Scrap the disastrous Work Programme scheme

It is high time for this Government to wake up and smell the coffee.

It is also high time for the W2W industry (including ATOS) to do the same.

The facts are:-

1. The economy is shrinking faster than the eye can follow it, therefore unemployment continues to rise, inflation also continues to rise but growth continues to fall. These facts are very unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

2. The W2W industry needs to receive a high number of "hardest to help" customers - ie the ones for whom the W2W providers can claim more than a measly £4,000-ish. That is not going to happen. The GPs in both England & Scotland have now spoken out very strongly against the politicians' misguided ideas, executed hopelessly badly by ATOS:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/23/gps-work-capability-assess...

3. The ERSA have admitted that their own members are not doing any better than the deadweight rate for getting unemployed people back into work:

http://www.ersa.org.uk/hub/details/682

Their members are unlikely to be able to do any better because of the factors I have already mentioned.

4. The Work Programme scheme is beset by repeated and on-going scandals.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/may/23/welfare-to-work-fraud-whi...

These scandals are dragging the WP scheme, its customers and the whole of the W2W industry into deep disrepute, so the ill-considered Work Programme scheme is simply causing a huge amount of reputational demage to everyone involved with it, including its own customers.

5. It is also damaging the Government itself because it has become obvious to anyone with a brain cell that the DWP's "audits" amount to nothing more than applying whitewash to a hugely damaging scheme and a W2W industry that ought to be stopped in its tracks without any further ado.

6. The WP scheme is causing some of its customers vast amounts of stress and anguish, as we have all seen on this website. Their doctors will tell them that the WP scheme is not good for them and I've yet to meet the doctor who is not prepared to stand up to the Government where one of his/her own patients' health is concerned. The Hippocratic Oath has never meant, "Roll over and allow a bunch of incompetent ignoramuses to tickle your tummy."

In short, the nonsense of the Work Programme is simply incapable of surviving, let alone thriving, when there is so much that is wrong with it. I suspect that everyone with a vested interest the thing is simply delaying the evil moment of admitting the truth.

I have no intention of killing myself or doing anything stupid. The Government made this utter mess, not me, so it is up to them to kill the whole thing off before it has a chance to become any worse than it already is.

If anyone wants to say anything to the contrary, I would probably be tremendously encouraged to hear it.

Messers Cameron, Grayling, and IDS will cling to the leaking lifeboat that is w2w, there's not much choice seeing as the rest of the old fleet of back to work initiatives is at the bottom of Davy Jones' Locker, they may come up with a raft of ideas but we all know how unseaworthy rafts are.

I'm with the GP's on the vote against the WCA's, now if they could secure the backing of the flaccid bag of wind that is the GMC they might just get somewhere. Holding breath on this one is liable to result in an untimely death.

All valid and coherent points but one hand washes the other and when there are billions of £ sloshing around as incentives and the government dares not look in to the abyss of the true cost of the recession outside London and the S.E. I look in to my crystal ball and see 5 years of the political classes arguing over the numbers the W2W schemes hailed as better than labours record and the rest of us remember the good old days of full time jobs.

Lazycow
"4. The Work Programme scheme is beset by repeated and on-going scandals"

Former insiders who worked with or for the companies A4e and Working Links were told they could only speak to parliament in private, following confrontational scenes between Labour and Conservative MPs.

2 companies out of how many?

Seems ago be blown out of proportion.

I would dearly like to hear of some solutions on this site, many people want to kill off EVERY W2W programme but there are simply no ideas in place to replace, easy to try and discredit but solutions are what is needed.

@ LC at the risk of provoking the ire of VP and of being accused of being a "group member" I would like to commend your well researched and cogently argued piece. @VP

2 companies out of how many? Seems ago be blown out of proportion.

How much corruption and fraud is acceptable then? I feel we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and in spite of asttempts to gag the evidence the truth will eventually out.

I would dearly like to hear of some solutions on this site, many people want to kill off EVERY W2W programme but there are simply no ideas in place to replace, easy to try and discredit but solutions are what is needed.

I am sure that there have been and will continue to be positive alternatives suggested. I am even more sure that they will not get a chance to see the light of day so long as politicians and W2W insiders with so much at stake ignore the reality of the disaster that is the WP.

I agree with Voice of WP that two providers being investigated does not constitute "the...scheme being beset by repeated and ongoing scandals", although I do accept that there may be more, as yet uncovered, skeletons in the closet.

When WP was conceived there was some, albeit limited, growth in the economy. Events and policies have conspired to shrink the economy and make new jobs scarce, and in that mix we have providers who have made huge financial commitments trying to minimise losses, let alone break even.

With all due respect to WP clients (and I have been unemployed myself) this is a buyers market; if an employer wants recent or current experience for their vacancies they will prefer candidates that meet that criteria. There are some with more flexibility but as a rule we have to accept that this is true.

I wish I had a solution. W2W, if delivered correctly, can be hugely beneficial. What is not beneficial is programmes with little training or development. Models which don't address developing skills required for the local labour market, or have little delivery front end because they want to deliver "in work support" and qualifications after their customer has started work. Noble yes, but realistic?

I agree with Voice of WP that two providers being investigated does not constitute "the...scheme being beset by repeated and ongoing scandals", although I do accept that there may be more, as yet uncovered, skeletons in the closet.

When WP was conceived there was some, albeit limited, growth in the economy. Events and policies have conspired to shrink the economy and make new jobs scarce, and in that mix we have providers who have made huge financial commitments trying to minimise losses, let alone break even.

With all due respect to WP clients (and I have been unemployed myself) this is a buyers market; if an employer wants recent or current experience for their vacancies they will prefer candidates that meet that criteria. There are some with more flexibility but as a rule we have to accept that this is true.

I wish I had a solution. W2W, if delivered correctly, can be hugely beneficial. What is not beneficial is programmes with little training or development. Models which don't address developing skills required for the local labour market, or have little delivery front end because they want to deliver "in work support" and qualifications after their customer has started work. Noble yes, but realistic?

I'm with Bob Cratchett, 'in work support' what does that mean exactly? And for curiosities sake, why does anyone need it? You start the job and get on with it. Isn't it reinforcing a the very dependency culture that w2w was supposed to help sort out?

Blimey I'm still posting on here at 10.30 odd, I must be crackers, adios, and so to bed perchance to dream.

OMGG

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9286323/Welfare-to-work-fraud-s...

One of the whistleblowers, Mr Hutchinson, seems to hvae released some of his information to the Telegraph. He is an accountant who was employed by Working Links first and later by A4E, it says.

I think it is inevitable that MPs will ask searching questions in the House and they might call for an early Commons debate about this matter.

@Voice: I saw your post that only two providers have been named by Mr Hutchinson but the fact is that he only worked for two of them. Did he really choose to work for the ony two allegedly crooked providers in the whole of the W2W industry? That would be a remarkable coincidence, wouldn't it? I don't think that many people would be likely to believe such an assertion. You made your own comment earlier than the DT released its own article, which seems to have happened at around 10pm last night.

A slightly less uncovincing excuse would be to argue that the alleged chicanery happened during the various old W2W schemes such as New Deal etc. However I think there are three problems with that particular excuse, being:-

1. Some of the the private W2W providers seem to have behaved like rats in charge of a cheese shop for as long as they could; and

2. The same people are still in charge of the allegedly crooked businesses now; and

3. The suggestion that these alleged frauds "cannot happen" under the new Work Programme carries the inevitable corollary that, "...they would if some of the providers got half a chance."

I think what has emerged is very serious indeed and I don't think the W2W industry or the Government will be allowed to brush the whole thing under the carpet. How much of the enormous amount of money pocketed by Emma Harrison actually less than straight? Is she going to play the White Man and give the £8 million-odd straight back to the Government?

The DWP have been made to look like a bunch who have either connived and colluded in the alleged chicanery for quite a while or the DWP are hopelessly incompetent and not fit for purpose when it comes to managing the outsourced W2W schemes.

Which in turn calls Iain Duncan Smith into question: why didn't he insist on a proper due dligence process before he awarded any of the Work Programme contracts? He can't possibly claim that a respectable, responsible, non-villainous Cabinet Minister can reasonably expect that either the taxpayer or the WP customers should continue to put up with any of this. At the very least, it seems to me, IDS will have to authorise properly detailed, searching Public Inquiry, led jointly by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office. The DWP have clearly made such a mess of the whole thing that nobody would believe any "conclusions" reached by the DWP about this latest scandal.

One of the NAO's most scathing criticisms in its recent reports has been that no possible alternatives to the Work Programme scheme were ever suggested, costed or considered. IDS was too busy rushing ahead with his Pet Project to spend enough time on doing his own job competently and consciensciously.

The best thing that clot Grayling can do is to keep his own mouth firmly shut from now on. In his shoes, I'd put several miles of distance between IDS and Grayling. IDS is a political has-been but Grayling is said to believe that he has a future in Government.

The Working Links website is here:

http://www.workinglinks.co.uk/

One could be forgiven for wondering whether villains have been helping other villains, considering what that website says. Is Working Links a registered charity, does anyone know?

A tad off topic this, but it seems as good a place as any to post it.
Universal credit – the government's "new and improved" benefits system – will be the first major government service to be digital by default.

This is according to Steve Dover, director of major programmes at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Dover says: "There will be a back office to deal with the more vulnerable in society, but it will be thinner and there will be a massive web-enabled internet channel for the vast majority of the transactions that will be done for universal credit," he told the Government ICT Summit event in London.

Another quote from Mr Dover

"The project has generated much interest around its use of an 'agile' development model. When the DWP began "dabbling" with agile, it ran into trouble because of its lack of understanding and subsequently sought help from outside organisations, in particular from the SME Emergn, and has retained the company's services"

"The biggest danger is to let those specialists go. You can reduce them, but you need to keep them there, because people need to remain on that journey," he told delegates. "For example, it takes about six months to get one of our people to the point where they can do professional facilitation of agile elaboration workshops... It takes up to two years to become a fully fledged agile coach."

Professional facilitation of agile elaboration workshops? Someone from w2w please translate that one because I'm struggling.

Dabbling with 'agile' when a good proportion of your customers are disabled? I nearly choked on my breakfast.

Ho Osdset

Will the Universal Credit scheme be allowed to go ahead considering that IDS is now so completely discredited as a direct result of the latest W2W scandal?

And if all else fails.....Look in the BACK BOX,it contains all the answers.

@Bob Cratchett

"I agree with Voice of WP that two providers being investigated does not constitute "the...scheme being beset by repeated and ongoing scandals", although I do accept that there may be more, as yet uncovered, skeletons in the closet."

You wrote the above before you would have had a chance to see the very serious allegations that have been made by Mr Hutchinson. Similarly, I said ".....beset by repeated and ongoing scandals..." before I saw what Mr Huchinson has said. With hindsight, though, it does appear that my own instinct was right.

In general, I agree with you that the new Work Programme scheme has the potential to be much better than any of the schemes that preceded it. I'm a WP customer and I have not been subjected to any of the bullying, intimidation or belittling that a large number of other WP customers have been complaining about. From my own point of view, the WP scheme is very good, particularly since I have discovered that I can also use Indus Delta as a means of supplementing the Work Programme scheme.

That said, would the WP scheme work better and cost less if the JCP were delivering it themselves? The option has never been considered because of Tory ideology back in 2010. I suspect that a number of MPs will insist that this option must be considered and properly costed now, though.

@osdset
On the subject of "agile" methodolgy. Like so many things in the IT industry the "agile" methodolgy is mostly "smoke and mirrors". These things come and go, what's in fashion now will, in due course, be replaced by the next "cutting edge" thing.

The IT industry is rife with such language which is designed to obfuscate and impress rather than to enlighten. This practice helps to extract the enormous fees from customers (like the DWP) who are gullible enough to be impressed by such chicanery and don't mind spending other people's money.

@Bob Cratchett
Perversely enough when you say:

What is not beneficial is programmes with little training or development. Models which don't address developing skills required for the local labour market, or have little delivery front end because they want to deliver "in work support" and qualifications after their customer has started work

you are meeting VP's cry for "there are simply no ideas in place to replace, easy to try and discredit but solutions are what is needed". If you turn your statement around you are in fact not just offering a salient criticsm of the existing WP but also suggesting what a positve well thought out programme should be doing.

@Lazy Cow
"Will the Universal Credit scheme be allowed to go ahead"

Yes of course it will, the DWP have nailed their colours to the mast on this one. Whether the delivery system succeeds or not is another question, placing almost total reliance on a system that (we presume) hasn't been 'run in' is IMO dangerously reckless, but the DWP may have an ace up the sleeve in the form of an experienced IT partner, so who would be in the running for, or already have secured that contract?

Perhaps a company that already has the contract to integrate, manage, and secure the IT systems for the Olympic games?

Maybe the same company that is the IT partner for the BBC?

Possibly a company that already has extensive experience of designing and implementing an IT based system of evaluating work capability assessments?

You won't need three guesses to work out who I'm referring to.

Hi mkmky

"And if all else fails.....Look in the BLACK BOX,it contains all the answers."

Alternatively, put the Black Box into the rubbish bin, which is where it belongs, and get the JCP to deliver the Work Programme scheme properly from now on.

here are a few ideas to make the W.P better

1:instead of helping large private company's(eg Tesco) with fee labour under the guise of work experience the government pays the employment taxes for 6 months for the starters but only if the job will last 18 months. some will say its not free labour but if 10,000 people are referred a year for 4 weeks at 30 hours and 50%(which i think is a little high)are offered a job that's still 150,000 free man hours at minimum wage is £912,000.

2:not limiting the training to post employment(my provider will pay for a C.S.C.S card after you have the job offer but you will not receive a job offer until you have a C.S.C.S card)or basic numeracy and literary tests.

3:a realistic re-evaluation of the current state of the economy

4:a separate path for people who do not want a job so greater funds are allocated to people who wish to work( the separate path for those who do not wish to work involves a 6month at 30-37 hours a week placement in public service\volunteer sectors as part of n.v.q or similar qualification)

5:more frequent statistics about the W.P progress

6:a better system of finding a job as if all i had to do was job search(like the good old days) i would already have a job. example:a personal budget of £500 for the claimant to source his\her own training provider

Just a few off the top of my head but unfortunately this is government flagship policy and i see no change in the future of the W.P

Well, works no better than previous programmes but comes in cheaper and has less opportunity for fraud would count as a success on some measures.

Ideally, works better than previous programmes at no greater cost and less opportunity for fraud.

For some history of fraud, see http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/st....

It is really too early to say where the Work Programme comes on those scores.

Given the state of the economy, we'd need to compare with FND and old New Deals in 2008-9 (before the Labour stimulus) and programmes that existed in 1992-4 and 1980-84.

Arguably, what the ERSA figures are telling us may be performance better than the 1980s and 1990s, similar(ish) to FND, all at lower cost and with a lower fraud opportunity (so far as we have yet discovered).

Maybe a modest overall improvement over previous programmes at lower cost. We'll see when we get more information.

However, real possibility of the cost reduction element being overkill.

Hi gis_a_job

My own feelings (using the same paragraph numbering as you did) are:-

1. No comment. I don't know whether what you suggest is feasible, legally, and I'm so useless at Maths that I don't understand the rest!

2. The current attitudes of some (all?) of the WP providers is self-defeating. They agreed to the Work Programme Contracts so it is stupid of them to be unwilling to speculate in order to accumulate, imho. They can't have it both ways on this one.

3. I couldn't agree with you more.

4. Are you saying that in view of the dire state of the economy, those who don't want to do paid work shouldn't be made to do it but they should be made to do charity-type work instead? If yes, I would agree with you.

