiming they are finding it increasingly hard to secure workfare placements.  Chris Grayling, and the clown Mayor Boris, who claims unpaid labour is fun, are relying on the charitable and third sectors to prop up this Government’s ever expanding workfare schemes.

Charities such as Oxfam and Shelter have already made it clear they will not accept ‘volunteers’ who have been coerced to work by the Government under threat of poverty and destitution.   Those opposed to workfare are also now turning their attention to charities involved in forced labour such as Scope and the British Heart Foundation.

Already major companies such as Tesco and Holland & Barrett have been forced to change their workfare plans due to massive public pressure.  Workfare isn’t working and we can break it for good.  Keep up the pressure and organise now for the next National Day of Action Against Workfare which will highlight the connivance of so called charities in the Government’s forced labour schemes.

In the meantime join the week of action against disability denying poverty pimps and paralympic sponsors Atos.

Chris Grayling’s Reign of Chaos at the DWP

Lying bastards always get caught out in the end and the recent judgement in the workfare court case may only be the beginning of bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling’s undoing.

Whilst workfare was recently ruled not to be illegal, the judgement in the case brought by Cait Reilly and unemployed HGV driver Jamieson Wilson, contained a vicious sting in the tail for the DWP.

The ruling was highly critical of the lack of information provided to benefit claimants about the Government’s workfare schemes. Thousands of people have been forced to work in private companies for no pay under the threat of benefit sanctions. Due to the recent ruling, many of those who were sanctioned may yet be able to claim back benefits.

It is hardly surprising that the DWP should find themselves in this position. Lies, smears and often deliberate confusion have been the hallmark of the department since the almost absent Iain Duncan Smith and his underling Chris Grayling began their current reign of chaos.

Grayling has repeatedly gagged Freedom of Information requests attempting to find out exactly what the DWP is up to. When the workfare row blew up he lied to the public, the business sector and other MPs alike as he attempted to squirm his way out of trouble. Documents were disappeared, or hastily rewritten, as the DWP said one thing and Chris Grayling said something quite different.

Under this regime it is hardly surprising that benefit claimants are unable to find out the true nature of the schemes they may have been sent on. The Minister himself barely seems to know what’s going on half the time.

Chris Grayling’s behaviour over the last couple of weeks reveals that this deceitful shambles shows no sign of slowing down. Grayling this week banned publication of a report looking into the treatment of unpaid stewards at the Jubilee earlier in the year. Claiming the document is commercially confidential, it seems that Tory stooges Tomorrow’s People – the so called charity that sent unemployed people to sleep under a bridge for the night – are not to be held to public account for their actions.

Meanwhile, two recent television documentaries once more saw Grayling spinning out of control as he declared that there are no targets for the private company Atos to find people ‘fit for work’, despite the clear evidence to the contrary presented in Channel 4’s Dispatches.

The documentary explored the Work Capability Assessment, the now notorious assessment process inflicted on those claiming sickness or disability benefits, undertaken by French IT firm and Olympic sponsors Atos.  The system was described as toxic by the very people paid to carry out the tests who revealed how some cancer patients were judged fit for work simply for being on the wrong type of chemotherapy.

Grayling still claims this brutal process ‘helps’ people, despite the untold suffering and increasing number of deaths which have occurred due to the endless assessments. Professor Malcolm Harrington, the man brought into the scrutinise the process, has been ‘resigned’ after being critical of the assessments and Grayling is ploughing on regardless.

In an effort to stem the growing number of successful appeals challenging Atos’ decisions, Grayling has now effectively banned a video produced by the Ministry of Justice providing advice on the appeal process.

Shortly after the documentaries were aired it was announced that Atos are to be awarded the contract to carry out similar assessments on those claiming the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This time there can be no pretending from ministers that there will be no targets. The Government have already announced that 20% of disabled people are to lose benefits due to the new assessment regime.

So still the Chris Grayling comedy show marches on. His latest pronouncement, as workfare collapses around him, is to introduce yet more workfare on the Community Action Programme. Under this madcap scheme, around one million long term unemployed people are to be forced into six months full time workfare for community projects and charities.

Grayling has neglected to ask the voluntary sector whether they want a million full time volunteers, many of whom won’t want to be there. There has been no assessment as to whether the sector can even absorb, supervise and afford this influx of unpaid workers. The more ethical charities such as Oxfam have already stated they will take no part in any workfare style schemes.

