Nationally, just 2.5% of people found work lasting more than 6 months – you would expect around 5% of people to find work without help. This means we are paying to make things worse, a cost of around £4,600 per person we want to stop finding a job.
In Birmingham, the local providers did slightly better, managing to reduce the number of people who could find a job from the expect 5% to 3.18% (source: XLS spreadsheet from the TUC.
One of the main components of the Work Programme is sending people on unpaid forced workfare placements, and the scheme serves as a sanction factory with over half a million sanctions handed out in 2011. Sanctions have been increased to a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 3 years. The idea that jobseekers need to be coerced into a job and to be punished in order to free them from a life where they are supposedly in a dependency trap on benefits is core to the work programme, as is the idea that the key problem of unemployment is a lack of experience. The fact that all regions and all providers are failing to increase the chances of people finding work shows that it is the ideology and structure of the scheme itself that is failing, not certain individual providers.
The answer to this lies in spending the money actually creating jobs, not on state funded recruitment agencies that fail to work anyway. The £1bn/year that is being spent on this failing scheme could be spent creating jobs which pay people and train them properly with good skills that will help the UK to develop into a sustainable future. Instead, the government will throw the money away to private contractors who blame a lack of growth and available jobs on their failure to get people into work, not realising that if there wasn’t a lack of jobs then they wouldn’t be needed in the first place.
Join us on the 5th december to demonstrate against this governments failing austerity agenda, and on 8th December to demonstrate against workfare and the work programme specifically.