5. I don't know whether this is feasible or sensible in view of the way that the WP scheme seems to work? I'd prefer to see public disclosure of actual numbers rather than vague & shifty-looking percentages, though.

6. I completely agree. I think this suggestion should be mandatory for the WP providers and it should be paid for by the Primes.

"......unfortunately this is government flagship policy and i see no change in the future of the W.P"

Mmmmmm. I'm not sure. Reforming Welfare to Work has been a popular policy with taxpayers but they have only heard a ton of Government propaganda - eg the idea that everyone who is unemployed is a workshy dole bludger and the MONSTROUS propaganda that there is really nothing much wrong with the people whose doctors say are either sick, disabled or both.

As more and more evidence emerges about the shockingly poor delivery of the various new W2W schemes, I think the potential voters might well come to realise that the schemes are nothing but a huge waste of their money and that the WP scheme is never going to deliver the 40% outcpme that was promised, especially not in the current economy. The idea of 40% success was always a completely unrealistic aspiration in the first place but it is even more unrealistic now that Osborne & Co have wrecked the economy and they have no intelligent ideas about how to re-start it.

I suspect that what started out as a political flagship is going to turn into a political millstone before long.

(PS: I hope that I've now corrected all the typos in my post above!)

As much as many would like to see it go, the cost of scrapping the WP as such would be colossal – think of the compensation to providers who have invested to deliver it. The scandal of them walking away with £Ms in early termination compensation would not sit well. The best that could be hoped for is the termination of ‘underperforming’ contracts, but of course, the way the delivery is structured, the underperformance won’t become visible for a while yet.

As a ‘specialist’ provider to the WP, and a Charity, we dislike it as much as many ‘customer’ contributors to the site. In many ways we (or the organisations I work for) are the ‘victims’ as much as the participants who have to put up with inadequate (at best) or inappropriate service. Our good work over the years is being undone. You must remember that much of the fraud now being reported and excessive profit we read of was generated under the previous government, it clearly needed to be tackled. However, what has replaced it (the WP) is little better because it has simply not achieved what it set our to. For the most part, the ‘same old suspects’ are delivering it because they had cornered the market. However, in their defence, the WP financial model doesn’t add up in a shrinking economy, so you end up with what you have today – inadequate provision.

There is a call in some contributions above for an alternative – I can’t give you one, but what I can suggest is that the current government’s ‘agenda’ is more open and honest. I’ve said this before, but in a time of rising unemployment can we really justify spending money on supporting people to find jobs that don’t exist or will be filled by ‘deadwood’ if no intervention occurred?

However, you then look a someone like Lazy Cow, who is highly intelligent, desperate and willing to work, but in need of ‘specialist’ support that her WP provider simply doesn’t have. Her WP consultant is doing his best but simply isn’t equipped to help her. However, for her WP provider to employ (or sub contract) the service of a specialist ‘Executive and Professional’ (for want of a better term) consultant is a cost they are not prepared to carry at a time when vacancies are so limited.

Then there is the desire to ensure Worklessness doesn’t become a ‘lifestyle option’ which will happen if you make the regime to comfortable. You can then quickly move to a situation of intergenerational Worklessness and significant challenges for years to come. I have only been unemployed once, in the summer of 76 (yep – that famous hot summer – and I lived in Cornwall). I left school at 16 and ‘signed on’ from July until September when I went to Catering College. There was no pressure on me to find work, only to pitch up at the ‘social’ every 2 weeks to sign on. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t look for a holiday job and spent the summer on the beach. I now count myself as fairly hard working and motivated, but back then, given the option of doing nothing, I took it. These days, society isn’t quite so accepting!

I'm wondering if w2w providers have been given a heads up on how UC will be calculated, and the possible fallout which could impact directly on them?

An example of what I am getting at.

Taken from a Child Poverty Action Group UC briefing:

A lone parent with 2 children has rent of £80 p.w. (£4160 p.a.)

Assumed maximum earnings disregard is £9,000 and the disregard floor is £3,040.

Reducing the disregard by 1.5 times the help with housing costs (£6,240) would bring the disregard below the floor. So the earnings disregard that applies is the floor of £3,040 = £58.46 a week. As a result of the 65% taper, she also keeps 35p for each £1 of net earnings over £58.46.

If she were living with her parents the maximum earnings disregard would apply £9,000 = £173.07 p.w. As a result of the 65% taper, she also keeps 35p for each £1 of net earnings over £173.07.

This would seem to act as a significant disincentive to take work if a client has rent/housing costs (even before factoring in other in work costs like childcare, travel etc) but not to such an extent if they have no rent/housing costs liability.

W2w would have a difficult time persuading a client that fell into the first category that working would be the better option.

OK it's just an example, and obviously w2w don't make DWP policy, but I think it's worth considering that UC might well not turn out to be the ideal 'one size fit's all' solution, it may cause more problems than it cures.

@Tyn
I have read and reread your post and I agree with most of it. To paraphrase - Too much political capital and taxpayer cash has been spent on the WP for it to fail. But it will fail anyway because it is unworkable - the wrong solution in a shrinking economy and a shrinking job market. The powers that be cannot admit failure so they will put as much spin and propaganda out that the whole thing is a roaring succes and hope no one will notice and they can move on and get out from under before the inevitable implosion.

The WP:
"Look! The Emperor's got no clothes! He's starkers!"
"Don't be silly Paul he's really well dressed and anyway minimilism is now the fashion. Shut up or I'll mandate you onto some really useful work experience."

@ Lazy Cow

sorry about the confusion on a few points

1:sorry about the maths but on my figures large company's save £912,000 in pay to entry level jobs(i do not oppose mandated work experience if you have never had a job as ex-professionals like myself are now targeting these positions)

4:this applies to those who will go through the hoops with no intention of getting a job and those who say came from a £26,000 job and had expenses to match(child care,rent and the other cost that arise from working)but can only find 16 hrs at minimum wage offered a range of placements from charities to the local council. But as i write this it seems a vicious circle of public sector jobs cut and replaced by the unemployed nice in principle but needs a lot of work so its not self defeating.

5:when i say statistics i mean full disclosure and full freedom of information requests excluding confidential biding for contracts(which would be released at the end of the contract under the rules in my head)and not page after page of spread sheets and % i will leave it to Benjamin Disraeli to sum up my feelings "there are lies damned lies and statistics"

Hi Tyn

I think your own contribution is balanced, thoughtful and eminently sensible. I think there is a political need to consider the overall policies before worrying about the details. Spin-doctoring does not constitute the creation of intelligent Government policies.

(I once had an Articled Clerk sitting with me for 6 months. I was supposed to teach him about Land Law but I didn't think this lad Mark was interested in Land Law - which is fair enough. Land Law is not everyone's cup of tea. Anyhow, Mark had a First in Law from Oxford. There was no doubt about his academic prowess. Unfortunately, he had no common-sense whatsoever. He was never going to make a good solicitor unless he learned some common-sense in a hurry. David Cameron reminds me of young Mark!)

With regard to your comment about paying the Primes for early termination of the WP contracts, the cost would not be £5 billion. Also, a political lame duck is just that - it probably won't help to win the next General Election. Ministers waste far more public money than the Civil Service ever does and so forth!

In your own organisation's shoes, as a specialist contractor and as a Charity, I completely agree with what you say. I think that the Charities are victims of this disastrous WP scheme just as much as the people they try to help (eg the homeless.) "Our good work over the years is being undone." I couldn't agree with you more.

"You must remember that much of the fraud now being reported and excessive profit we read of was generated under the previous government, it clearly needed to be tackled. However, what has replaced it (the WP) is little better because it has simply not achieved what it set our to. For the most part, the ‘same old suspects’ are delivering it because they had cornered the market."
Quite. Very often, the wrong people have been running the businesses and continue to be trying to do so now. Because the people are the top are the wrong people, the whole thing continues to be spivvy, poorly-delivered etc. In his written evidence, Mr Hutchinson has described the approach of the top management of A4E as being "immature." I think he's hit the nail on the head. The ethos is all wrong and the real business know-how continues to be absent.

"However, in their defence, the WP financial model doesn’t add up in a shrinking economy, so you end up with what you have today – inadequate provision."

I'm not convinced about "in their defence..." but I agree with the rest of your comment. Ever since this charabanc of a current Government took office the really big-hitter economists such as Joseph Stiglitz have been trying to warn them that their policies have not been the right ones for this stage in the economic cycle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stiglitz

I understand that at least one large W2W business didn't bid for any of the Prime Contracts because they could see that the financial model upon which the WP scheme is based was seriously flawed. If they could have foreseen this then their competitors could have done so as well, imho.

"Then there is the desire to ensure Worklessness doesn’t become a ‘lifestyle option’ which will happen if you make the regime too comfortable."
Mmmmmm. Has the issue in the minds of the pollies ever really been Worklessness?
I suspect that the current "Worklessness Mantra" is really only propaganda that the present Govt hopes will be popular with voters. Also, I suspect that it is a personal obsession of Iain Duncan Smith's but look at his background, fer gawd's sake! That man is of zero use to a Government trying to manage an economy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Duncan_Smith

Unemployment of 2%-3% tends to be good for an economy because it helps to prevent wage spirals. However, it has always been "politically expedient" to hide the real level of unemployment as well.

IDS chose the wrong moment to don the Hair Shirt, imho! It's a wonder that it hasn't brought him out in a rash by now!

@LC

Ever since this charabanc of a current Government took office the really big-hitter economists such as Joseph Stiglitz have been trying to warn them that their policies have not been the right ones for this stage in the economic cycle

I agree. Brings to my mind the vision of a stricken and sinking Titanic with the crew rushing about handing out parachutes. May be a useful life saving device but the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Hi consigna4ed_to_...

Too much political capital and taxpayer cash has been spent on the WP for it to fail. But it will fail anyway because it is unworkable - the wrong solution in a shrinking economy and a shrinking job market. The powers that be cannot admit failure so they will put as much spin and propaganda out that the whole thing is a roaring success and hope no one will notice and they can move on and get out from under before the inevitable implosion."

Spot on, imho! The only problem is that I think the implosion is going to happen before the present lot get out from under!

I don't approve of Tony Blair one little bit but even I have to admit that his sense of timing was absolutely brilliant!

1. Create a total bubble economy and thereby keep the population happy;
2. Ooops! The bubble is not maintaining a high enough level of unemployment so wage demands are beginning to creep upwards. Right. Easily solved. Throw the borders wide open and flood the economy with cheap labour.
3. Bubbles always burst sooner or later.
4. In 2007, Blair scooted off and left Brown holding the baby.

Blair's timing was superb, in my view.

God knows why Cameron was so keen to grab the keys of No 10 in 2010, frankly. Back in 2007, he was musing publicly about "sunny uplands." He himself had been completely hoodwinked by Blair. Cameron's timing was terrible in 2010 and it remains terrible now. To top it off, he's gone and locked himself into a box because he can't call another General Election for another three years. That was total idiocy on his own part.

Therefore I suspect the implosion will happen before Cameron and his cronies can nip out of the back door of No 10. The Lib-Dems will be gone forever and the Tories will be out of power for at least a generation if Cameron tries to hang on doggedly till 2015, I reckon.

Blair is rumoured to be plotting a return to front line politics. If Cameron hangs on until 2015, by then Blair will be seen as a Messianic Saviour, I reckon.....

"I suspect that it is a personal obsession of Iain Duncan Smith's, but look at his background, fer gawd's sake!"

What's wrong with his background? A good catholic boy with sterling military service to his country! Ok, so he was a central character in the 'Betsygate' scandal, would happily steal the bread from your cold arthritic hands, and is incapable of leading a group of Lemmings over a cliff edge, so ....oh well on second thoughts........

Hi gis_a_job

Please don't apologise to me! My lack of a Mathematical Clue is my problem, not yours. (I'm convinced that there is a medical condition called "Number Dyxlexia" and I'm convinced that I've got it. I've always been good with words but hopeless with numbers. When someone shows me any numbers, my mind just "freezes" unless I've been shown exactly what to do with the said numbers.)

1. Mandated work experience is fine but it is unlawful unless it pays the National Minimum Wage to the worker. Presumably you are suggesting that the Govt should pay the young shelf-stacker the NMW for the first six months? Legally, I am not sure whether the idea would be possible.

For instance:
Scenario 1: the young person stacks shelves in Tesco. The Govt pays the young person's wages for six months. Who is the "employer?" Tesco or the Government?

Scenario 2: the young person is pushing a trolley-load of tins along Tesco's floor. He slips, falls backwards and cracks his skull open. He had not let go of the trolley, so he pulls that over on himself at the same time, compounding his already serious head injury. Who does he sue? Tesco or the Government that is paying his wages?

This is the sort of reason why I think there might be legal problems with the idea. Presumably it would be possible for Tesco to be seen to pay the NMW, with a back-to-back arrangement in which the Govt gives an equivalent amount of money to Tesco for the first six months but I don't know how that would affect Tesco's tax position.

Also, if the Govt and Tesco agreed to do such a scheme, the media would find out about it and shout from the rooftops in 2 minutes flat. Would that cause Tesco to suffer reputational damage, given that the headline would scream "Fake Jobs"?

I suspect that it might be for reasons like these that the Govt is suddenly muttering about "infrastructure projects" etc, so that there can be a real third party employer?

4. I agree with you that it would need not to be self-defeating. Would it be easier for the pollies to tell the truth and admit that a certain level of unemployment is actually good for an economy? I'm not an economist myself but I think I veguely understand the rough gist with this bit (at least, I hope so but if someone else tells me I'm talking rubbish about it, they would probably be correct!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment

I read that Mrs T deliberately created quite a high level of unemployment so as to prevent a repeat of all the strikes etc that had been happening when Heath & then Callaghan were in power. I don't understand whether she did this deliberately or not. At the time, I was a very young lawyer and I was too busy trying to learn how to do my own job to be able to spare time for what was going on in Parliament!

5. I agree.

Hi Paul.Bivand

I understand most of what you have said (though I don't know anything about unemployment in the two periods that you mentioned.)

"However, real possibility of the cost reduction element being overkill."

Could you explain what that sentence means, please? Are you saying that the Govt has been too stingy with the Primes, therefore the Primes believe that they can't afford to invest in providing someone with a CSCS card, for example?

If so, I would agree with you. My personal view is that the Govt has gone way too far in trying to offload pretty well 100% of the financial risk onto the Primes. I also think that the Govt has gone much too far in trying to make the Primes compete against one another.

It seems to me that the WP model has always been too risky for it to have been a good idea for any of the Primes to get involved with it.

However, whilst the original model might just about have worked (I'm not an accountant) I think two things have scuppered the original model, being:-

1. Other Govt policies have caused the economy to collapse since the model was originally designed; and

2. The Govt has got it hopelessly wrong with the WCA. I understand that the appeal rate against ATOS' assessments is about 40% and that most of the appeals succeed. In turn, that is having a negative financial impact on the Primes.

A couple of months ago, I browsed through the stuff produced by the Work & Pensions Committee. They specifically warned that the financial model for the WP scheme was weak, in their opinion, and that it might have to be renegotiated in order to make the WP scheme work properly. They said that this should be allowed.

Graylag has been Talking Tough about (and maybe also to) the Primes but that bloke keeps his brains in his lunch-box anyway. The Govt is digging itself into a deeper hole with every passing day, so surely they'll eventually get the idea to throw away the shovel, stop digging, ditch their daft ideologies and get real?

@LC Take a look at two National Audit Office reports into older programmes:

http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0607/...

http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0708/...

