In my first post in this blog (http://skintandangry.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/work-programme-what-do-you-do/) I asked the question: Work Programme what do you do? I’m still asking that question and I still don’t know the answer. Since June 2011 1.2 million people have been referred to the Work Programme but in only 13% of cases has there been a “job outcome” payment which is usually paid to the Work Programme provider when their client has been in work continually for 6 months. Although the Work Programme’s results have improved in the second year (much of that 13% referred to above) it still isn’t hitting its targets. But even if it did hit its targets we have to ask what the Work Programme provider’s actually do to justify being paid. I’ve never had much help from them and I don’t think my experience is uncommon. I asked Lisa, another Work Programme client, from Clackmannanshire about her experience of the service the Government’s ‘flagship’ programme is providing.
Sean. How long have you been unemployed?
Lisa. Seven years.
Sean. What benefit are you on?
Lisa. I’m on JSA.
Sean. How long have you been on the Work Programme?
Lisa. I’ve been there since June this year.
Sean. Who is your Work Programme provider?
Lisa. Triage Central/Ingeus.
Sean. Have they provided you with any help and if so, what?
Lisa. They mentioned a confidence course that I’ve heard no more about.
Sean. Mentioning courses or different kinds of help that are supposed to be available and then not following through seems to be typical of the Work Programme. Have you been left to look for work on your own?
Lisa. I was handed a sheet of paper with an agency job printed on it, and was told to try Office Angels agency but my Jobcentre adviser agreed that agency work is no good. I was told to attend a CV workshop which I turned up to, and there was no workshop…I was told to print my CV out and do a quick job search…I could have done this at home easily.
Sean. In my experience almost everything you have to do with the Work Programme could be done at home. Have you had any interviews while on the Work Programme?
Sean. How have your advisers treated you?
Lisa. I’ve spoken to the Triage adviser for about half an hour the whole time I’ve been on the programme. It feels like a waste of time going there as I can do my job search at home. My Jobcentre adviser is great and is really nice.
Sean. Is Triage the provider you are with now and if so do they operate on behalf of Ingeus?
Lisa. Triage are linked to Ingeus, so it says on the website.
Sean. Would it surprise you to hear that the Work Programme is funded with £5 billion of public money?
Lisa. They get all that money? What a waste.
Sean. So you don’t think the Work Programme is worthwhile?
Lisa. I would think the Work Programme was helpful if they actually helped. I can job search on my own and I don’t see the point in having to go there for that purpose. They are also guaranteeing a job at the end of the two years apparently.
Sean. Good luck with that.
And good luck to everyone hoping the Work Programme will actually provide them with help at some point rather than just pressure.