Welfare to Work insiders already claim that finding enough workfare placements on the current schemes is proving almost impossible. The few charities left using forced labour, such as Scope and the British Heart Foundation, only have so many shops. Once again a back of the envelope scheme aimed at punishing the unemployed is set to collapse simply because no-one at the DWP has thought through what is likely to happen in practice.

Cait Reilly is set to appeal against the recent court judgement meaning workfare will be back in the courts this Autumn. A judicial review has also recently been granted to challenge the Work Capability Assessment. More protests against both workfare and Atos are scheduled in the next few weeks.  Everyday more and more people are waking up to the reality of welfare reform, as it happens to them, their friends, neighbours or loved ones.  If Grayling thinks he can lie, scheme and cheat his way through yet another session of Parliament he may yet have an unpleasant surprise.

Sickness Benefit Claimants Remarkably Law Abiding Research Finds

Today’s Daily Mail attempt to smear sickness benefit claimants as criminals shows just how desperate ministers are becoming as welfare reform turns into on ongoing farce.

According to the Mail, 23% of all sickness benefit claimants have a criminal record of some form, including a police caution.  According to the Chris Grayling comedy show this is ‘truly alarming’.  What’s alarming in fact is how law abiding sickness benefit claimants appear to be.

According to this Chartered Institute of Professional Development report (PDF)  aimed at encouraging employers to hire people with criminals records, as many as 25% of the general population has a criminal record. As those in receipt of sickness benefit are likely to be poorer than the general population, it might have been reasonable to assume a higher percentage of claimants may have been convicted of a crime.

Many people on sickness benefits have a mental health condition.  It is a sad truth that people with mental health conditions are over -represented in the criminal justice system.  An increasingly few people on sickness benefits may also have a history of illegal substance misuse, once again suggesting that these would skew the figures above the general population’s level of criminality.

So in fact we should all give a big cheer to sickness benefit claimants, who despite ill health and poverty seem to be less inclined to criminality than the population as a whole.

Of course the Daily Mail don’t see it this way.  If you can commit crimes you can work seems to be the spin.  Researcher Patricia Morgan – who presumably gets a quote because she had something to do with the research – makes the astonishing claim that:

“There are people who claim incapacity benefit because they are alcoholics or use drugs. They shouldn’t be allowed to, but they do.

“They do not need to work and often they steal to maintain their drinking or addiction. Generally people who work do not commit crime.”

At a time when bankers, coppers, MPs and newspaper editors have all faced unprecedented investigation into their own illegal activities, this statement  may even be a bit much for Daily Mail readers to take.  Perhaps this is why comments don’t seem to be being accepted on the piece.

The three most senior tories, David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, have all been involved in illegal drugs, along with Louise Mensch, Nick Clegg and a host of other government figures.  The only reason they don’t have criminal records in because they didn’t get caught.  Cameron has claimed his history of Class A drug use is part of his ‘personal life’ and refuses to speak about it.

Yet the DWP is quite happy to delve into the personal details of sickness benefit claimants and splash them across the front pages in little more than a crude publicity stunt.

This non-story reveals two things.  It’s ‘silly season’ meaning that MPs have swanned off on holiday and there’s not much for hacks to write about.  Secondly it shows that, slowly but surely, public opinion is changing towards claimants as Government smears become ever more ludicrous.

People are waking up to the reality of losing a welfare state that benefits everybody but the rich.   And this Government, steeped as they are in contempt for the poor and benefit bashing, will not know how to cope with that.

Most Work Programme Jobseekers Unemployable Claim G4S

In an astonishing slur on hundreds of thousands of unemployed, sick or disabled benefit claimants, welfare to work company G4S have claimed that most people on the Work Programme are not worth employing despite the huge subsidies on offer.

G4S are one of the biggest employers in the world with over 630,000 employees.  As one of the UK’s largest Work Programme providers they are paid up to £13,000 for every benefit claimant they manage to find long term work.

Speaking to Channel 4’s Fact Check blog, Sean Williams, Managing Director of G4S Welfare to Work was questioned about whether the company employs Work Programme participants themselves, picking up a fat ‘job outcome’ fee in the process.  The leading poverty pimp responded:

“I would be delighted if we managed to get a lot of job seekers into our own vacancies.”

He then conceded however that it was unlikely that G4S would offer anyone on the Work Programnme a job saying:  “I would challenge the assumption that there are a lot of job seekers who are easy to help in this group that can just be creamed off.”

Channel 4 also questioned the company on whether Work Programme participants were likely to be given jobs on the bungled Olympics Security contract, something the company hotly denies.