In there, you'll find figures on costs per job of programmes and you can derive (or find someone good with numbers) to derive cost per participant (in 2006 ish money).

DWP costs per participant, including JCP staff on New Deals, come out at somewhere higher than £2,000 per participant. These are for programmes with a design length of 10-13 months.

Work Programme has a design length per person of two years (differing between groups) and the design cost per participant is around £1,100-£1,300 per participant. That was on the basis of DWP thinking there would be more jobs because of the economy. The figure per participant comes down because of more starts and fewer vacancies (all economy).

If you said DWP cost per participant was half the old New Deals for a programme that was double the length, you'd not be far wrong.

If they get similar performance it's a raging success.

@Paul.Bivand
fallacious argument I'm afraid!

Being less of a failure than something(s) which were abject failures does not amount to being a "raging success".
Anyway that's one helluva big "IF" in there!!!

IDS Is Whingeing!

I'm not sure what he's Whingeing about but the article is below:

http://www.channel4.com/news/inquiry-launched-into-leak-of-a4e-fraud-all...

IDS is Whingeing at Margaret Hodge, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

The gist of the Whinge seems to be that the PAC made the DWP (and therefore IDS) look like pillocks by witholding Mr Hutchinson's evidence from the DWP/IDS in order to release it to the media instead.

That seems like a strange Whinge to me because the Tory PAC members were the ones who refused to allow Mr Hutchinson to give his evidence in public on Tuesday. At the time, Lady Hodge said publicly that she thought it was a bad idea that Mr Hutchinson had been gagged by the Tories. So why is IDS Whingeing about his fellow Tories' own decision? If they've made IDS look as dumb as he really is, that is not Lady Hodge's problem because she's a Labour MP. I've read that IDS is not popular with some of the Tory backbenchers but is he popular with anyone except Betsy and their children?

For her part, Lady Hodge seems to have said that Mr Hutchinson's witness statement was leaked to the Telegraph. The Telegraph have not claimed that the thing was leaked and they do usually say so if they are dealing with a story arising from a leak.

So I'm puzzled. Whether the document was leaked or not, the witness statement does indeed make all of IDS, Greylag, Devereux of the DWP and the relevant DWP staff (whoever was in charge of the the DWP's recent "audits" of A4E look like a bunch of incompetent idiots at best and complicit in chicanery at worst.

That said, Lady Hodge is very clever. Much brighter than the none-too-brainy IDS. There might not have been a leak but if there was, who did the leaking?

Hi gis_a_job,

"6. :a better system of finding a job as if all i had to do was job search(like the good old days) i would already have a job. example:a personal budget of £500 for the claimant to source his\her own training provider" There is a service there but they see me as "bursting their Bubbles"

Cannot say any more on here otherwise will be barred once again but if you would like further info please just ask for my contact details.

Please,all these parasite W2W companies should be audited they are worthless,face the facts.

I say this as after meeting with my"Advisor"yesterday,the fourth in five months and a nice and well intentioned fella he informed me he is leaving,as he stated"It is like hunting without a weapon" no resources,a case load double what it should be and a mantra of meeting targets.

Submitted by GeorgeL on Fri, 25/05/2012 - 6:29am.
Hi gis_a_job,

"6. :a better system of finding a job as if all i had to do was job search(like the good old days) i would already have a job. example:a personal budget of £500 for the claimant to source his\her own training provider" There is a service there but they see me as "bursting their Bubbles"

If it really was as simple as giving job seekers £500 for training do you not think this would have been done by now.
Not sure what bubbles you refer to George but once again you are over simplifying things.
Heres an idea,why not get yourself a website with all of your ideas, future jobs, solutions Choices etc and let people see what it is you have, you claim to have the answer under your Choices mantra, let the genuine job seeker in on the act. You say no primes will work with you, why would that be I wonder?
Interested to hear your response.

@mkmky
This fellow has a negative attitude, there are no problems, only solutions. How is he going to inspire people if all he can do is whine on about resources and targets?

The answer is to be resourceful and work longer hours to meet those targets, if his caseload has doubled then a doubling of the effort is whats required. What does he expect then? To languish about all day being nice and well intentioned to all and sundry? No it's simply not on, people cannot afford to be picky and inflexible in today's demanding work environment.

@voice

the £500 for training is not a silver bullet that will suddenly get thousands for people back to jobs but as part of training programmes that the W.P publicises in public but in reality is limited to basic numeracy and literacy tests or training that is post job offer funded( C.S.C.S cards and in my personnel experience sage line 50)\in house lead by advisor's(on the cheap training) which in this economic climate is unfeasible at best and lunacy at worst. i am not saying that every one starts the W.P are handed £500 and off you go.you would set it out to your advisor and work from there.the C.S.C.S cards cover more industry's than building contractors(archaeological company's now see it preferable if you to have one now but until early 2011 was never asked for)and no employer is going to wait while you take the courses as this is a buyers market.in my case sage line 50 would have increased the jobs i can apply for and given me a skill and qualification to carry on with my working life( circa another 40 years). the work programme is a social programme(meant to be) and the cost that i ask for is small beer and most training programmes that will be commonly asked for will cost less than half the £500.the government keeps on telling us we need a highly skilled and educated workforce but sadly you don't seems to see the merit of training or is it that the numbers don't add up in in the current economic climate and the contracts you say you had a hand in?

HI Voice of WP,

it is all there and I think that we should meet to get rid of your negative feedback and I will go through with you all that we have to offer and if you can find one negative in what we have to offer I will hand over my business to you.
You tell me where and when I will make sure that I am there.

Lazy Cow,

Please contact this site and register your interest for you future career path you will have a 1 to 3 year time scale in which to do so. They are going to be opening new offices throughout the country and I think the south coast will be one of those areas. Good luck. http://www.co-operative.jobs/legal-services/

Submitted by GeorgeL on Fri, 25/05/2012 - 10:29am.
HI Voice of WP,

it is all there and I think that we should meet to get rid of your negative feedback and I will go through with you all that we have to offer and if you can find one negative in what we have to offer I will hand over my business to you.
You tell me where and when I will make sure that I am there.
..................................................................................
What's all where?
what's wrong with sticking it on the website, also what happened to cleaner slate?
You are confusing negativity with realism.
We go round and round and round in circles over your plan, post it on here or provide a link, I can then decide if a meeting woulld be appropriate.

Re the link, is this what your "service" does, provides links to "future" opportunities? Is there where you feel you have insider knowledge ie what might be coming up in the future?
Be interesting to see your plan as you seem to have all the answers, is lazycow correct that it is you that is behind the New Scheme?

@voice
Cleaner Slates Franchise and TEREC Organisation are both Dormant (ie not trading)companies at Companies House. There is no substance in them. There is a website but I've never been able to make any sense of it!

Thanks Dave that's what I thought, George brought up cleaner slates in the last week or so, same problem as last year, he says he has ideas but they come to nothing

Hi George

Please ignore Whinge & Grumble. They are not worth bothering with.

new
Submitted by Lazy Cow on Fri, 25/05/2012 - 6:58pm.
Hi George

Please ignore Whinge & Grumble. They are not worth bothering with.
..............................................

More labels, more double standards

George has been peddling the cleaner slates idea as one of his Choices but the company has been dormant for some time, perhaps you can now see why he came in for criticism last year

Voice

The only people you are letting down are:-

1. Yourself; and
2. The W2W industry that pays your wages.

Please don't let me stand in the way of your continuing to do both.

To judge from recent events, the Work Programme scheme has run into "headwinds" (to borrow the Government's latest euphemism for their vandalism of the economy.)

The DWP need to learn the old maxim that when you're in a hole you should stop digging:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18204561

IDS & Grayling need to learn the old maxim of play the ball, not the man.

They will discover just how much public contempt they will attract for trying to take cheap pot shots at a member of the public who they hope won't be able to answer them back as publicly as they have tried to mock him.

Emma Harrison is playing a smart game. All she needs to do is to keep loading the gun. There is no shortage of other idiots who are willing to fire it for her, evidently. Into their own feet, admittedly, but there we are....

And to top it all off, it appears that Working Links is part-owned by the British Government:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9286697/Profile-Working-Links-a...

The W2W industry need not do any more to drag themselves through the mud. Plenty of other people are happy to do that for them.

I set up the Cleaner Slates to help our ex-service back into civvy street and also to help those leaving prison to help them stop re-offending and trying to get the backing to help move this forward has been the problem.
http://www.cleanerslates.co.uk/
All I am trying to do is help open up Choices and if you cannot understand what ***** has to offer then you should not be working within the w2w programs.
There are just under 600,000 potential employment opportunities being created from pushing trolleys to being a lawyer over the next 3 years and having this info at the touch of a button can only help all the organisations being funded by the DWP have a much more positive impact on those that they are supposed to be helping.
If the Government invested .0001% in ***** of the money that has been wasted and abused then they would get that money returned to them 10 fold.

Hi George

I agree with your aspirations (and approve of them) whole-heartedly.

Lack of willingness to provide adequate up-front funding is but one of the Work Programme's problems.

Two other problems that it suffers from are:-
1. Lack of imagination; and
2. Lack of consideration & respect for others by some, but not all, of the people employed within the W2W industry.

Don't let the Moaning Minnies of this world put you off.

Working Links! Such fond memories, they used to send me young hopefuls for a regeneration project I was involved with some years ago, I ran the carpentry side of the works and was responsible for hiring on site, first question from me to young hopeful "can you read a tape" typical answer "err no", my reply "thanks for turning up, you know the way back don't you?". The requirement that "candidate must be able to read a measuring tape" seemed to constantly baffle Working Links staff. We stopped accepting candidates from them in the end.

Working Links had offices just down the road from another two bob outfit called Instant Muscle, they went belly up about four years ago I believe, no notice given to their staff, they received termination letters one day when they turned up for work, what's worse is none of them got paid either.

Instant Muscles claim to fame was sending out candidates that managed to have a worse standard of literacy AFTER they had completed Instant Muscles literacy/numeracy course.

Osdset
"used to send me young hopefuls for a regeneration project I was involved with some years ago, I ran the carpentry side of the works and was responsible for hiring on site, first question from me to young hopeful "can you read a tape" typical answer "err no", my reply "thanks for turning up, you know the way back don't you?"

Such support, young " hopefuls" and you coud not be bothered to help, hmm what goes around, comes around

Georgel

I clicked on the link, clicked on the postcode, I get-
23 no such avenue
No matter what postcode I use
The contact button does not work

On terec
The testimonials page contains letters etc, some are 12 years old, most are at least 5 years old
It talks about pathways as if it were current
The type of jobs you say are available are those with trump international for the golf development, how is that unique, there can't be a single person in Scotland who does not know about the potential opportunities there, all you seem to do is gather info in the public domain and stick it on a database, providers do that very single day.

It is a cleaning franchise which costs money , I read some poor reviews and I guess it is now closed own as company house shows it as dormant.
I am sure you are well intentioned but you were exposed last year and you are unravelling again.
To suggest you, and only you, know of job opportunities coming up is ludicrous, last year you said you would show everyone how your scheme worked, then you disappeared.
I challenge you to show how your scheme works

You state "If the Government invested .0001% in ***** of the money that has been wasted and abused then they would get that money returned to them 10 fold"
Have you even thought about how stupid that statement is, have you even worked out what .0001% is?

So go on George unveil this miracle solution, perhaps then we will believe in you.
The fact primes will not work with you, no one will invest in you, the government will not support you speaks volumes.
Stop peddling your nonsense and building hope in people.
Lazycow you are embarrassing yourself with your misguided praise without understanding anything and you say you were once a trained lawyer!!

@Voice
"and you coud not be bothered to help"

Not in my remit, I was employed to get the job done not hold anyones hand, being bothered did not come into it, construction is a hard nosed business, that's the way it is.

"what goes around, comes around"
Care to elaborate on that?

Not really, not in my remit! That's the way it is

Hi Odset

I know what you mean about some of these schemes.

One year my usual secretary was off sick for a couple of months. The first temp who arrived was a sweet lass. She said that she had just completed a YTS typing oourse.

Unfortunately, the YTS typing lessons had not included spelling lessons. I dictated "joinery." She typed it "ginary." We got rid of her after a day because she was never going to make a competent secretary, let alone a legal secretary, when her spelling was so poor.

And I think that shows exactly why some providers spend time on spelling, grammar, cv building etc, which loads of people on here have completely rubbished.
The fact some youngsters still do not have the basics shows the need for some grass roots training in the basics to help get on the ladder. You have both cited an example where people could have been given an opportunity had they had some basic training.
Some detractors scream it is a waste of time teaching people the basics, you have proved them wrong, well done and thank you.

"And I think that shows exactly why some providers spend time on spelling, grammar,"
You follow that with
"by grass roots training in the basics tomhelpmget on the ladder"

Absolutely priceless Voice.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I rest my case. Goodnight.

I think you will see it states get on the ladder
Should have went to specsavers

Voice, your super fast typo correction wasn't quite fast enough to beat the screen shot. Copies available on request.

Wow!
@ everybody

Who needs me when the world has you lot?

@Georgei
You seem well intentioned. You have lots of positive ideas and a willingness to share them. For all I know they may all be rubbish or they may not. Even if they are rubbish they cannot be worse than we are sentenced to by the present government and the WP. They are certain to be cheaper! I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt.
@ LC
Too verbose! But lawyers seem to charge by the word so that's understandable. If I had back all the money I've paid to lawyers over the years I would now be rich. Still I don't hold being a lawyer against you. In all the verbosity there is a good heart and a lot of sense.
@osdset
There is a lot of anger here. Trouble is that the anger is understandable and an entirely understandable and justfied reaction to the situation in which you find yourself. You are not alone. I for one am angry too. Keep on being angry but don't let your anger temper your intelligence or allow it to make you appear too shrill. Do not descend to the level of your proponents. Do not give up
@VP
Learn that because you have a job and others don't does not mean that you are more intelligent and/or better informed than they are. The lumpen proletariat are not some inferior species. They have brains. They have intelligence. They can differentiate between BS and well reasoned argument. Above all, they have right on their side.
@Paul.Bibvand
Read comments to VP plus: Your political agenda is showing!
@Me
To quote (or possibly misquote) the late, great Jackie Leven:- "It took me 50 long years just to work out, that because I was angry didn't mean I was right"
But on the other hand;-
It didn't mean I was wrong either.

@ Voice

"And I think that shows exactly why some providers spend time on spelling, grammar, cv building etc, which loads of people on here have completely rubbished.
The fact some youngsters still do not have the basics shows the need for some grass roots training in the basics to help get on the ladder. You have both cited an example where people could have been given an opportunity had they had some basic training.
Some detractors scream it is a waste of time teaching people the basics, you have proved them wrong, well done and thank you."

Glad to be of help to you but you have *missed the point* - completely - about what Osdset and I both said and you have also missed the point about why some of us on here complaining about the poor quality of the delivery of the WP scheme for ourselves.

Take consigna4ed_to_... He's far more literate, knowledgeable, intelligent and capable than you'll ever be. Ditto the rest of us who ganged up on you for your somewhat unlikely claim that you had gone off for a "holiday in the sun."

Just DON'T go there because some of us can spot a daft yarn from a mile away, whereupon we will also take the p*ss.

Be warned. Insult my intelligence and you will do so at your own peril.

The reason why so many people complain about the uselessness of the WP scheme is because it DOES NOT HELP anyone with a brain cell, a decent education, experience and common-sense behind them.

