Why is the DWP being so coy about the Work Programme?

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It’s amazing how the Department for Work and Pensions will bend over backwards to make it seem one of its madcap schemes has been successful.

It’s also amazing how little evidence DWP press officers will provide to support the claim.

Today we’re being told that more than a quarter of a million people have escaped unemployment via the Work Programme. The fiddle? This is an aggregate figure, including all placements – not people – since the scheme was launched in June 2011.

To register as someone who has achieved a lasting job through the programme, one must stay in work for six months or more (three months in “hardest to help” cases). Participants cannot be re-referred within a period of 104 weeks (the support period), but this means people referred within the first nine months, who subsequently became unemployed, may have returned to the Work Programme.

Never mind. How many people – who are currently in work as a result of time on this scheme – have, in fact, been employed for six months or more (three months for the “hardest to help”), as this is the only relevant period of time that can be applied?

No comment.

The press release has nothing to say about this.

It seems 44,000 people were “helped” into work during the last three months, but that’s neither here nor there. The DWP does not measure its success that way, and neither should we.

But the figure by which we should be judging this work is conspicuous by its absence.

In a similar vein, we learned yesterday (March 19) that unemployment fell by 63,000 in the last three months. But the number of employees also fell by 60,000, while registered self-employment has risen by 211,000 in the same period.

Remember the scam in which DWP employees at job centres dupe people into pretending they are self-employed when they really aren’t, in order to claim tax credits rather than unemployment benefits?

If you are one of these ‘self-employed’ people, were you told that HM Revenue and Customs might investigate your circumstances and demand repayment of all tax credits paid to you, if investigators decide that you’re not doing the work?

No?

I’d have a little think about what might happen, if I were you.

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21 thoughts on “Why is the DWP being so coy about the Work Programme?

  1. jaypot2012

    It really doesn’t matter what the DWP say or do, it will always, always lie first, second and third.
    We need a complete overhaul from IDS and Fraud downwards – it’s the only way that people will find out just how many people are actually unemployed, and it’s going to be more than double what they say it is!

  2. che

    I’ve recently been placed on this joke of a scheme, and was told today, after only 6 visits, by my “advisor”,that he didnt know what to do with me.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I can beat that. Mrs Mike, on contributory ESA but in the work-related activity group, spoke to a work programme advisor for 10 minutes or so. Then the phone got handed to me and I heard: “We can’t do anything with her… She should be in the support group.”

  3. jray

    I read the latest (March) WP statistics on Indus Delta,the DWP must of hired the same people as Enron. They do show the total amount of outcome payments made,but not the £ amount,as I have some experience in fiddling the books,this is a classic way to “Pump” up the numbers,but the biggest worry is fraud,if you make numerous claims for small outcome payments and keep changing the client,the auditors will not feel that it is worthwhile to investigate it as the client is back on JSA/ESA and the cost is minimal. There are so many holes in the payment system such as “Unverified claims paid” Is Stanley the civil servant going to go against protocol? or just sign off and go home to his semi,2 kids and the wife.

  4. misanonymouse

    Currently on this, I knew from my first advisor interview they would offer me no help due to being TOLD I HAD to get a full time job, which would be great if it fit around childcare, alas most jobs that are fulltime that I could apply for are shift work. My jcp advisor was fine with the fact I wanted a part time job due to being a single parent. Though I did get frustrated having to remind them I have a hearing problem which makes also makes finding a suitable job difficult. They seem to think because I do ok in a one to one interview that my hearing would be fine in say a retail environment. Lost count how many times I’ve said I also rely on lip reading, which is not always possible with everyone, I’m sure for instance Tesco would be thrilled with a till worker who is constantly saying “pardon?” every five minutes because they can’t hear what a customer is saying. I’m currently trying to find six more jobs to apply for because if I haven’t applied for the set number (they don’t care about job searches) I will be sanctioned. So far found zero that are suitable. So wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

  5. idsperuigia

    the clowns at seetec sent my mandatory Appointment letters to the wrong Address for 9 months resulting in deliberate sanctions,

  6. nick james

    I can confirm from experience that ‘workfare’ is a complete joke! Bribes for employers to take people on and the quality of jobs on offer is questionable. The advisors are useless. When I fought my corner over some issue they creased to ‘advise’ and crumbled – almost had two of these girls in tears. What a shambles and waste of time and money. A case of one size fits all irrespective of education, training, certification and experience – a system doomed to fail! The sooner this fiasco ends the better – but vested interests close to the government profiteering from this scheme will ensure it survives beyond its natural conclusion.

    1. fubar

      If these programmes delivered a chance of full time employment,doing a constructive job,I don’t believe that their would be many objections,providing that they pay the NMW and you get the same rights as other employees. G4S is advertising for “Monitoring Officers” for the Community Work Programme,now this is disturbing as it is starting to sound like being unemployed is a criminal offence and we are on probation,one screw up and your done,No sick days,No accrued holiday time,No Excuses NO RIGHTS! but you get my drift. I have been informed that I will be participating in this,I asked what will I be doing? Will I need safety gear? What will the hours be? “You will be informed” I plan on day one to ask to see their Liability Insurance,A statement of how this benefits the community,A health and safety briefing. A copy of what is expected of myself and what I can expect from the “Employer” A copy of the Complaints procedure, Who are the First Responders and what is the procedure to report Health and Safety violations. I agree I will be a F***in’ Jobsworth,document everything, ask everything to be explained in detail, question everything…..On the other hand if it turns out to be a real opportunity? Who the f*** am I kidding,it will be like a Monkey Sh***ing a Football.

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  8. Keith Povall (@soxer99)

    The work programme is vile. Like an idiot, I volunteered in 2012 and was sold a deal by a smart talking manager at a private provider of this pile of crud. They have failed to provide ANY help to me whatsoever. If you can’t read, write or add up a row of 6’s, they can provide a course for these. You can attend a “better than benefits” seminar to ascertain how low a wage you have to accept without it affecting your benefits.

    Each time I attended, the girl with chipped nail varnish who saw me, remembered nothing about me or my needs until she pulled it up on her screen, then just pushed buttons for 45 minutes.

    I got myself into paid work for 4 months (contract). I signed on for JSA this week only to discover that because there are still 5 months or so of the work programme left, I have to reattend. This depressed me more than having to explain and spell for my jobcentre advisor the word sedentary. These people are simply in it to make your life an even bigger misery than it is on JSA. I truly despair not only for myself, but for those with less experience of these pen pushing wastrels.

  9. IRejectFPTP (@Scribbles123)

    How strange that the number of unemployed dropped as much as the number of employees. Where did these 60,000 people go? Did they enter the twilight zone? Did they just flicker out of existence when leaving JCP?

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