According to G4S, just 35 people on the Work Programme have made it through the training to work on the Olympics.  This is despite the thousands of jobs on offer and the apparent desperate shortage of security guards for the Olympics.

If G4S are not prepared to give people on the Work Programme a job, despite the potential tax payer funded £13,ooo incentive, then the question has to be asked why they expect anyone else to?

It is true as Channel 4 says that some people on the Work Programme have “complex problems”.  Many in the Work Related Activity Group have physical disabilities or mental health conditions.  G4S’s tacit admission that this group are unemployable merely reflects the startling prejudice amongst major employers towards people who are disabled or unwell.

Many more on the Work Programme have simply been unemployed for over 12 months, but it appears there is no room for this group in the company either.   Once again this is hardly surprising.  With competition for jobs at possibly an all time high, it is simply common sense that employers will seek to employ people with recent experience.  That is the unfortunate nature of capitalism.

This flies in the face of bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling and his inept boss Iain Duncan Smith repeated claims that unemployment is caused by the unemployed.  The multi-billion pound Work Programme is based on the assumption that companies like G4S can ‘fix’ unemployment by ‘fixing’ unemployed people.  It is now abundantly clear that one of the biggest contractors on the scheme does not share that view.

G4S also deny that anyone employed at the Olympics will be on workfare.  Channel 4 fairly point out that, so far, there is no clear evidence that the company were ever planning to use workfare at the olympics.  Once again however this begs the question why not?  If workfare staff are good enough to protect the Queen and work in hospitals then why not at the Olympics?

Surely it’s not the fact that this toff Government are so embarrassed about mass forced labour that they are shy of any publicity that may come from workfare being used at the Olympics?

When the workfare row blew up earlier in the year Chris Grayling was gushing in his support for unpaid work, calling anyone opposed to the scheme ‘job snobs’.  Now, with the eyes of the world on the UK, workfare appears to be a dirty little secret that must never be allowed to sully the sacred Olympics.  It seems the real job snobs are those in charge of the whole shoddy workfare racket after all.

Above pic from: http://a4eprotest.blogspot.co.uk/

Disaster For Work Programme As Long Term Unemployment Continues To Rise

The Government’s multi-billion pound scheme aimed at helping the long term unemployed back into work has taken yet another blow as long term unemployment continues to rise.

Despite overall unemployment suspiciously falling, the number of people out of work for over 12 months has risen by 3000.  This continues a three month trend which has seen overall unemployment going down but long term unemployment rising.  The number of people out of work for over two years rose by 18,000 in the last three months.

Over half a billion pounds has been handed out to private sector companies such as G4S and A4e as part of the Work Programme, the Government’s flagship scheme aimed at finding jobs for those out of work for over 12 months.   Today’s figures conclusively dispel any claims from the lying Employment Minister Chris Grayling that the Work Programme can be considered a success.

Whilst the scheme has seen claimants forced to sleep under bridges and welfare to work contractors mired in fraud allegations, it appears to be having no impact whatsoever on long term unemployment and may even be making the situation even worse.  Meanwhile social enterprises are going bust due to the bungled payment structure, whilst the DWP has indulged in endless chaotic wriggling about the exact nature of workfare on the Work Programme.

Early performance figures have shown less long term unemployed people are finding jobs than if the Government had done nothing at all.  Even the recent G4S Olympics farce may yet turn out to have the Work Programme as a contributing factor.

The Work Programme is doing nothing more than lining the pockets of inept welfare to work firms whilst the DWP bury their collective heads in the sand.  The Work Programme is not working.  No-one is getting job.  Charities are being financially strangled.  Long term unemployment is rising.  Workfare has been rejected by both the business community and the public alike.  And yet still Chris Grayling is throwing tax payer’s money round like confetti seemingly oblivious to the desperate mess he is making.

He won’t be happy until the full £5 billion, the total budgeted cost of the shambles, has all been squandered.  Rarely has there been an example of a Government so desperate to give away billions of pounds and quite happy to receive nothing in return.

Whilst benefit cuts and austerity are plunging millions into poverty, insecurity and even homelessness, Work Programme contracters like G4S are handed endless cash to prop up the failing scheme.  Even if the joke security company don’t take the money they were promised for fucking up the Olympics they will take millions more for fucking up the Work Programme.  And Chris Grayling will no doubt cheer them along as the thieving corporate bastards make off with yet more of our money.

In other news Pizza Hut are the latest company to deliver a humiliating snub to Chris Grayling after announcing they will no longer be involved in workfare schemes.  More details from Solidarity Federation.