I've met the odd juvenile drongo on the wretched New Deal "course." One girl told us all
that she was 18 and it had been confirmed that she was newly-pregnant. She said that the father was not her boyfriend or anything. The father was only a "good friend" of hers, she said. Loads of people my fellow-inmates congratulated the girl. I crept away from the group because I thought her situation was tragic. There was also a most irritating boy - I suppose he was about 20 but his mental age seemed to be nearer to 3. He looked healthy enough but he behaved like a toddler. I just stayed away from him.

I can guess exactly what you mean about your 23-year old young man the other night. However, Government created the social mess that he's in, not you, and legally it would be risky for you to try to "sort him out" as you see it.

However, that young man will not take the trouble to join a forum like this one and to try to make ourselves HEARD. Which bit of that sentence are you either unable or unwilling to understand, Voice?

I will *talk* with you until the cows come home but I will NOT put up with hysterical, screaming, silly accusations from you instead. You do that and I'll take the p*ss out of you until you stop it.

Therefore which option would you prefer because unless you get real, I will continue to take the p*ss right out of you and your nonsense?

I hear everyone moaning about WP and how they think it is not working and that is fair enough BUT GIVE US SOME IDEAS OF WHAT YOU WANT TO REPLACE IT? Please understand that the Work Programme will ONLY cost 5 Billion if it works and providers get people in to work, as that is ALL they are getting paid to do. This money will come from the money saved by people they got in to work not claiming so really it is not costing ANYTHING that's why the Government like it. If providers do not get people in to work they will get NOTHING.

What you all forget is that most who join the WP have been unemployed for over 12 months. In this 12 month period jobseekers have had the opportunity to look for work their way but eh it has NOT worked, that is why they must try something else or end up staying unemployed. How long would you suggest we leave people doing it their way, 1 year, 2 years, 10 years, is this fair on them or the tax payer.

There has recently been an increase in people who have been out of work for 2 or more years, many I have seen have been out of work for 5, 8 or 10 years. I agree WP is far from perfect but what is it you want. Please do not suggest again voluntary involvement as this never worked in the 90’s – people just don’t turn up, most just stay at home whatching day time tv. Sanctions were brought in to motivate these people to attend and do something for their keep. Training was done during New Deal and FND and this mainly failed too.

I do believe however training with some sort of commitment by the jobseeker may work, but I know lot’s of job seekers out there who were put through expensive SIA and Fork Lift training a few years ago but are still unemployed today the same as they were without the qualifications.

I am sorry to say I really do not know what the answer is - but DO YOU?????????????????

@Greyham

On another thread, I have said that I don't think it would make economic sense to try to change the WP scheme right now. I think it is the wrong scheme for this point in the economic cycle. I don't think that trying to tweak the WP scheme itself, right now, would help.

However, there is a STRONG argument for saying that the WP scheme could be made "less bad" for some of its victims - ie the jobless.

My impression (from other posts of yours that I have read) is that you do, partially, understand what I am saying.

Right now, the only thing that WP providers can do is to raise their own firkin game, acquire some genuine "people-skills" from somewhere and THEN try to figure out how to help your victim-customers.

What is so complicated about understanding that different *people* (not customer-groups) have a huge variety of differing needs?

@consigna4ed_to
"Trouble is that the anger is understandable and an entirely understandable and justfied reaction to the situation in which you find yourself. You are not alone."

I think you have my situation a bit confused, I'm not seeking employment, I was made redundant from my last job four years ago, which I lost no sleep over, I'd been in construction for over 38 years and was glad to be out of it, I was signing on for the first year (self employed so no redundancy payment) had no luck getting a job, was referred on to WP for 13 weeks, then had a brief spell on ESA as my health took a nose dive, by this time I'd had enough of benefits and the system so after thinking long and hard I took the early retirement option on my pension plan.

Despite what some people think, I have no personal axe to grind with regard to w2w because it does not effect me, however I do like to voice an opinion about it.

@osdset
OK I stand corrected!
Your opinion are valid even though you are not currently on the WP.
Consider my anger to be doubled to compensate for the lack of yours!

new
Submitted by osdset on Fri, 25/05/2012 - 10:32pm.
Voice, your super fast typo correction wasn't quite fast enough to beat the screen shot. Copies available on request.

Too much time on your hands by the looks of it, just as well you are not looking for work eh

Good morning Voice
Yep, I do have some time to spare these days, and the Devil makes work for idle hands, especially when theres an opportunity not to be missed.

Unfortunately I can't spare any more time engaging in idle banter as I have a 1pm appointment at The Slug and Lettuce with a sultry blonde called Stella, therefore a late breakfast is called for. So TTFN and have a nice day.

@Lazy Cow – I agree that some advisers need to improve their people skills but then the same thing can be said for some of the jobseekers these advisers are trying to help. It is not in the interests of advisers to rub jobseekers up the wrong way as this does not help Job Seekers move forward and many if not all advisers know this. I have seen advisers who go that extra mile to help, offering lifts to interviews in their own time, some offering at their own personal expense to help them with interview clobber but then S--T on by the same people they are trying to help. I have also witnessed some Job Seekers using very threatening and bullying behaviour towards these nice advisers, sometimes using actual assault to the point that the adviser brakes down. Is it no wonder that advisers have hardened themselves up over the years.

Many good advisers have now left the sector (including me) because of the way they are being treated by people they are trying to help. During my career many jobseekers I talked to after events as I was escorting them out of the building felt it is fun to wind advisers up. Some jobseekers who I have known for many years even told me in confidence why they did it. Was it because the advisers said anything wrong ………..NO! They said that if they acted like this they found that the providers tended not to get them to come in to their centres often and they tended not to send them jobs to apply for. They said providers tended to leave them the maximum time the could and then when they did call them in they were in and out in half the time. A small number actually told me that if you work it right advisers would be too scared to even sanction as they knew if they did I would kick off again

Greyham
You are wasting your time on here. I have witnessed exactly what you state, I still see it, I have had to call the police , jcp have had people banned from both jcp promises and providers premises. Why, just because the advisor asked for proof of job search or the customer had been asked to do something he did not like, that said I never tar all job seekers the same way, some are very genuine, accept the help and are very appreciative of the support given.The reason you never see them on sites like this is they are too busy looking for jobs .
You will never get people on here to admit job seekers can be wrong.

@Voice of WP - Yes I do not lie these things have actually happened - and I commend your observation that if some of the said jobseekers on here diverted a little of that wonderful energy and effort they have shown on this site, often throughout the night on looking for work they may have a better chance of finding a job.

I left the sector in September and looked for work (did not waste timing moaning) - Guess what was back in work by November. Found it hard admittedly to find full time work but managed to secure work with 3 part-time min wage positions (office work - Cleaning work and shelf filler). I now work 7 days a week bringing in less than before but still a liveable wage none the less. At one time I used to be a manager, now I am doing jobs that you could say are well below my skill level but its work all the same and it pays the bills. I admitt it would be easier if I were to sign on and moan about not getting the help to work, but I am 56 and I am proud to say I have NEVER claimed .............and god willing I NEVER WILL.

Hi Lazy Cow,

What are your thoughts on this on how the W2W program should be run.

The W2W program as is.

A new potential client from the Southampton area , young or old, male or female walks into the W2W provider after being threatened by JCP that if they do not attend and register with this organisation that their benefits will be cut.

A cv and covering letter is put together and the job research starts. They look into the local press, JCP employment services and other avenues such as the internet recruitment companies.

There is a company looking for 10 positions to be covered so a letter of application is sent to them.

The Letter.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to apply for one of the positions that you have advertised in the local paper, the Daily Echo. I am presently unemployed since being made redundant 2 years ago and I know that I have some experience that will match the skills required.

Please find enclosed my cv and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Regards

GeorgeL

The company has now received over 300 job applications for them. They invite 30 people to interview, 3 for each position and 70 who were not invited to interview get a letter saying “that their cv will be held on file should anything come up in the future. In other words it is in the bin. Because the cost of postage and paper is increasing the remaining 200 don’t even get a letter.

The client, using the services available to them by the w2w provider continue to apply for jobs because they have been told that they must apply for at least 10 jobs per week as this will be put on the stats to show the DWP that they are applying for jobs.

Time passes and the client has now been told that they must go on a training for work program with the local council (who are trying to reduce their staffing levels to meet the financial overheads of the region) so that they can gain work experience and learn new skills.

As time passes the self-esteem, confidence and motivation decreases and the clients say to themselves “what the hell am I doing here, is there anyone listening to me?”

This process continues for as long as the client is unemployed and registered with the provider because of the threats being enforced on them by the DWP.

What should happen is,

They are introduced to their client advisor who has 2 ears, 2 eyes and 1 mouth. They listen to the needs of the client, get an understanding of where they would like to be and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

The client advisor is a switched on person and has access to a service called ***** to help them identify and understand the economic development of the Southampton area and they know that in the Hampshire area there are 75,100 unemployed with 6,838 vacancies being advertised on the JCP service and that at least 50% of these vacancies are outside the Hampshire area i.e they are all over the UK.

In Southampton these figures are 22,840 registered on benefits with 1,918 vacancies on the JCP service which 75% of them are outside the town.

They are also aware of the job loses within the area such as HSBC laying off 2200 of which 80 are in the town, 550 jobs being lost at British Gas when it closes it’s call centre and to add insult to injury the council are paying off another 300 staff on top of those already placed on the compulsory redundancy list.

Having access to the service of ***** that will hand back “Choices” to the client by identifying what is coming into the local area, showing the skills required to fulfil the incoming employment opportunities and giving a time scale in which to be trained and or educated for them.

They know that there are 6,986 positions being created in the Hampshire area and that 2,130 of them are coming to the town over the next 6 months to 3 years and none have been advertised to the public as yet.

The client and the advisor discuss what is coming and the “Choices” that are being created which suits the client’s needs. A position has been identified “by the client” that they would like to apply for and realise that some training will be needed to upgrade their skills for this position.

A letter of application is written to the company thanking them for expanding into the local area and the positions that they will be creating and that the client has identified a position that they would like to apply for outlining their skills and training that will be needed for them to fulfil that position.

The Letter.

Dear George Kerr,

I would like to congratulate your company for expanding into Southampton and the positions that you will be creating helping those such as I find employment.

I am presently registered with (name of organisation), W2W provider for this area and my Client Adviser has been excellent in helping me identify such companies as you who are expending into the town.

I would like to apply for the position of (name of position) and have identified that you may need me to get some training and qualifications to fulfil that. I know that your premises will not be ready for opening until January 2013 so this will give me the time to acquire all that you need.

My Client Advisor has said that they will source all training that is needed and ensure that all paperwork qualifications will be adhered to, thus saving this cost to your company. They have also said that you have a facility in Basingstoke and that once I have been through all training outlined by yourself that they will cover the costs of my travel to gain work experience with your company and that this can be for 12 weeks at no cost to you.

This will allow you to assess my skills and help adjust any further training needs.

I look forward to meeting with you at interview where I can expand on my cv which has been enclosed and answer any questions that you may have in reference to the afore mentioned Training for Work program.

Sincerely,

George
George Lennox

Would you give this man a job?

He has been for interview, been accepted for the position and is now on the way back into the employment of his “Choice”.

Their self-esteem, confidence and motivation has excelled because they are now doing a Training for Work program knowing they have a job at the end of it and it is the employment of their “Choice” and not in the hope of getting one.

They tell their friends about the services that the W2W providers has given to them which would lead to another registration and employment outcome for the Organisation.

What would be the savings to the Government, DWP and companies following this route to getting the right staff trained to the standards required to fulfil the positions being created?

Expending? Expanding?

Hi Greyham

I'm sure that the bad behaviour towards advisers that you have described so eloquently does go on. I've never seen it myself but, obviously, I'm not there all day every day.

You & Voice can criticise me all you like. Yuo are also welcome to leap to whatever unfounded conclusions you wish to leap to. None of them are based on reality because you know next to nothing about me, you have no idea how I spend most of my time, you have never met me etc. You were (until you read this) also unaware that my mother and my sister both live in Australia. Because of the time-difference and their own commitments, the best time for me to chat with my sister on Skype is a Friday night in the UK because it doesn't matter if I stay in bed till 9am on a Saturday morning. (On weekdays, I usually get up at 6am.) My sister usually spends Saturdays at her home, too, so Frday night in the UK is the best time for us to chat. It is very, very silly to make assumptions about other people's lives when you know nothing about the other people concerned, my friend.

Your original question on this thread was, "If you think the WP scheme is rubbish, what do you think would make it less rubbishy?"

The simple answer (in my own case)is properly skilled, knowledgeable, imaginative advisers. A lack of one scandal after another involving the privately-owned W2W sector would also be an advantage because the continual scandals involving A4E are also tainting me and my own reputation, since I am an A4E customer. (

Anyhow. My own concerns are irrelevant in the context of the current economic climate. If I were one of the Primes, I'd be spending as little as possible on the WP scheme right now. Spending the minimum on the customer-facing advisers does not hire the best & most talented advisers, especially not when the W2W industry has acquired such a terrible reputation for shoddiness and chicanery.

For the rest, I wait to see whether the economy in the UK will improve any time soon or whether this second recession will deepen, worsen and last for longer than the one that begain in 2008 instead. Personally, I don't think it is possible to predict which way the current recession will go. So many of the "external" (ie non British) contributory factors are outside the UK's own control. If I were one of the Primes, this fact would make me feel extremely jittery about the future of my business, ergo I don't think that anything will be done to invest more money in the WP scheme, so as to improve it, for the time being.

You say that you are 56. I'll be 56 later this year so there's nothing between us on age. What does make a HUGE difference to our respective situations is that you have a car. which I don't. Therefore it takes you much less time to get to and between your three jobs than it would take me to do the same thing by public transport. In my experience, people who do not depend on public transport themselves tend to be completely oblivious to this particular issue. (It also wouldn't be realistic for me to borrow some money to buy an old banger because I'm female, I live alone and although I have a driving licence I do not have a clue about cars! I read the other day that the AA or similar say that it now costs about £7,000 a year to own and run a car. Make that £10,000 in my own case because I need top-quality AA cover as well, plus the services of a mechanic if anything goes wrong with the car!)

Before the WP scheme started in June 2011, I had high hopes for it. According to the Government propaganda, the WP scheme would provide me with properly "tailored" assistance, advice and support.

Well - I now know that my hopes about that were hopelessly over-optimistic! I'm getting MUCH better-quality, properly-tailored help, advice and support from GeorgeL on here, in fact. I'm confident that a combination of his ideas and my own will work for me sooner or later but like everything else, it takes TIME to get these ideas organised and off the ground. (For example, the best path for me is the CAB because they are always very well-connected with the local legal profession. I've been in touch with the CAB, who say that their next intake of voluntary, trainee CAB Advisers will be in July and to contact them again then. Getting into the CAB is very competitive but I'm hoping. I can't actually do much more about it until July, though.)

So, you see, for some of us these things are NOT as easy as you might have imagined.

Hi GeorgeL

Thanks for your post this morning.

On another thread, you mentioned the Co-op's Legal Services thing. I saw the press release about that the day before you mentioned it, pricked up my ears and investigated. They are inviting people to "register an interest" at this stage but that is all.

I've decided to keep my own powder dry about that for the moment. An expression of interest from me will be a darned sight more credible if I can mention the CAB. (The CAB hve told me that their next intake of trainee CAB Advisers will be in July and to contact them again in July.)

The Co-op are talking about expanding their range of legal services into coveyancing once they open their "Hubs" in other places besides Bristol, where all their lawyers, paralegals etc are currently based. I'd be a much stronger candidate for their planned Conveyancing service than any of the others since my own experience is almost exclusively Land Law. I'm not a realistic contender for anything at all to do with Litigation because I only did 6 months of Litigation over 30 years ago, whilst I was an Articled Berk, and have never been involved with Litigation post-qualifying.

