Posts Tagged ‘North West’

Private Eye on G4S Demanding Sanctioning of Benefit Claimants

February 16, 2015

Private Eye also had this story in their edition for 27th July – 9th August 2012. It reports G4S’ demands for 7,000 claimants to be sanctioned, an extremely hypocritical stance given that G4S was claiming money from the government for providing security personnel at the London Olympics, who didn’t actually turn up.

Work Programme
Bad Behaviour

G4S also has its hands on contracts with a combined value of £183m to help the unemployed find jobs running the government’s Work programme in the North West, South East and Yorkshire.

Figures obtained under freedom of information law by the Corporate Watch campaign group show that during the first eight months of the programme G4S asked benefit offices to “sanction” 7,780 claimants. G4S wanted these claimants’ benefits stopped because, it claimed, they had failed to turn up or do as they were told on their employment schemes.

So while G4S still wants to pocket its multi-million pound management fee for failing to find workers to provide security for the Olympics, it wants thousands of unemployed people to lose the dole for alleged misbehaviour.

As Johnny Void in particular has pointed out, the Work Programme is deeply exploitative. Its purpose has less to do with actually finding people work, as supplying a free workforce to industry, and create the illusion that they are actually doing something to help the workers.

No-one should be sanctioned for failure to comply with the scheme. After all, you are far more likely to find work yourself, rather than through one of the welfare-to-work providers.

The scheme should be axed. Now.

Again from 2011: Private Eye on the Failure of A4E

January 21, 2015

I’ve published a number of pieces from Private Eye over the last few days detailing the colossal failure one of the government’s workfare providers, A4E. They were massively incompetent from the start, and the National Audit Office was also very much aware that the welfare-to-work scheme was so flawed that it was bound to fail, and need bailing out. Here’s another piece from the Eye from four years ago providing more information on the company’s staggering ineptitude.

Yob Creation
Working Beef

With the riots highlighting the urgent need for job opportunities for Britain’s disaffected youth, who can solve Britain’s unemployment crisis? Recent inspections by Ofsted suggest that benefit-busting private firm A4E, one of the government’s favourite welfare-to-work outfits, is not the answer.

Since the Eye first exposed A4E’s shortcomings last autumn (Eyes 1271 & 1272), the firm has been awarded five multi-million-pound contracts to run pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme, covering East London, the East Midlands, South Yorkshire, the North West and South East. But three Ofsted inspection reports on A4E schemes are far from encouraging.

The reports rate performance on a scale of one to four; but A4E doesn’t score above a “3” or “satisfactory”. In other words, the company earning millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to help the jobless was never found to be “good”, let alone “outstanding”. Even when an inspection report into A4E’s management of 8,795 apprenticeships and work-based trainees on the “Train to Gain” scheme was said to be “satisfactory” overall, the trainees still often failed. The inspectors said: “Too many learners still do not complete their programme within the agreed time. The overall apprenticeship success rates have improved slightly over the last three years but are still low. To many learners do not complete their apprenticeship on time. Advanced apprenticeship success rates have declined.”

A re-inspection last year of A4E’s “New Deal” job-finding scheme in Northumberland found it had improved from “unsatisfactory” to “satisfactory”, but this still left many of the unemployed in difficulty. “A4E’s job entry rate increased slightly in 2009/10 but at 26 percent remains below contractual targets,” said the inspectors.

A4E’s work on a “Pathways” scheme in Leeds designed to help 7,000 disabled people on incapacity benefit was also found to be “satisfactory” even though the unemployed were still let down. “Outcomes for participants are inadequate,” found the inspectors, who said A4E’s job-finding skills were “unsatisfactory”.

Given the underwhelming results, why does the government put so much faith in busted benefit-busters like A4E.

In other words, if A4E was a school, it would almost certainly be placed in special measures, along with much media hoo-ha about declining educational standards. It isn’t, but I suspect the Eye’s last question was rhetorical. My guess is that they’re getting the contracts, despite their record of what can only be described as abject failure, because they are Tory donors, sponsoring events and providing support to the particular politicians.