How Welfare to Work Companies Cook the Books – and why this Government will let them

Bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling was quick to tell us that last week’s appalling Work Programme performance figures were not to be taken too seriously as ‘revised’ figures will be released in Autumn.

This will give Welfare to Work companies more time to pick up some ‘job outcomes’ from people who have got jobs under their own steam. With claimants sentenced to two years on the Work Programme, the odds are that eventually many people will find work despite the scant help offered by welfare to work training companies.

This is just one of the perfectly legal ways that Welfare to Work companies can cook the books.  Below is a handy guide to what these shysters are really up to behind the scenes.

Rorting

The Australian Government recently announced an investigation into their own Welfare to Work sector after it was revealed that many companies were picking up lucrative Government fees for placing people in jobs that individuals had actually found themselves.  This is known as ‘rorting’.  In the UK this practice is entirely legal and even encouraged.

Recent leaked documents revealed how the fraud ridden A4e were instructing staff on how to claim a job outcome fee, which could be worth up to £13,000, even when someone has found themselves a job before formally joining the Work Programme.  More often claimants are harassed, sometimes for months,  into providing details of any employment they may have found during or after leaving welfare to work provision.  Welfare to work companies have hoodwinked this and previous governments into believing that no-one is capable of getting a job without first attending a motivational training session or having an A4e advisor massacre their CV.  The truth is that people find themselves jobs everyday with no help at all from welfare to work vultures.  There is no obligation to tell Work Programme providers where you are working should you find a job.

Double Funds

Many Welfare to Work companies, and larger charities who may have Work Programme sub-contracts, often have other funding in place aimed at helping people find work or gain qualifications.  These could be European Social Fund (ESF) contracts, lottery money or even sub-contracts to deliver training for local colleges.  Despite the Tory lie that they invented payment by results, these contracts will usually be ‘output based’.  This has been the standard arrangement across the sector for 20 years, and means payment is dependent on securing a certain number of job outcomes or qualifications.

As an example, a charity may have an ESF contract to work with long term unemployed people.  They are paid depending on how many people they place into work.  Should they also have a Work Programme sub-contract then they can sign participants up to the Work Programme as well, meaning they get paid twice when anyone finds a job.

It is not unheard of for providers to buy job outcomes from other providers who are operating different contracts.  This can be done simply by using a combination of threats and bribes to encourage claimants to fill in paperwork to sign them up to the Work Programme.  A4e are notorious for using vouchers to encourage certain behavior,  such as forcing people to just sign the damn paperwork and then they can leave.

Another form of double fund is when a provider has a contract to carry out some form of public services, for example providing security for a major international sporting event.  This leaves Welfare to Work companies like Serco and G4S with two lucrative opportunities.  Firstly they can mandate people on welfare to work schemes to workfare to carry out the public service contract, saving a fortune in wages.  Secondly they can cherry pick their Welfare to Work participants and employ them on the public service contract picking up fat job outcome fees in the process.  A4e are notorious for staffing their own company with participants from their welfare to work provision and claiming job outcome payments.  This is entirely legal.

Friends and Family

Like all of us,when in trouble the Welfare to Work industry calls on friends and family for support.  Staff will be encouraged to hunt down unemployed acquaintances and family members.  Participants in welfare to work schemes may well be asked to do the same, with promises of bribes in the form of bonus payments or vouchers if they can track down an elusive ‘job ready’ candidate.  Job Ready candidates are the Holy Grail of the welfare to work industry – representing as they do free money.  These are people quite capable of, and quite likely to find a job under their own steam.  When they do the provider picks up a payment just as long as they’ve managed to convince them to sign the right paperwork.

Mass Outreach

A variation on this theme is using a form of mass outreach to gather multiple sign ups to welfare to work provision.  This could involve a bunch of A4e spivs descending on an independent living centre, homelessness project or anywhere else they know they will find lots of benefit claimants.  The company can then sign up claimants en masse, no doubt after giving some gushing presentation about how wonderful their provision is.

The company knows that some of these people will get jobs under their own steam.  Even if they don’t they will still pick up between £400 and £500 pounds as an ‘attachment fee’ on the Work Programme.  So should a welfare to work company manage to sign up five claimants on sickness benefits they will receive two and a half grand, just for an afternoons work.  If just one of those people happens to find a long term job, then the company can claim up to a staggering £13,000.