With the Conveyancing, it would be nice to know how the Co-op plan to organise that - and where! The probabilty is that all their conveyancing staff will work from just one of the Co-op's planned regional "Hubs." That is how the large firms of solicitors are doing it and I expect that the Co-op will follow suit. (The Co-op plan to start a Family Law service fairly soon but all the Family lawyers will be based somewhere in London, the Co-op have said. But again, I wouldn't be a realistic contender for that even if the "Hub" for it were right on my doorstep since I've never had anything to do with Family Law since University, nearly 40 years ago!)

For the minute, my strategy is:-

1. Do my absolute best to get accepted as a trainee CAB Adviser in July;
2. The CAB always know every solicitor in town;
3. Also, the name "CAB" would help me to chat up the Hampshire Law Society - which is just an informal association, membership of which is voluntary but enough local solicitors are members of it.

The most self-destructive thing I could possibly do would be to go off at helf-cock with any of this, though. Solicitors need memories like elephants and a very good memory for names. Go off at half-cock and your name gets remembered, along with the fact that you were an unsuitable candidate last time you got your name in front of LawCo! LawCo does not have time to listen to sob-stories. Etc. That's the way it is.

In the meantime, I've also contacted my friend whose own friend is the lady that I think would be perfect for a remotely-based Legal Receptionist service, maybe with some remotely-based Legal Book-keeping thrown in. I asked for this lady's contact details and I'm waiting for those at the moment. I think that there probably are enough sole practitioner solicitors around who would buy into this idea and Sue (the other lady) and I live in different parts of the country, which is handy, imho! That fact would give us a much bigger catchment area of possible customers. I haven't a clue about the Computer Wizardry involved but Sue knows much more about that side of things than I do, as does our mutual friend. Between them, they also know other people who are Computer Wizards.

Another thing has caught my eye recently, which is that the local CPS want to recruit a paralegal locally. The closing date isn't till 1st June and I'm struggling with their on-line application form process at the moment! You can save each page on their server as you go along but the on-line Civil Service application forms never let one see the whole document in advance of filling it in.

Also, the CPS one seems to do funny things. On 4 occasions, their own Computer Wizardry has seized up on me - I click "save" and nothing happens. The only way out of that seems to be to exit the whole thing and then go back to it later.

These Civil Service application forms are EXTREMELY frustrating and laborious because of the IT end of things. The forms are also incredibly lengthy & long-winded, unnecessarily so, but the IT end of things is the worst part because that is invariably totally user-unfriendly.

So I do the civil service application forms in bite-sized chunks over several days. When I eventualy finish the first draft of the on-line form, I then walk right away for at least 24 hours and go back to it when I feel fresher, am more likely to spot typos, will probably want to change some of the wording etc. I only hit the "submit" button once I feel sure that the document is as good as it is ever likely to get. I'm dreadful for wanting to change the whole thing another day when I'm in a different mood etc but I do tell myself sternly to try to resist making changes just for change's sake!

As you said, "How do you eat an elephant?" !!

Hi again, GeorgeL

To deal with the content of your post this morning, I completely agree with you. Your own idea would create a MUCH better WP scheme than the current one, for sure. Doing it your way would also save a fortune in public money in the long run and it would create a win-win for everyone concerned.

The problem is do you have enough capital to be able to back your idea? Alternatively, do you have the political and business contacts who could help to put the required amount of capiral together?

I suspect that the problems you are up against are (a) money at your own end and (b) deaf recipients at the Govt's end of your idea. Some of the W2W Primes are also commercially deaf - viz our mutual chums Whinge & Grumble!

I can see that the end-pool of potential employees might be found from amongst the customers of the WP scheme. I can also see that Someone has to finance the Training & Upskilling if the end-employer is not going to be asked to do that himself. Is it your belief that you need either the Govt or the Primes to finance the Training & Upskilling part of the idea?

Have you investigated what the Civil Service (including the MoD) are already doing about the Training & Upskilling of the people they plan to chuck out? Or has the idea of the Civil Service offering any Training & Upskilling to any of their staff now been ditched as a result of the present Govt's slash & burn policies with the Civil Service?

I know of one up-coming idea which is only a small one, comparitively. 60 people are going to be needed for a new call centre that I've heard about via spies of my own. The new call centre is going to be located in Hampshire and, as yet, it has not been announced publicly. You gave someone on here your e-mail address the other day, so I'll find that and e-mail you privately about the details. I see no reason to do commercial favours to any of the WP Primes and, personally, I also don't have the patience to tolerate charming individuals such as Whinge & Grumble!

Cheers
LC

Good afternoon all,

Some excellent posts on here.

I work in the sector, but it's high time we had a little bit of honesty and plain talk about whats actually going on and where it all went wrong....in my opinion.

The welfare to work industry used to be,(before my time)a "Money Tree" for providers. The government planted these nice little earners all around the country and the providers just had to give them a quick shake and the golden fruit fell to the floor.

The government of the time needed to be seen to be doing something and handed over the reigns to the private sector. All was well as the unemployed were herded into providers offices and participated in job clubs and the like. It was all about participation rather than results.

The customers who would have got jobs anyway found work and the providers basked in the glory of those results.

Then along came FND and this really flummoxed providers who now had to start performing and got paid by results (along with a provider start payment). Once again those customers who would have found work any way, found work and the rest of the unemployed remained on the merry go round of turning up every two weeks and showing the advisor how many jobs they had applied for (or not)

The big providers (the majority of them, not just A4E) needed to stay in the game and turned a blind eye to the chicanery, as they now had targets to meet and guessed that the DWP would not wise up to the odd bent claim and if they did spot them, the provider would then put the blame onto the member of staff.

Then along came the coalition government and they needed to show the voters that they could reinvent the wheel and came up with the work programme.
They were going to take a very hard line with these unemployed scroungers and were going to give the professional welfare to work industry a " Black Box" approach to helping the unemployed get back into gainful employment.(The providers were scratching there heads trying to work out what they were going to do and what a Black Box approach actually meant!)The one thing that they did realise though, was that the money tree's had been chopped down and that they would now be forced to provide results.
The big providers had two options with the work programme, give it a bash and hope for the best or refuse to get involved and downsize/shut up shop/ move onto something else. The big players chose to give it a bash and this where we are today.

The customers or clients,(as unemployed people are now called) are very much the same as they have always been. There are those at the bottom of the pond who have no intention of getting a job or are unemployable. Those that swim around in the middle and would really benefit from some decent help and advice and those at the top of the pond who are smart and articulate, who are doing all they can to find work and in reality have no need to participate in this programme.

It's that middle group who pose the big problem to the providers. The majority of staff in the industry (if you can call it an industry)have a problem with this group. There is no money to pay for the likes of CSCS cards and real training for customers. The other big problem lies with the calibre of staff who work within this profession. You pay peanuts and you get monkeys!

There really does need to be a massive shake up of the way things are done. We are where we are with regards to the economic downturn and more people are chasing fewer and fewer jobs.(I'm stating the b***ding obvious!)

This government are pretending that they are actually doing something and this makes the average Daily Mail reader feel good.

The head honcho's within the industry all continue to pretend to be bullish and to "brown nose" those who hold the purse strings,(as do most middle managers of the big primes) but are secretly pooing in there collective pants, wondering what to do next.

I came into this industry to try and make a difference and honestly thought that my endeavors would help those that were less fortunate than me. I can hold my head up high and know that I have helped a significant number of people to find sustainable work. But the constant ticking of boxes and mindless form filling has taken it's toll and I am off to pastures new.

All the very best.

There is more individual fraud than has been proven to be with providers, yet people seem to think every provider is on the take.
Here's the deal as it is ok to tar every provider with the fraud brush, we do away with all support for the out of work.
At the same time to even the score we tar every individual with the fraud brush and take away benefits.
Simple solution, no fraUd, no claimants, no providers

Lazycow
You back georges idea
Ok, so taking his example Jobseeker/advisor identifies these jobs way in the future, about 7 months away using George's example but by his own words it could be up to 3 years away.
Training is agreed to help Jobseeker get the skills needed for the job, provider and Jobseeker agree a plan, Jobseeker writes the letter to company saying how excited they are, how they are being trained etc.
No word of an interview or assessment or even any acknowledgement of such.
However, training commences, providers spends money, job seeker stops looking for work as they are excited about this future prospect.
All good so far.
Then the bad news, the company decides not to expand or locate, no jobs are forthcoming.
Result, provider has spent money training someone for a Job that does not exist, Jobseeker has stopped looking at other opportunities may even have missed opportunities.

As time passes the self-esteem, confidence and motivation decreases and the clients say to themselves “what the hell am I doing here, is there anyone listening to me?”

This process continues for as long as the client ioften,played and puts their faith in a half baked scheme that has been peddled for the last 10 years.

The jobs may come through but what if the skills required have changed say in a fast moving industry such as IT or telecoms, job seeker needs more training to compete.
Never mind, crystal ball comes out, aha here is an opportunity coming up in 2 years, let's get you trained my boy, cant miss this opportunity.

Oh yes and George agrees with free work activity, 12 weeks I believe he quoted, seem to remember you do not agree with this lazycow, changed your mind have you?

Incidentally, your crystal ball idea is in use via local planning regs, the jobs being created by these big developments are in the public domain as soon as planning consent is given.
I know of potential opportunities in many areas of the country where the facility/factory is years away from being built. I would not dream of saying to a job seeker to send their energy training for a job that could be years away and may never even see the light of day.
The reason this scheme has never got off the ground is that is not something that would help people, if it is so good why is no one backing it. I believe George said all of the primes he had approached will not work with him because he might "burst their bubble" trust me if you have a scheme which gets 70% of job seekers into work (quoted on your old terec site) do you not think people would be queuing at your door as they would get rich even if they had to pay you.

Hi consigna4ed_to

"@ LC
Too verbose! But lawyers seem to charge by the word so that's understandable. If I had back all the money I've paid to lawyers over the years I would now be rich. Still I don't hold being a lawyer against you. In all the verbosity there is a good heart and a lot of sense."

Lawyers do not get paid by the word, my friend! Lawyers merely get sued by the word by their clients instead!

That is why lawyers tend to be very careful to spell EVERYTHING out, preferably in words of no more than one syllable per word. The theory goes that if the explanation offered is so clear and so simple that a 10 year old child would be able to understand it then, with a bit of luck, so will one's client!

The trick, though, is to think the whole thing out in advance before deciding what words to type or dictate. I do bother with that on some of the other internet forums I belong to but on this one, I don't bother, I must admit. It isn't worth it, I reckon, though I always admire the conciseness of your own contributions to this forum.

Okay, I’ve been reading this for a while and resisted contributing, but here’s my 2p.
Voice, although I agree with your critique of George’s model, there’s a far bigger problem with the approach (known as “Human Capital”). It assumes that the only thing separating the person from the job is a skills gap.

Now in a buoyant labour market, where demand outstrips supply, an employer wants those skills and may be willing to give extra support to the long term unemployed if they need time and help to overcome their wider barriers – lack of self confidence in the workplace; the need to establish a routine that may take them from a sedentary lifestyle to a disciplined attendance regime; support in better managing substance addictions….. of course the list can go on.

In addition to this, there may be language/literacy and numeracy issues; childcare that needs to be arranged and paid for; transport issues; debt that needs managing (from creditors who will go from accepting a penny a month to wanting their pound of pro rata flesh); cashflow issues when moving to monthly pay, again, we can build quite a menu of support needs.

So it’s all well and good teaching someone how to carry out a job, but to suggest that that’s the only thing keeping them unemployed is, at best, frivolous. Unless the new venture is from a brand new industry, chances are that this depressed labour market will see the jobseeker up against a long queue of others – both their peers (thanks to their recommending of the service) and other people who already had those skills, along with a whole lot of experience and none of the barriers listed above.

Suddenly, the picture’s not quite so rosy – especially given George’s own stats that a Southampton jobseeker is one of 12 people applying for that one job (far over-simplistic average, taking no account of how high or low the skillset requirements are).

@Voice

"There is more individual fraud than has been proven to be with providers, yet people seem to think every provider is on the take.
Here's the deal as it is ok to tar every provider with the fraud brush, we do away with all support for the out of work.
At the same time to even the score we tar every individual with the fraud brush and take away benefits.
Simple solution, no fraUd, no claimants, no providers"

Ha ha. Nobody would love that idea more than the Govt would love it, I can promise you that!

However, as you said in one of your other posts, there would be riots in that situation.

Also, without adequate Benefits from the Govt, more of a "shadow economy" would develop very quickly, I reckon. I suspect that this is what has probably been happening in Greece, Italy etc. In that scenario, the ultimate Loser is the taxpayer - the very person whom you say you want to protect.

If you take your own suggested "deal" to its logical conclusion, what you end up with is anarchy. Human nature doesn't like anarchy, therefore humans become susceptible to the charms of quasi-political extremists, of whom Hitler is probably the best-known example..

I can understand why you are cross about all the tarring & feathering of W2W providers. In fairness to A4E, I've said on here that I reckon that their Southampton office is squeaky-clean and devoid of all sin. (I'm one of their customers.)

However, the Govt is unwilling to release any details, therefore the Public (including me) remain suspicious and mistrustful of the entire W2W industry.

If you want to know who caused the suspicion and mistrust you need look no further than Emma Harrison. She's one of yours, so look to your own, I suggest. I'd never even heard of her until earlier this year. I'm not bothered about the fact that Ms Harrison is a failed wannabe celebrity. I'm much more interested in how the hell she came by so much money out of supposedly "helping" some of the neediest people in our society. I'm also interested in who else has been helping themselves in this utterly disreputable fashion and how much public money have they helped themselves to? The W2W industry evidently can't be trusted an inch.

Of course, the people like you then feel hurt & angry - understandably. My advice is "Don't worry about it." I'm not responsible for the fact that Bloggs is a bent solicitor. I'm much more interested in whether or not my own clients trust me. It is up to the Law Society to defend the legal profession as a whole. Something they seem to do very successfully. Then again, everyone also knows that the Law Soc does not sell used cars, I suppose.

*Nudges Lazy Cow out the way to re-steal the spotlight*

So what would I suggest to replace the current model? The simple answer is that we don’t need to – we just need to use the black box, and Primes’ cash reserves, how they were intended to be used.

