Workfare heading for meltdown?

Submitted by Matthew on 28 September, 2011 - 10:57

The UK’s official number of unemployed is now an appalling total of 2.51 million.

The situation will put pressure on the government’s strategy for reducing unemployment — the so-called Work Programme.

The Work Programme is based on the same principle as New Labour schemes such as the New Deal. Under these schemes government employs private companies to (supposedly) do intensive job searches, CV writing etc, with individual long-term unemployed people.

Under the Work Programme, all unemployed people will be included (not just target groups) and the private contractors will only get paid if and when they find jobs for their “customers”.

Radio Four’s The Report, (Thursday 15 September) raised a number of questions about whether the Work Programme will... work.

The private companies who benefited from Labour’s schemes, are the same companies, more or less, who will be running the show now. But according to Radio Four’s The Report programme (15 September) they have a terrible track record.

In the period of its work for New Labour A4e (Action for Employment) managed to find jobs for only 13% of its “clients”. Its target was 50%.

According to Radio Four the new/old contractors fully expect the government to bail them out — in the current economic situation — when few people can find work.

The government, who need to keep up fiction that they will, and they can, find work for all the “benefit layabouts”, say they will not bail out the contractors.

That means the contractors will cut corners, sub-contract out their trickiest “customers” to the voluntary sector, or simply default on the contracts.

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