Why has this Forum died?

Very quiet.....I think that says it all! Posts that talk about the serious shortfalls in the W2W are deleted,replies are not posted, which once again proves the point that not all is well within the Industry!

Complicity - fairly or not, CESI (who bought this website from Dan Johnston, the creator) are seen to be very much a part of the establishment. W2W conference after conference allow non apologetic Employment Minister after Employment Minister, Policy Wonk etc trot out more and more punitive unemployment programmes without any criticism or testing of principals, even though clearly most who deliver have reservations they would share here in the past.

Most of us in this industry approach this profession with the agenda for investment in human resource development, strategies for employment creation and improved working conditions, encouraging geographical mobility, forecasting of future occupational requirements, helping marginal groups into employment and ensuring income security during unemployment etc.

Indus Delta used to be the independent place for professionals to explore these themes; if you look at CESI research papers, they are excellent and often highly critical of the ethics and performance expectations of the ERSS Framework provision. Indus Delta, however, is now seen to be the place where you offer opinion at the risk of jeopardising your performance related job - dare you say the Work Programme is ethically flawed? Dare you put your name to a post that suggest that sanctions (read Matt Oakley report) dont really work for example, even if the evidence is overwhelming?

Primes are all roughly underperforming to the same level and there are more of them than contracts to win, subs are all still fighting to survive, charities are almost all under-resourced and the hardest to help are being marginalised further and further every day. Admit that here and expect someone in the supply chain to raise questions....

I had during the WP some excellent advisers,well motivated and similar to some Teachers and Professors I have encountered,they were willing to go above and beyond what the job required of them.
They did not last long,every request they made (Black Box) was denied due to lack of funds,just as I wearied of going pillar to post..so did they! I still have the e-mail from the director of the programme "Their is no Training full stop,you need to get a job,we need to get paid" I try not to blame the front line staff, just the Spiv's raking in the money and not delivering the contract.

Hi @sh1tbrick

What you should realise is that the evidence that shows that training helps long-term unemployed people get jobs is very, very shaky.

There's a lot of high quality economic research on this, and it basically says that in the short term, up to a year or two, training works worse than getting people to apply for lots of jobs. Beyond that, they come back to evens, but the 'apply for lots of jobs' remains more cost-effective at getting people into jobs that last.

Therefore, it's not surprising that WP contractors would take that view. Some (a lot) have put money into CSC cards and forklift certificates without seeing their money back from job outcome and sustainment payments.

In England, where contractors can refer people to Skills Funding Agency programmes, these may be used for referrals and sometimes for parking. Wales and Scotland are different for Government skills funding, though the results don't show a systematic difference.

@warjacqui. Inclusion(CESI) do have Ministers at conferences - people want to hear what is planned and their view on what works, whether or not they are members of the reality-based community.

Equally, we always have the opposition spokesperson so people know what would happen if there is a change of government.

Whether or not people place themselves in some jeopardy by publishing comments here is between them and their employer. We do refuse to publish things that could be libellous to individuals or contractors (or indeed DWP) for obvious reasons.

@Paul,very well to a point I agree,but saying that? Expand your line of thinking to all services provided by the WP/W2W Providers,where does the Black box delivery method come in? Where is the revolutionary way of helping the unemployed back to work?

Agreed Paul, it's a shame the opposition you have speaking were the ones who introduced the policies in the first place and much like the rest of opposition policies, have nothing worth saying you can't read outside conference. As a delivery person, who witnesses the fundamental flaws of pbr and ethically corrupt aspects of the opposition spawned w2w programmes, you come away with a distinct feeling of hopelessness as nobody at the conference talks outside of the vested interest of the politicians and delivery agencies. I've been to every single w2w conf until the last 2 as I can't afford to anymore. The prices inhibit anyone outside the delivery frameworks from attending, thus its a back patting exercise of politicians and those who make money from programmes. The best thing I have seen at conference was the demonstrators two years ago, who I sat with and defended w2w delivery. They actually were prepared to talk about the elephants in the room.

Paul,Training does not help the unemployed...What does? What has the W2W provided that has proven to help? Nothing? The "Industry" has provided no solutions other than make a living off the unemployed,unless you have a proof positive response,which I doubt you will be in the "IDS" (Iain Duncan Smith) crowd who "Believes" that UC "Will be rolled out,on time and on budget" Will this be published? Similar to the W2W? Not a Bloody Chance!

I stand corrected(on the publishing part)

Hi @Sh1tbrick As I said further up - the 'apply for lots of jobs' stuff seems to work.

As I see it, that roughly equates to the idea that employers may be quite random in the way they appoint. Therefore having applications in may succeed (by chance). If you don't have applications in, you don't have a chance.

However, people who've not got a job after thousand(s) of applications don't feel that applying for the next one is worth much effort.

So doing something to ensure they do apply for jobs may enhance results. The mix of carrots and sticks in that process has got very woody of late. Whether the balance is counterproductive time will tell.

The training doesn't work comment is probably something of a catch-all. I've seen a training company that delivered quality vocational qualifications in a live environment that people strolled into work from and another that made a fortune out of short entry level employability qualifications whose customers didn't go back to work. One of those companies has a massive adult skills budget, one has just gone under for want of funding. Guess which went under?

@Bob Cratchett. Not at all surprised. Delivering qualifications that specific employers need always gets turned into churning out qualifications that some employers have been persuaded to sign up to. When something works people try to scale it up and then find that the needs were just for the sorts of numbers that were originally delivered.

Delivering effective training that employers actually value is quite hard when you're doing it speculatively before peple have got jobs. It does seem to work much better the other way round, which is where apprenticeships may score, if the training is close to need rather than just what the latest government idea is. Note apprenticeships include here adult provision like train to gain (the previous name).

After living overseas most of my adult life,I actually started my own business back in the UK,after 11 years it broke me financially. Most positions that I have applied for are entry level,but at 51 the competition is tough,with plenty of experience but no current qualifications/certifications I looked forward to the WP,but it soon became apparent that their was no real plan,the Black Box method was bandied about,but trying to find advice on education or training through either the WP or JCP was a quest.

@Paul,I agree that putting in as many applications as possible should increase chances of employment and the WP Provider stressed that point,but is it really worth £5 Billion? Is this really the most the WP Providers can offer?

The availability of training does differ between areas - the Welsh and Scottish Governments decided that they wouldn't follow the English example and make education funds available for people on the Work Programme - while the budget model was based on the English system where referrals to publicly funded courses can be made. Different providers make different uses of the available provision.

Otherwise, the total indicative budget for the Work Programme is spread over up to 9 years (5 years referrals plus 2 years service period plus up to 2 years in-work payments). Equally, some of the Work Programme replaced things done by Jobcentre Plus and other providers, so the total money may not be additional. The government spending per participant is likely to come in far lower than previous programmes, which is one reason why expensive training is hard to come by.