The following activities are aspirational. Most cost money and the first doesn’t even exist (as far as I know), but the best thing that could happen is for a Prime to say “Okay, let’s give this a go. Pilot in one office/CPA and let’s measure its success”. I firmly believe that, if it’s done well, the Prime would ultimately receive a very healthy margin.
1. Robust initial assessment of job willingness. This would accurately test whether the jobseeker really is a jobseeker (no matter how far they are from being able to enter employment right now), or someone determined to live a life on benefits. Whether it’s through a stringent assessment; putting them into FJF-like employment for a fixed time; or injecting them with truth serum (a joke, but imagine if we introduced that into the criminal court system – we’d save BILLIONS!), my utopian model would start with separating the “I woulds” from the “I wouldn’ts”. Those who don’t want to work would be served notice…. Your benefits end in 6 months.
2. Equally robust assessment of barriers to surviving in the generic workplace. Health, mental health, addictions, financial situation, childcare, ability to communicate/interact, ramifications on housing, etc. I could go on but won’t.
3. Equally equally robust assessment of the potential worker against a broad range of job roles. There are five areas that I would explore here, but excuse me from protecting my intellectual copyright. The key metrics would be against their preferences, compatibilities and potential when compared to specific jobs.
4. As a result of all of the above, a properly individual plan of action would be agreed. This is where that black box comes in! The Work Programme is not intended to be the complete picture – rather it’s a piece of it, and joining the services up with other pieces is what’s key to the programme’s success. The adviser would arrange for relevant support for every barrier identified – firstly through other, existing provision and, where that doesn’t exist, (s)he would turn to the Tier Two providers (yes, they still exist!!!!). The bit about “potential” in my above point would be met through ASB provision (where funded), either at the local college, a local provider or (where the Prime has their own contract) directly. If it wasn’t funded, the Prime would pay.
5. Now that plan will have also mapped out the route to the jobseeker’s job goal – i.e. there’s a straight route to market (can already do job, need to find vacancies); it’s a short-term fix (e.g. small support/skills/certification need); a medium-term approach is needed (it’ll take us time to remove enough barriers &/or upskill them before they can get the job) or a long-term solution (we need to start them lower down the ladder so they can work their way through the ranks, in which case we need to focus on the shorter-term job and use one of the above classifications).
6. The above step is crucial as it dictates the timing and intensity of the job searching. And when that does kick off, sod the direct.gov website, sod the jobs boards. Train the jobseeker to use them, but don’t go there yourself – find some damn vacancies!!!!!
7. Vacancies are, in some ways, the hardest part once you’ve made the truth serum bit legal. Providers need to find jobs that are not widely advertised, reducing the number of applicants. And, as well as the inevitable networking required, a key component of this must be convincing employers why they should recruit from the unemployed. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a depressed labour market – employers are spoilt for choice. In which case providers have to give them something that they don’t get from mainstream applicants. Now that could be something tangible, such as a wage subsidy; supported recruitment functions; free training for their other staff, etc. or it could be along the CSR/philanthropic route. In my experience, there are very few vacancies where you could accurately say NO long term unemployed person could do this, but we have to be honest and admit that employers cream and park too………
8. Finally, this whole “in-work support” function needs professionalising. I reckon that, if I browsed the WP bids on Contract Finder, pretty much every successful bidder said the same. Blah blah blah frequent contact blah blah blah apprenticeships blah blah blah mediation, with a few novelties thrown in too. But maybe the Prime needs to invest in working with unions, employer groups and other relevant bodies to create a bespoke support package that really does make a measurable difference to the new employee. All claim to, but do they really do the business?

Rant over, off for a Pimms.

*Rushes back from Pimms to add…….*

Forgot to mention that the timing of “job search mode – on!” would equally be driven by the removal/management of the jobseekers’ barriers – in some cases a helluva long time.

@joedolce
Excellent summary Joe!
I quibble with nothing you have said.

@Voice

"Oh yes and George agrees with free work activity, 12 weeks I believe he quoted, seem to remember you do not agree with this lazycow, changed your mind have you?"

Your memory is defective, chum. I myself did 6 months of voluntary, part time, free work for a friend. We kept it down to just below 16 hours a week, at no stage did it prevent me from continuing to seek work or being available for an interview at short notice etc. I was re-learning a huge amount of old law and learning some new law at the same time. It was a win-win situation all round.

However, Bosscat at the JCP stopped it, suddenly and without warning. I appealed and my appeal was upheld. However, the appeal process took 4 months, by which time both I and my friend had lost our nerve about the whole idea. Clients of a law firm require CONTINUITY. They cannot get that when the JCP cannot be trusted not to make stupid mistakes.

I am also now told that I wouldn't be allowed to do it anyway under the new Work Programme rules.

Kismet. The loser is the taxpayer. That is not my problem because I didn't make the idiotic new rules.

@Voice

"Lazycow
You back georges idea"

Hole in one, woman. Having been absolutely WRONG about the assertion from you which I have just refuted, you are absolutely RIGHT about the one above.

Who said anything about planning permission, by the way? Except you? The new call centre that I happen to know about doesn't require any planning permissions. The details, however, are also none of your business so I will reveal those to George privately but I will not discuss them on here. End of.

I couldn't give a damn whether you approve of George's idea or not. Nobody in their right mind would involve you in it, not even if you offered to bankroll the whole thing. You seem to me to lack both the talent and the imagination for you to be of any value to George's idea.

Therefore I'm also not interested in your counter-arguments on the subject.

I gave planning permission as just 1 example of where info is in the public domain,

Ps the call centre you refer to is not a secret that only you know about,how come you know about it before George? Hs futures scheme seems to be letting him down, your blind faith in someone who has been so publicly ridiculed is touching

Lazycow, you state
If you want to know who caused the suspicion and mistrust you need look no further than Emma Harrison. She's one of yours, so look to your own, I suggest. I'd never even heard of her until earlier this year. I'm not bothered about the fact that Ms Harrison is a failed wannabe celebrity. I'm much more interested in how the hell she came by so much money out of supposedly "helping" some of the neediest people in our society. I'm also interested in who else has been helping themselves in this utterly disreputable fashion and how much public money have they helped themselves to? The W2W industry evidently can't be trusted an inch.

So do we take the same argument and suggest that because a few jobseekers are caught fiddling their benefit that you're all on the take. We have 1 provider where there is suspected fraud, nothing as been proven yet, wouldn't, like you as my lawyer.
M,lud I think my client is guilty but I will try and get him off.
What about proving the guilt, your argument has been created to fit an argument.
What about the any primes and sub contractors, any of whom are charities, councis etc, do you think they are on the take?

@ Voice

I heard about the call centre that I know about from a friend who is employed by the business concerned. The information is not yet in the public domain. End of.

Solicitors are allowed to decline to accept instructions if they don't like the look of the wannabe client concerned, so please be assured that there are absolutely NO circumstances in which you would ever become a client of mine.

"Fraud" and "systemic" are the wrong words to use with BOTH of the W2W providers who have so far been named by the Press, viz A4E and Working Links.

From what I've seen in the press, the real problem is sloppy, careless, irresponsible and quite possibly incompetent management by the people at the very top of both providers. The public have every justification for wondering just how much else of this has been going on within the W2W industry? The public does NOT have a duty to protect you and your colleagues.

"So do we take the same argument and suggest that because a few jobseekers are caught fiddling their benefit that you're all on the take."
That is exactly what the Government propaganda would like to persuade the Public to believe. Right. So if the Public are being made to feel suspicious of all unemployed people, it is inevitable that the same Public will be equally suspicious of the entire W2W industry and of the Ministers who are trying to protect that industry. Ministers are not makiing any similar effort to protect unemployed people, which fact merely makes the Public even more suspicious of the W2W industry and of Ministers' motives.

"If you said DWP cost per participant was half the old New Deals for a programme that was double the length, you'd not be far wrong.

If they get similar performance it's a raging success."

...or it demonstrates that these programmes achieve nothing and are a waste of money.

"I hear everyone moaning about WP and how they think it is not working and that is fair enough BUT GIVE US SOME IDEAS OF WHAT YOU WANT TO REPLACE IT? Please understand that the Work Programme will ONLY cost 5 Billion if it works and providers get people in to work, as that is ALL they are getting paid to do."

The solution is so incredibly obvious I am surprised you have not thought of it: more jobs; on the other hand, since right now there are nearly 20 MILLION working age adults in this country who do not have a full time job I am given to wonder what all the jobs not being done are? Can anyone tell me of a massive lack of goods and services in the UK at the moment? I doubt it, since we are still, in the great scheme of things, a fabulously wealthy nation.

Anyone who believes that there is a job for everyone is frankly deluding themselves, I would like to see a tightening of maximum hours restriction to force employers to share what work there is around a bit more. Oh and please do not accuse me of using the lump of labour fallacy unless you can at least tell me what the logical fallacy is. It strikes me that we really are living in an age where increases in productivity have genuinely reduced the overall amount of work that needs doing and we need to restructure the labour market to cope instead of continuing to spout the ridiculous mantra that there are plenty of jobs.

"What you all forget is that most who join the WP have been unemployed for over 12 months. In this 12 month period jobseekers have had the opportunity to look for work their way but eh it has NOT worked, that is why they must try something else or end up staying unemployed. How long would you suggest we leave people doing it their way, 1 year, 2 years, 10 years, is this fair on them or the tax payer."

They ARE taxpayers Greyham and this is what we pay our taxes for.

If someone has tried to find work for 12 months and been unsuccessful then it is because nobody has offered them a job, why? Because they could always find someone better. Yet another demonstration that the problem is one of demand for labour, not the supply thereof.

"(The providers were scratching there heads trying to work out what they were going to do and what a Black Box approach actually meant!)"

Haha, very true. During the time I spent working on WP all the 'big new, exciting ideas' amounted to precisely nothing I hadn't seen before.

@Brennan

you are what the W.P needs someone who can give a reality check to the primes and the government we need real change not tinkering the old ways

Brennan
If someone has tried to find work for 12 months and been unsuccessful then it is because nobody has offered them a job, why? Because they could always find someone better. Yet another demonstration that the problem is one of demand for labour, not the supply thereof.

.........................
Hence why The Work Programme exists,to try and make people better at competing for the jobs that are there, you have just dismantled your own argument. Clearly if your own "supply" is not good enough then you either change it or you get the same results, hence why some people find themselves without work after 12 months, they stick to the same unsuccessful method.
I once had a guy who said he had tried every way to get a job in IT in the prior 9 months, when we looked at his "job search" it consisted of sticking his CV on specialist websites and sitting back, he sat back for 9 months and complained there were no jobs, we got him into a training course with a specialist organisation dealing with technical and managerial unemployed, a tailored CV and industry specific job search couple with some new techniques and he was offered a job in 8 weeks.

That does not 'dismantle' my argument in any way. My argument is that people would not need the help we supposedly give them if there were simply more opportunities available.
Or at least that the pool of people needing such help would be significantly smaller.

'Making people better at competing for jobs' is not improving their ability to DO the job. Which should be the most important factor. Actually the fact that this does not seem to be the most important factor tells you a lot about recruitment as an industry.

Lovely anecdote about someone being incompetent. Should I tell you about some of my clients who were doing nothing wrong and I simply told then to carry on and they should get a job, chin up, just bad luck so far etc?

Brennan
"Should I tell you about some of my clients who were doing nothing wrong and I simply told then to carry on and they should get a job, chin up, just bad luck so far etc?"

............

Perhaps they did actually need more help to be better prepared at interviews, job searching, assessment centres, application filling, role play etc after all as you yourself put it " someone else was better" in which case you should have being making sure your clients were even better.

If there are less opportunities the we need to ensure our clients have a better or even just a fair chance of competing, sounds to me like the fault does indeed lie with advisors who have just given up, dish out poor service and take the money. I can see why clients get upset if it looks as if the people paid to help simply do not bother. I have worked in welfare in other recessions and was always succesful, you need to look in more places, more often, you need to be better prepared, work harder and work smarter, why because there are still jobs out there. We see hundreds of people get work every day on The Work Programme, where are these jobs coming from.
The clients need to be better prepad to do the job and I agree 100% with that but they also need to be better prepared to apply for the jobs something you seem to agree with.

"Perhaps they did actually need more help to be better prepared at interviews, job searching, assessment centres, application filling, role play etc after all as you yourself put it " someone else was better" in which case you should have being making sure your clients were even better."

I would not have concluded they were doing everything fine if I had not assessed their CV, letter writing skills and interview techniques now would I? And they tended to GET JOBS. All I had to do was maintain their motivation, not thrust a load of unnecessary training at them to look like I was doing something.

The fact that they had been out of work for so long was just bad luck coupled with a weak labour market, not a problem with the client.

Voice

"we got him into a training course with a specialist organisation dealing with technical and managerial unemployed, a tailored CV and industry specific job search couple with some new techniques and he was offered a job in 8 weeks."

1. Please can you supply a link to the organisation you mention. They sound very useful to me (unless they only specialise in IT staff, that is!)

2. Is it necessary to go & see them in person or can everything be done by phone and e-mail instead?

Thanks
LC

Lazycow
They run person to person courses but not in your area, they cover all "disciplines"
There are a number of organisations who do the same.
It looks as if Tina Ryecroft might be one of them but i am unsure of the geography her business covers, as she is posting on here she might be able to help

@brennan
you say - "I would not have concluded they were doing everything fine if I had not assessed their CV, letter writing skills and interview techniques now would I? And they tended to GET JOBS. All I had to do was maintain their motivation, not thrust a load of unnecessary training at them to look like I was doing something.

The fact that they had been out of work for so long was just bad luck coupled with a weak labour market, not a problem with the client"

.........................
CV, letter writing skills and interview techniques are all good and well, I have found where most fall down is job search techniques though ie they are not uncovering the opprtunities to use the skills lsted.

Bad luck, not sure I agree, if someone else is better is that down to just "bad luck"?

@Brennan - thanks for noticing and yes I am happy to help.
@Lazy Cow - I am based in central london but happy to help (for free of course) over email. Feel free to email me on tina [at] theplusteam [dot] co [dot] uk

The most frustrating fact is that most people, including providers from my experience, have no idea how on-line applications are viwed by employers and until that is addressed then people and click and apply for as many jobs as they like, they will rarely get anywhere.
Here are a few tips for any reading who is frustrated with applying for jobs and either getting rejected or ignored:

1. Make sure your CV is saved and uploaded as a Word 97-2003, no other format will guarantee an employer can open your CV attachment.
2. Don't underline any of the text on your CV, the parsing software 'searches'/'scans' CV's using a series of shapes, underlined words will not come up.
3. Don't put any of your text in 'boxes' it adds another layer to the document and therefore cannot be read by the software.
4. Make sure your CV is 'keword' rich - i.e loaded with searchable keywords including your job titles, industry sector exp etc
5. Don't include generic words like teamplayer, good communicator, motivated etc in your profile, it doesn't mean anything as its what everyone says.
I could go on..................

"Bad luck, not sure I agree, if someone else is better is that down to just "bad luck"?"

If you are one of 40,000 quantity surveyors looking for work and only 20,000 quantity surveying jobs come up that year then you have a 50% chance of being an unemployed quantity surveyor a year later. Unless you can convince someone that you are not over-qualified for shelf-stacking of course.

Not believing that luck is a factor and believing that there is automatically something wrong with all your clients is one of the many things I object to.

"I have found where most fall down is job search techniques"...stop trying to suggest new things that I do not do. I do them all okay? Some of my clients are doing everything right.

@voice of WP - sorry it was you I should thank for noticing my other posts.
@brennan - not sure if your last comment was for me but I didn't mean to offend, just wanted to share my knowledge in a place where it seems many people might benefit from a few extra tips.

@brennan "If you are one of 40,000 quantity surveyors looking for work and only 20,000 quantity surveying jobs come up that year then you have a 50% chance of being an unemployed quantity surveyor a year later. Unless you can convince someone that you are not over-qualified for shelf-stacking of course" Therefore they need to make sure they are one of the 20,000 who get one of the jobs, thats my point, you seem to suggest all of your QS clients are worse than those who get the job are you not? Or Perhaps they need a realistic job goal that is not QS,as if there are no jobs they can apply for (because most other QS are better than them)they will end up unemployed for even longer and probably have less chance of a job. Nothing wrong with shelf stacking or are you now suggesting they cant get a job doing that because they are better/more qualified than everyone else. "Some of my clients are doing everything right" really? if your attitude is pretty much "you are doing everything you can, it's not you, just sit back and hope things get better" then maybe that is part of the reason. Just my opinion based on what you are saying of course and I am sure you will disagree, so if you truly believe that it is just bad luck and there is nothing more they can do then so be it. [moderated]

Thanks Tina
No I think it was my earlier post and I have just responded, it sounds as if you could actually help Brennan as he seems pretty stuck with clients that are unable to move forward. I think your comments earlier are spot on and it is about injecting different strategies in todays changing world. Not sure Brennan will see it that way but he may well benefit from your help. We'll see :-)

@ voice 

Therefore they need to make sure they are one of the 20,000 who get one of the jobs, thats my point, you seem to suggest all of your QS clients are worse than those who get the job are you not?