The company doesn’t even have to do anything but sit back and watch the money roll in. This leads nicely onto …

Creaming and Parking

This is the practice under which the easiest to help are creamed off and given  intensive support (or harassment, often in the form of pr0longued workfare) to get them off benefits and into a job – any job.  These are people who would have got jobs themselves, often skilled workers or graduates.  As to everyone else, well they can be left to rot, or parked as it is known.

Under the ‘black box’ style of provision on the Work Programme, welfare to work companies are able to almost anything they like to ‘help’ someone back into work.  This can include doing nothing at all and in fact that makes good business sense.  It’s a numbers game.  Some of even the hardest to help will find work on their own, meaning yet more money for providers.  As to the rest, well the company already have the attachment fee in the bank.

The most lucrative way to manage the hardest to help is to not spend a penny on them.  This is far more profitable than throwing endless resources at people who the welfare to work companies know are unlikely to find work.

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is payable to people in self-employment who work for 30 hours a week.  It is paid at a rate of £20 a week less than the dole, but claimants no longer have to sign on.  Claimants do not have to be earning any money from their self-employment to claim Working Tax Credit, although in the long term this will raise alarm bells with HMRC.

Last months unemployment figures revealed that a huge rise in the number of  people becoming self-employed.  There is some anecdotal evidence that welfare to work companies are ‘encouraging’ people to sign off and become self-employed.  Companies can claim outcome fees should this happen.

Working Tax Credit for self employed people meets many of the aims of Universal Credit, the new benefits system being introduced in 2056.  Claimants can easily take up short periods of part time work, casual work or self employed work and declare it quite legally without losing benefits.  With the payments set at just over two thirds of dole payments and far less administration, it also saves the tax money as well.  Unfortunately Universal Credit will end all this for anyone who can’t prove they are earning the equivalent of minimum wage for 35 hours a week.

If welfare to work firms are bullying people into self-employment the claimants will have their lives devastated when the new regime comes in if they have not sustained the necessary income.  Even before then, HMRC regularly make checks to determine whether someone is genuinely working 30 hours a week on their business.  Should the HMRC decide they aren’t, then claimants can find themselves not just back on the dole, but in debt for the tax credits they have already been claimed.  Not that welfare to work company bosses will care.  They’ll be off mansion hunting with the money like Emma Harrison by then.

Workfare

Workfare is slightly different, but once again it is a mechanism which helps welfare to work companies gain tax payer’s cash rather than actually reducing unemployment.  Sending people on workfare is cheaper than having them sitting on job search training courses for starters.  More importantly it is a way for welfare to work companies to mop up any jobs that may have otherwise gone to unemployed people who aren’t on their provision.

It is noticeable that many workfare schemes have involved large employers like Tesco or Holland & Barrett.  If a welfare to work company can get their foot in the door with a big company they can effectively take over their recruitment.  Where Tesco might have once approached the Jobcentre with 100 jobs on offer, A4e can step in and promise them fives times as many workers for the same dosh.  The pay off is that Tesco take on the number of paid staff they were planning to recruit anyway and the welfare to work companies can claim an outcome fee for every job.  No jobs are created by doing this, and indeed they may even be lost as Tesco now have a glut of unpaid labour.  So even when Welfare to Work companies are at what they pretend is their best, they are simply moving unemployment around.  As usual it’s claimants who lose out as the job market shrinks and unemployed people are forced to work without pay.

These are just some of the scams that enable welfare to work companies to pick up huge wads of tax payers cash for doing basically nothing.  They are all more or less legal, and no-one’s paying that much attention anyway.  Employment Minister Chris Grayling, like ministers before him, needs his welfare to work provision to be a success.  Scams like these help boost the dire performance figures that the welfare to work sector achieves.

The welfare to work sector is one big scam and always has been.  It began under Labour and now a Tory Government is throwing £5 billion at these crooks.

This doesn’t mean unemployed people don’t need and deserve support.  Decent IT provision, internet access, quality advice on producing CVs, help with fares to interviews – all of these things can be vital for people trying to get back into work.  Unfortunately there is a scant supply of such services on the Work Programme.

Even better would be high quality acredited training, that leads to real skills and real qualifications.  NVQs were once available as part of welfare to work provision.  But that’s seen as old fashioned by welfare to work companies these days.  NVQ assessors are expensive after all.

The new style of black box welfare to work provision ranges from endless workfare to abandoning people to their own devices.  Anything that’s cheap will do.  And still the cost to the tax payer rises.  Welfare to work companies are laughing at us all the way to the bank.  And Chris Grayling’s career depends on the racket continuing.

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