I don't think that's what's being suggested at all. I'm sure Brennan will speak for himself but I see this as pure arithmetic. Using Brennan's example which will serve as a microcosm for the whole jobs market:- If there are only 20000 QS vacancies and 40,000 applicants then there will be 20,000 unsuccessful applicants. Now, it may be, that you have done what you see as your job and coached, goaded and bullied your customers into being successful and securing all of the 20000 vacancies. There are still 20,000 unemployed QS's. Now all of this would make terrific business and profits for the welfare 2 unemployment industry (whopeee lots of bonuses for advisors, claps on the back, feelings of self-satisfaction etc. etc.) BUT stop and think what it is doing for the wider economy. Well? Has it reduced the number of unemployed Quantitiy Surveyors? NO! Has it re-trained any of those unemployed so that they can make a living in something other than QSing? NO! Has it cost the taxpayer anything? YES a BIG BUNDLE. What have you acheived? All you have done is shuffle the dole queue and plunder the public purse so that sharholders can buy another Derbyshire mansion or two. [Moderated]

See the moderator is back with the usual haphazard blue pencil.

I really can't remember what I wrote that deserved that!

What if the other QS who your clients beat to get the job are not claiming benefits? A huge saving for the public purse that's what. Sure it hasn't created a new job but is your role not to give your clients the best chance of securing work? You really display a shocking attitude towards yor clients, you are failing them but blame everything else. .what about re- training into another role, ooops there are no jobs so just sit back and wait. Their cv's may be perfect but what good does that do them. I have retrained twice in order to ensure I stay current with jobs available. [Moderated]

@Voice

"It is not bizarre to look at a career change to oe where jobs exist and they have a better chance of success......."

Since when has stacking supermarket shelves been a "career?"

The hypothetical Quantity Surveyor is not trained & qualified for anything except Quantity Surveying and he probably doesn't have any work experience in any other field either. If he were offered a *genuine* career change and the training to go with it, he might well be able to enter a different career - He clearly isn't short of abilty. Then again, he doesn't have any other work experience apart from Quantity Surveying.

His best bet is actually to wait & see whether the Govt comes good on its rhetoric that they "intend" to try to revive the economy, which they themselves have wrecked, by kick-starting the construction industry. They've been yapping about that idea for the last two years but so far they haven't actually DONE anything about it.

You would try to push the QS into UNSKILLED work instead, solely so that you can earn some income for your own employers. After all, your organisation would not be willing to pay for any re-training of the QS and re-training him probably wouldn't lead to a good return on capital employed because you would not also be possible for you to offer him any hands-on work experience in his new career.

Your own best bet would be to shut up and leave it to the Govt to get on with the construction industry kick-start they keep promising to do, including leaving Brennan and the QS to look after themselves. Neither of them needs "advice" from you.

Brennan is right about how to look after his client the QS. Wait for the construction industry to revive (which Cameron keeps promising to do but so far he's all mouth & no trousers.) If Cameron ever actually does anything about resuscitating the construction industry then a LOT of people will be very happy, not just Brennan's QS.

One of the modifications that could usefully be made to the WP scheme would be to link the provider's potential earnings to the salaries that their customers are capable of earning. That would stop this idiotic race to the bottom, it would push the providers into hiring some properly professional "careers consultants" for those of your customers who have genuinely professional qualifications and genuinely professional work experience under their belts.

It would also stop the fairy story that shelf-stacking is a "career." That is merely an "occupation" and a very poorly-paid occupation at that.

Is There any such thing as "unskilled labour?" Please think before you answer this question.

@ Lazy Cow

"Since when has stacking supermarket shelves been a "career?""

Hmmm - the old 'what's a career debate, I looked the word up in the dictionary (I often do that with words - I sometimes find it helpful to remind myself of the specific meaning of a word in common use). 'Career' = 'Profession', but it also means 'course of ones life'. So, going from QS to shelf stacking can still be deemed a change in career. A member of my team's partner is a 'replenishment operative' (sounds better than shelf stacker, but that is what he does) at a well known supermarket. He is a nice chap, but not a high achiever. He is good at what he does, has no ambition to greater things and so to him this is very much a life long 'career'.

Of course there is a different debate about being 'under employed', but to my mind 'under employed' is better than 'unemployed'. However, lets think laterally about our QS. There may be no QS jobs available locally (or he didn't secure one that was) and we are not thinking about relocating him. Recently our local college was looking for a 'Liaison Officer' to support their work based apprentices in the building industry. The key skills required are 'Knowledge of the building industry' and 'Excellent interpersonal skills'. Our QS would be well placed to compete for this job - better use of his skills and higher paid than shelf stacking, but perhaps a step down in salary from QSing. He perhaps gets this job and in a few years is supported by the college to train as a lecturer or assessor and hey presto - he has a new career in the education sector.

And my point - it's about identifying an individuals 'transferable skills'. This is where a good W2W advisor comes into their own. It's about understanding what the client has to offer and finding that gap in the market and encouraging the client to go for it.

p.s. The above is a real case, only on this occasion the 'QS' was a plumber who had a back injury and was unable to 'plumb' any more. When he came to us he thought he was on the scrap heap, early 50s, been a plumber all his working life, and thinking he would never work again. He needed to be encouraged to apply for the job as he didn’t pick up on the transferable skills he had to offer. He loves his new career path, has since completed an NVQ level 4 in IAG and gets huge satisfaction from playing a part in supporting the next generation of builders.

Submitted by Tyn on Tue, 29/05/2012 - 10:44am.
Since when has stacking supermarket shelves been a "career?"

Is There any such thing as "unskilled labour?" Please think before you answer this question.

Hi George

"Is There any such thing as "unskilled labour?" Please think before you answer this question."

Yes. The details may be found in SOC 2000.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/classifications/archived-standard...

If you Google SOC 2000, you will find the actual document - it is contained in a series pdf files that do not open with URLs at the top, so you just have to search for each volume, either via the ONS website or via Google. Volume 1 explains the guts of how SOC 2000 works. The occupations classified as "Elementary" in Major Group 8 are the ones that require no prior education or training apart from a basic secondary education (which is compulsory up to the age of 16.) Shelf-stacking is in Major Group 8, you will find.

"Elementary" is used as a euphemism for "Unskilled" within the ordinary meaning of SOC 2000.

Hi Tyn

"Since when has stacking supermarket shelves been a "career?""

The philosophical debate is irrelevant to the question that I asked Voice. The Govt's own answer is set out in SOC 2000, which was amended a little in 2010 but, as far as I can remember, the 2010 amendments involved only refining some of the original classifications in SOC 2000. I think some of the IT classifications were altered/added to but that is because IT has become more complex, more people can now do the easier bits with IT and so on.

Nearly all countries have their own versions of the UK's SOC. The current Aussie & Kiwi version is called ANZSCO:

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Product+Lookup/7437179C7B7C1EEEC...

I don't know what the equivalent documents are called in the USA, Canada, Germany, France etc so I don't know how to find those. (I also wouldn't be able to understand the ones that are not written in English!)

@Lazy Cow

"Since when has stacking supermarket shelves been a "career?"

this is now my new career, if i had known when i left school that in 12 years all my studying and experience in a professional position would just lead me in to a employment cul-de-sac i would have been first at the fast food\supermarkets. the ex-professionals who are finding it hard to renter there prior field of employment who are targeting these "entry level" positions are vastly over qualified but if you don't have a chip on your shoulder are the cream of the applicants and in a little time in the job will show there skills, experience and move up the ladder. me accepting this position is a major blow to my archaeology career but in my opinion not as much as a blow as staying on the dole.

@gis_a_job: "Not as much of a blow as staying on the dole". Well said! If only all benefit claiments thought like you. There are a large number of unemployed people who feel that certain jobs are beneith them. These are often the people who stay unemployed for the longest periods, as they feel they should not have to work unless their perfect job (with high salary, flexible hours, on the doorstep etc.) comes along. I hope you're skills and attributes are quickly recognised by your new employer. Best wishes for the future!

What I am saying is that there is no such thing as unskilled or low skilled labour because what the "educated" may assume as low or unskilled labour can be a very highly skilled job for those with a learning or physical disability and they are a large part of the client group that the w2w providers work with.

@GeorgeL

this economy has shed ??,??? of unskilled jobs and ?,???s more will be lost in the future due to better manufacturing systems and lower cost of labour abroad if you want to fire broadsides at some one target the government due to the cut in funding to remploy 30 of its factory's are to close. the government cutting funding to a organization helping the people you talk about who are already in work and placing them in a very competitive jobs market and to a W.P dealing with more referrals of job-seekers than it expected is not the W.P fault. A link to help.

http://www.remploy.co.uk/

Hi George

"What I am saying is that there is no such thing as unskilled or low skilled labour because what the "educated" may assume as low or unskilled labour can be a very highly skilled job for those with a learning or physical disability and they are a large part of the client group that the w2w providers work with."

I understand your argument that "Elementary" work (as defined in SOC 2000 Major Group 8) might be regarded as challenging, interesting work for some groups of Benefits claimants, particularly if the people concerned are disabled in some way. I have no argument with you about that.

However, if we are going to get involved with the philosophical debate then why do either the WP providers or the Government imagine that it is a good idea to put the disadvantaged at the back of the competition-queue for securing these Elementary jobs?

Let us say that there are two applicants for the shelf-stacker's job but only one job. The two candidates are gis-a-job, the archaeologist, and the other applicant is someone with, say, a degree of Down Syndrome. Both candidates could do the job. In this scenario, the only factor that will favour the candidate with DS will be the supermarket's own Diversity Policy. Which they might or might not have, but if they have they might also think they have already fulfilled it for 2012.

According to the CRPD, which the UK has signed and ratified, nothing should be done that might disadvantage the applicant with DS:

http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

Wiki's summary of the relevant section of the CRPD is below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_Persons_with_Di...

The Government, of all people, have absolutely NO business to encourage anything that might disadvantage the chances of the person with the disability, in my view. In reality, though, IDS is trying to push his own responsibility for this down to the Primes and the Primes are trying to push their own responsibility for it down to the employers, are he & they not?

LC - ‘the only factor that will favour the candidate with DS will be the supermarket's own Diversity Policy. Which they might or might not have, but if they have they might also think they have already fulfilled it for 2012.’

Although I agree with some of what you have said (you really are posting some good stuff) everything now days is covered by the Equality Act 2010 and employers cannot discriminate between 2 applicants just because one has a disability.

Employers can however make applying easier for people with disabilities by using ‘Positive Action’ but positive action initiatives are only legal up to the point of application, once the selection commences then the appointee must be on the basis of merit and their ability to do the job.

Employers do not HAVE to use Positive Action but it is the employer that has full control and not providers or DWP – My point is you can not say ALL elementary work should be for people with disabilities only as that discriminates against people like gis-a-job unless the employer themselves marks the job for disabled only, providers or DWP have no say in the matter. On the other hand I do agree that providers and DWP should not be putting the disadvantaged at the back of the competition-queue for securing these Elementary jobs, as just because they may have a disability does not mean they can not do the job and may be even better at it than people like 'gis-a-job'

Not sure why have so many posts have been moderated, I certainly do not remember anything being threatening or abusive, all in all a lively useful debate with differing opinions. Some of the posts seem meaningless now.
A bit to eager with the moderator pencil I think

@VP

Neither of them needs "advice" from you.

And I'm certain that neither of them needs advice from you either.

I'm even more certain that they're going to get it anyway (probably with "mandatory" attached).

@Consigna4e_to

I never wrote that, it was lazycow, I copied it to my post to respond !!
Best if you were able to keep up with who has written what to save needless posts

How can a person be de-skilled, VP?

So you say the government is doing nothing in such cases bu then state that people should just wait for things to get better,mhow long s an acceptable wait ? All the while the person becomes less motivated and deskilled, 1 year, 2 years ?
I am happy to offer advice where I think it is valid.

Look forward to the advice that you can give on this one.

Err by losing the skill,they originally had eg they have been out of work fo so long and have not kept pace with change or have forgotten certain elements of the role or did not keep up professional certification or did not put in the required number of hours to retain their licence, there are more but I think you get the point

Do you need paper to prove you have Experience or is that what you call de-skilled.
What is the dictionary definition of experience?

It's where the experience is lost that deskills you, and yes the piece of paper that shows you have attained a certain level of proficiency is often the required proof. Are you asking these questions because you really do not know or is your attempt at sarcasm or humour lost on me?

Also why are suddenly naming me "vp" ? Not sure where it came from or how it relates to me or are these questions for someone else?

@Voice of WP

"So you say the government is doing nothing in such cases bu then state that people should just wait for things to get better,"

I don't think that "everyone" should wait for things to get better because that won't be be necessary in every case. The example I was discussing was Brennan's Quantity Surveyor. The only reason he's out of a job as a QS is because the construction industry has collapsed. Cameron keeps promising that he's going to kick-start the construction industry in order to create more jobs and get the economy growing again.

Kick-starting the economy via kick-starting construction would be by far the best wa
y to do a kick-start as long as the right sectors of construction are kick-started. It is no use waiting for the Hi-speed train project, Boris Island or a third runway. All of those would take too long to come to fruition. This Govt only has 3 years left before they have to call another General Election.

The way to do it is to kick-start house building. That particular sector of construction moves very quickly after a kick-start. Doing this instead of just talking about it would provide loads of jobs for Quantity Surveyors, brickies, plasterers etc as long as they all have CSCS cards once the home-building begins.

At the minute, I also think this is one area where the Govt might come good on its rhetoric. The major developers have the money. They are merely insisting that the Govt must provide 10% of the equity, to give the idea a BBB+ rating instead of the BBB- that is holding the developers back. I think the Govt will cave in on this one fairly quickly.

The Govt has also authorised a new schools construction project, to be funded by the Govt. Again, that idea can be made to move quickly and it will provide jobs for Quantity Surveyors, Brickies etc. The schools project is not big enough on its own to get the economy moving again but schools + houses would be a very encouraging start.

This Govt will lose the next Election unless they stop dithering and start acting very promptly. I'm sure Cameron's advisors have been drumming that idea into his head so he's be a fool not to listen to what the entire business community has been telling him about this.

Also, Philip Hammond is a property developer. That is how he's made his millions. He is also a full member of the Cabinet and he is influential with Cameron. We can rely on Hammond to get behind the house developers and get this industry moving again, I reckon.

"how long s an acceptable wait ? All the while the person becomes less motivated and deskilled, 1 year, 2 years ?"
People in the construction industry do not become "de-skilled." It simply doesn't happen with that particular industry. Also, the workers will become motivated again without any trouble as soon as they get the chance, once again, to use the skills and the work experience that they already have in their own fields.

@Brennan -etc. - Nice one.

Wallace & Grommet
You're just messing about now aren't you. On the 40K QSs problem. Even you can see that even if we spent/wasted £20bn and gave them all excellent CVs on solid gold plaques(got to impress), there's Still 20K of them left over, what a waste of time and money(wealth). Where's all that time,effort,money,wealth vanished to? We the country can't afford it atm for various reasons. It's...

- G - A - M - E - O - V - E - R -
Press F2 to restart in VWP(c) mode.

Simple solution.

Sign up with our new efficient VWP (as a customer of course). It's completely voluntary, you can even stay on benefits if you want for now.

You even get to choose your new adviser, either Me, Brennan, Consigned, and even some EX-cellent advisors from old version, we even have 3 new ones being trained up, LC, George, and PB.
BTW. You might be able to see how we 'instinctively know' which are the very best advisors from the old one - look closely.

We shouldn't really be giving away Commercially Sensitive Information of course, but as now we're the only game in town, I don't suppose it matters. - See we really do think differently.

To demonstrate how our advisors work so much more efficiently, we'll solve the 40k QSs problem this way.

We throw away all their CVs. - not needed, yes really!

We toss a coin for each QS, anyone can have a go, Heads = QS job, Tails = Back luck this time, - all very quick and almost cost free.

This gives us 20K QSs winners, and 20K QSs losers, - exactly same as before, - BUT we've already also saved £1bn at the very least,(a good gain) just in time and messing about with CVs.

How do we know the coin chose the correct QSs?
Very good question, - but don't forget we think differently - much more efficiently.

Within a week or two it will become obvious which are the good ones and which are the bad ones, this is whole idea, we want the very best QSs, the bad will be replaced with ones from the losing group, - who can simply demonstate that they're good at QS, that's the inportant bit QSing - remember no CVs now of course.

How does this possibly work without using CVs?
Well it quickly gives us 20K excellent and productive(= more wealth) QSs - this is exactly what we wanted/needed.

The old way slowly gave us 20K QSs who had an excellent CV, spelling, interview techniques, excellent employment advisor, etc.
But whether or not they were very good at QS didn't come into it!
What's more it's cost us 5bn to do it!

Now do you see why we are rapidly becoming so un-productive and poorer as a country.

We need the right people in the right jobs = maximum productivity=greater wealth.

That's the way we have to start to think folks, now.

Next episode: Job Creation.

4Hrs sleepy. Then I'll check if this post is still here!

"Not sure why have so many posts have been moderated, I certainly do not remember anything being threatening or abusive,"

Try libelous, that might jog your memory. This is one occasion I agree with an eager use of the moderators pencil, it nips all sorts of unpleasantness in the bud.

@Grappling
I'm up early and your post's still there in all its glory.

Well said! I completely understand your reasoning.

Where's all that time,effort,money,wealth vanished to?

The answer (as I suspect you know) is into the pockets and purses of friends of CallMeDave.

I hear (Radio 4) that the government is suffering an epidemic of U Turns.

Am feeling ridiculously optimistic (it's very early) that this may extend to the WP.

I suspect that this trend will be restricted to such important and urgent issues like the pasty tax though.

Oh dear, oh dear
Is this what the site has been reduced to.
You just do not get it.
Simply allowing the fictuous 20k QS people to languish on the dole is not the answer.
I have admitted it does not create jobs but you all seem to think it is acceptable to sit back and do nothing, it suggests you think customers are all rubbish and everyone else is better, hence do not try.
You are assuming a provider can influence which person the employer takes on, the employer takes the best person for the job, otherwise you are simply rubbishing employers, your nonsense about tossing coins is absurd as it suggests this is how employers chose people.
It is quite simple, ensure your customers have the best cv' s, well presented, motivated etc. you are giving them the best chance to get a job that's all.
If any of my advisors gave up the way some on here seem to have they would soon be looking for a new job.
It really is quite sad to see people look for so many reasons not to even apply for work.
Anyway it is your life you are wasting, perhaps we should let you live in your fantasy world and pretend everything is ok.
It really does not matter what is posted on here, some do not want to accept there are jobs out there if you put the effort in.

@Grappling
That's the best constructed argument against the current w2w structure I've read on here, or anywhere for that matter
.

The importance that is now placed on CV's is almost obsessive, they have their place I won't deny that, but for example if I was an employer that needed someone to fill a job that consisted of holding a piece of string all day, I would not want to trawl through a dozen CV's from candidates who apart from waxing lyrical about their dexterity skills, also tell me that they like to play football at weekends.

The tried and trusted method of sorting out the wheat from the chaff with regard to trades on building sites used to be.
1) A quick chat about some job specific subject when he turns up, this will tell you 50% of what you need to know in advance
2) Look at the blokes toolkit before he starts work, that will make up the other 50% of what you need to know in advance
3) If he has not been fired by lunchtime he is competent at the job, we don't need to know anything else.

Simple and effective. The whole process now seems to be so complicated It's actually getting in the way, employers are to blame as well, nearly all of them have jumped onto the CV/references bandwagon, they are not so much asking themselves whether these are an essential part of the recruitment process but more like ' well everyone else is making it a requirement so why don't we?”

No cv and no referencing, it gets in the way, now we are talking sense, at last we are getting decent advice.
Employers should just wander down to the job centre, grab some people, look at their tools and give them a job, a new job of course, not one that someone else used to do.
Grapplings post is so inspired, we should get it printed up and use it as the " providers charter" I am now so excited about the future with all the great ideas, keep it up, it is really inspiring.
At last I can see where I have been going wrong all these years.

@osdset & @Grappling

Great plan, this makes everything so much more straightforward for employers, no need for a W2W industry, why ever has nobody thought of this before? Ahhh the ‘elephant in the room’, indeed one of many. The old ‘Equality’ laws; these days employers tread through a minefield every time they go through a recruitment process. They must protect themselves against claims of nepotism, racism and every other ‘ism’ you can think of. So a subjective and somewhat random process will simply not work. And do you really think the Unions would stand for a random ‘get them in, see if their face fits and if not ditch them’ way of doing business? It costs employers a lot of time and money to go through a recruitment process, it is not in their interest to get it wrong. And back to the old QS, why should they hire one of the 40 out of work QS (without perhaps a huge financial incentive) when the chap working for the competition is more ‘up to date’, so he is given the job. This then creates what is known in the business as ‘churn’ in the labour market.

However, takes deep breath, I do agree that there is am over emphasis on the ‘CV’ as the ‘be all and end all’. Programmes of old made supporting the client with a CV a fundamental requirement of contract compliance, but these days the CV is used less and less, perhaps with the exception of the highest level jobs. For the most part now it’s an application form, either paper based or on line. The main thing we do with our participants (you have ‘participants’ in ESF programmes because of their voluntary nature) is to compile a CV to use as a template that can be transferred to an application form.

Employers did in fact visit job centres or The Labour Exchanges as they were called then to hold interviews, and people did get jobs there and then, and I don't see any reason why they can't do it now.

@osdset

"Employers did in fact visit job centres or The Labour Exchanges as they were called then to hold interviews, and people did get jobs there and then"

The clue is in the name 'Labour Exchange', they did a very different job back then and the 'welfare' system was far less generous.

Tyn - sensible words at last, well done

I agree finding work in the old days was far easier, all you did was find what pub the graffer went to after work, buy him a beer and he would say....... start tomorrow.

The problem is in those days if you were no good or the employer did not like you then you got your cards and was ordered to leave before lunch time.

Employer at present do not have the freedom to sack people like this anymore so now have to be very careful how they recruit. This is why many of them spent lots to invest in a robust and effective recruitment process that maximises on selecting the right people for the right job. Its not always perfect but employers look at it as the safest way to recruit especially since the introduction of Equality and Human Rights that many of you on here harp on about.

In the days of The Labour Exchanges all the jobseekers who attended wanted to work and really did not mind what type of work it was as the 'welfare' system was far less generous in those days and working was the only way of making a living. Today some on benefits do not want to work at all or are waiting for that GREAT JOB to appear, or waiting until things pick up. Not all jobseekers will do any job and some are too selective about the jobs they will do, considering they have not had work for years. Another reason why many employers will not go to job Centres is some of them have had their time wasted and been insulted by the attitude of some jobseekers sent to them under direction by JCP.

I do however agree that we have gone a little over the top on CV’s but having said that I believe everyone should have one. The trick as stated by ‘Tyn’ is to compile a CV so it can be used as a template for a hard copy application form or so it can be cut and paste in to an on- line application.

More and more employers are now not asking for CV’s but insisting you put everything on their application, some large employers are even using software to search out key words on the on-line apllication forms to help with their shortlisting process.

Hi Tyn & Greyham

I think you are both correct about a "CV" that will never actually be sent to a third party but is just a "private store" of stuff to copy & paste into an on-line application form.

I'm not convinced about employers on building sites going through endless hire & fire rigmaroles. What is actually happening in this sector is that the Brickies etc are all self-employed. They have their own CSCS cards by the time they go anywhere near the building site & they can be hired & fired at will because they are not "employees."

"Self employment" can also be used as a device to wriggle round having to pay the National Minimum Wage, the employer's NIC and it saves the hassle of having to be an unpaid tax collector for the Govt via PAYE. In the industries where this "self-employment" notion is the norm, everyone seems to accept that there is no employment protection, the turnover of workers is likely to be very high etc.

The same thing is happening in some sections of the used car industry (and probably many others that I know nothing about!)

To some extent, of course this is a "shadow economy" but all the same, it is what is happening. It is impossible to police it to any meaningful extent because of the sheer costs of trying to do so etc.

I watched the recent PAC Hearing on IPlayer last night and I understand that the transcript of it has now been published as well. Devereux of the DWP said that the WP Provider will not get paid by him until:-

1. Devereux has done an automatic computer check to make sure the claimant has been off Benefits for at least 6 months; and

2. He has also checked a "sample" of the WP provider's claims for payment with HMRC. That sounded like it is going to be a very small "sample."

3. However, Robert Devereux says that unless one of his "samples" passes BOTH limbs of his test then he will have the power to refuse to pay out for ALL of the claims in that particular batch.

So our bod who is about to enter the shadow economy can actually stuff up the Prime's claim for himself and 99 others, according to Devereux, assuming that the Prime tries to claim payment for a batch of 100 customers.... People working in the shadow economy are not in the habit of discussing anything with HMRC, after all.....!

If what Devereux said is accurate, neither he or the Primes seem to have come up with any viable ways of protecting themselves from it. Devereux told the PAC that his own only interest is in (a) a reduction in the Benefits bill; and (b) avoiding paying any unsatisfactory claims from the Primes.

It sounds as if Devereux's efforts to protect himself from (b) will be feeble in the extreme, frankly. However, he'll be forced to sharpen up his ideas about (b) when everyone else jumps on his neck!

I suspect that, in the end, the DWP might well become so self-protective that the Primes will have a job to get paid.

Voice,day off today? or are farting around at work posting on this site?

Day off my friend, not that it is any of you business,
Assuming you are just farting around full time ?

consigna4ed_to_... on Wed, 30/05/2012 - 5:49am.

"The answer (as I suspect you know) is into the pockets and purses of friends of CallMeDave.
"
Yes. but that's only a small amount, and it's still wthin the country/economy somewhere. Most of it just vanishes completely. Someone brave has to stand up and say let's all take a big backward step and stop recasting these gold plaques - and just use good old fashioned paper instead. It's like an arms race - against yourself.
"
You can't do a U-turn in a runaway train, there's gonna be gravy everywhere!

Submitted by Voice of WP on Wed, 30/05/2012 - 6:47am.

>Oh dear, oh dear
>Is this what the site has been reduced to.
>You just do not get it.

Get what?
This seems to be the thread to throw silly and radical ideas about, hopefully one or more will turn out to be useful, even if it's accidental, it's called thinking outside the box.

>Simply allowing the fictuous 20k QS people to languish on the dole is not the answer.

Well I never said that, but I agree. In this fictional 1 industry economy what 'exactly' would you do with them? Increase it to 100 industries if you like.

>I have admitted it does not create jobs but you all seem to think it is acceptable to >sit back and do nothing it suggests you think customers are all rubbish and everyone >else is better, hence do not try.

You're making assumptions just for a change.

But anyway you tell us how to make some spare jobs,
If it's any help to you JCPs 450,000 vacancies are just the churn, if you really think there's jobs out there, why don't you simply fill them with close-matching customers.

> You are assuming a provider can influence which person the employer takes on,

What is the purpose of them and all their efforts then?

>the employer takes the best person for the job,

No they don't, they take an interest in applicants with the best cv's, whether they're the best for the job is quite different.

>otherwise you are simply rubbishing employers, your nonsense about tossing coins is >absurd as it suggests this is how employers chose people.

You don't think that most businesses are started by 'chance'.

>It is quite simple, ensure your customers have the best cv' s, well presented, >motivated etc. you are giving them the best chance to get a job that's all.

I actually agree with this!

>If any of my advisors gave up the way some on here seem to have they would soon be >looking for a new job.

>It really is quite sad to see people look for so many reasons not to even apply for >work.

I really don't know where this keeps coming from, apart from your imagination and chris greyling's comment a few weeks ago, where he urged ppl to stop applying for jobs that they're not qualified for.

I assume if anyone wants a job, then they know how easy it is to sign up to online sites, upload cv, and just click click away. Not a very high quality method but I'd be surprised if they couldn't manage over 1000 applications a day that way.

>Anyway it is your life you are wasting, perhaps we should let you live in your fantasy >world and pretend everything is ok.
>It really does not matter what is posted on here, some do not want to accept there are >jobs out there if you put the effort in.

I agree there's jobs out there, there's at least 10,000 new ones created each day.
You must have really excellent job start figures, or arn't you putting enough effort in?

Hi Lazy Cow,

Have sent some info for you and hope that helps you get what you want, good luck.

@ Grappling

You can't do a U-turn in a runaway train, there's gonna be gravy everywhere!

My previous post (now strangely "disappeared" by the moderator) included the comment:
"I wish I'd said that - and with your permission I probably will."

Thanks Grappling.
It wasn't important. Just an example of some rather erratic moderation!

A little off the subject but I would like some advice,when first assigned to the WP it was on the opposite week from JSA somebody at the WP had a brilliant idea (I really mean this) and aligned both appointments for the same day one at 9:15 am and JSA at 10:30 am saving the WP the cost of travel..In my opinion very smart,then the JCP went on strike and the time changed to 14:15 because of the bus schedule (School run) next available bus is at 17:45 unless I pay for a different ticket on another bus.Both the WP and JCP agree that this a long day and feel that the other should change their time but neither will budge or pay for the extra ticket.At the WP I asked ,as I will have a four hour wait could I help mentor in the computer room but,and I sort of agree that this might be considered a conflict of interest so sadly no.Any Ideas?

In my opinion the provider should change the time to one more suitable to you, if that means changing the time to fit in with your signing date and time then this seems the most sensible solution. If they cannot/will not, ask for their reason in writing, they should accommodate you and be reasonable. If they have a valid reason (staff issues) and cannot marry both appointments then you absolutely should be re-imbursed your cost of travel for the WP appointment.
I have used customers in the past to help out on job search or IT as long as they were happy to do it and it increased their chance of work by giving them confidence or up to date experience. eg I have had a customer who is very good at online form filling and uploading CV's to assist other groups as often peer to peer mentoring gets good results.
Sounds to me as if they are just being sticky.
I would also raise the appointment issue with your JCP advisor as they might be able to work something better out (perhaps not at the same time as the WP appointment but perhaps lessening the wait between them)
Hope this helps and good luck

The job centre pay your travel expenses for signing on??
In my experience signing on travel is not reimbursed (it's supposed to be covered by your JSA!) but the WP provider is obliged to reimburse travel to any mandatory attendance at their premises. Thus I don't see how your old arrangement was "saving the WP the cost of travel".

No I am responsible for travel to the JCP, this is the reason that the WP arranged them to be on the same day as the WP is about a mile away from the JCP. The problem is the time between them,from the time I leave home till I arrive back is close to 10 Hrs,tried working from the Library and they are very accommodating but their staff have been cut back while usage is up.As an observation there seems very little cohesion between JCP/WP each has their own agenda but very little common ground.