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Work Programme a total failure as government ignores older unemployed and CRB check jobless

Work Programme a total failure

Work Programme a total failure

The government’s much heralded Work Programme is completely failing to help older unemployed people and those with criminal records. can reveal that according to sources within the Department of Work and Pensions, the government sees employing the young as being more cost effective and more politically acceptable than getting experienced 45 – 60 year unemployed people back into work.

Those who cannot find jobs because of failed CRB checks are completely ignored by the programme, particularly if their offence was a serious one.

The private companies running the so-called ‘Work’ Programme’ – known as ‘providers’ – are allegedly paid on a results basis system. However, they are being allowed to ignore difficult cases and to ‘cherry pick’.

Instead of being encouraged to help all unemployed people back into work, they  are being encouraged by the DWP to get young people either into a job or some kind of training, just as long as it takes the young person off of the unemployed list.

Repeated questions to the DWP and the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith have all been ignored.

Providers approached by have often appeared fearful and have refused to comment on the policy under which they seek to place people in jobs. Conservative and Liberal MPs don’t want to talk about it either, especially where CRB checks are concerned.

The Labour party just seeks to make political capital out of the situation without contributing anything useful and, like the government, refuses to address the real problems.

The government seems to be acting in a manner which makes it look dishonest and also rather stupid. For example, some prisons are now allowing providers to start the process of finding work for soon to be released inmates while the prisoners are still in custody. Great idea one might think – until it is pointed out that most employers refuse to give a job to anyone with a criminal record.

In the rare case where ex-prisoners do find work, they are often paid much less than the going rate and also forced to accept poor working conditions or lose the job. Those who have been convicted of serious violent or sexual offences are thrown on the scrap heap altogether and most are unlikely to ever work again.

Probation officers and police agree that having a job is one of the best ways for a released prisoner to reduce his risk of re offending but, if the offence is a serious one, neither the police, probation or government agencies are prepared to do anything to help an offender find work – other than teach them how to write a CV that will never be read.

In other European countries – and even in America – those coming out of prison are found employment before their release. Many European states have a special job pool specifically for those released back into the community. Britain of course prefers to wait until the person re offends – and then sends them back to prison.

The Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg is as quiet on the subject as his Conservative colleagues, refusing to answer difficult questions for fear of upsetting David Cameron.  Yet it is Clegg who is supposedly steering the reform of the CRB system in a bid to make it easier for ex prisoners to find work – but that does not include those with serious records and who most need a job.

A quick trip to your local Job Centre will demonstrate the fact that more and more people – especially men – over the age of 45 years of age are finding that the Work Programme is doing nothing for them. Often, the provider will put a person on meaningless and unnecessary courses or enrol them in supposed ‘training’, even though there is no prospect of a job at the end of it.

The government secretly believes that for economic and monetary reasons, it is more important to get those between the ages of 16 – 24 into work rather than older, more experienced people. The theory is that over the years, those who are currently young will end up paying a great deal more in tax than those who are older which is, obviously, to any government’s benefit.

The government is not remotely worried about the plight of those with criminal records or those who may reoffend; they can always be sent back to prison.

There are also ‘pure’ political reasons for the government’s approach. With over a million ‘young’ people unemployed – many of them with worthless degrees and other ‘qualifications’ that are actually of no use in the work place whatsoever – the government is fearful of a middle class backlash at the polls from disillusioned parents; not to mention the bad press that is following ministers around at present.

So the political formula is simple: ignore the aging and criminally minded and concentrate on employing the young who know nothing and are cheap. After all, youngsters really do appeal more to employers as they cost a great deal less to employ  than someone who is older, has a great deal of experience and knows what they are doing.

Employers also get paid by the government in various ways to take on young workers and effectively get a free employee. No such payments are made if the workers are older.

The sad fact is however that many young people are unemployable; even those who are supposedly ‘qualified’. Certainly, they may have plenty of intelligence on paper but in reality, few can solve problems, fewer can make reliable decisions and, most importantly of all, even less can take responsibility for those decisions as most of these ‘qualified’ young people still think – and act – like children.

This is hardly surprising; British governments nowadays do everything they possibly can to prevent the country’s children from ever growing up for fear that parents – and their votes – may become redundant.

Britain has one of the least effective and most limited educational systems in Europe, refusing to take on recognised European and international qualification systems and instead rigidly sticking to the ‘Britain knows best’ doctrine so beloved by the tabloid media.

The overall result is that other European member states do not recognise ‘GCSE’s or ‘A’ levels – or virtually any other middle or ‘first’ qualification produced in this country. Even an electrician needs to retrain if he is to take a job in Europe, all because Britain insists, stupidly in the view of, on ‘going it alone’ in Europe.

Whilst the government turns its back on the experience and talent of the hundreds of thousands of older unemployed people who would love to work, it seems content to maintain the myth that the UK education system provides employers with the young people that they want, even though many of those young prospective employees don’t even know what real work is.

The employers themselves on the other hand, through the CBI and other organisations, state quite regularly that Britain’s schools and universities are churning out hundreds of people who are simply not worth employing.

In fact, Britain’s school system is so bad that even top universities are now having to run basic numeracy and literacy ‘remedial’ courses for students who, whilst they may have a fist full of A levels, in reality don’t actually know anything at all.

Employers also report that young people state at interview that they are not prepared to work unsociable hours or do anything that they consider to be ‘unfair’.

Yet still the government does nothing to encourage employers to exploit the huge pool of talent and skills that exists amongst the older unemployed.

If employers were paid to take those people on – even if they had a serious criminal record but could nevertheless do the job – society would benefit enormously and employers would get loyal staff that know the meaning of responsibility and opportunity.

Not only that; by employing experienced people, those skills could then be passed on to the young.

This government though, like all recent administrations in the UK, refuses to admit when a major initiative fails. It would rather waste people’s lives rather than admit a mistake.

In the process of living this lie that affects us all in one way or another, the government betrays the older, more experienced and talented unemployed, it fails to provide a crucial component of any offender’s essential rehabilitation and it continues with an isolated, worthless, ineffective and controlling education system that does not help its students into work and does not enable the country to prosper.

No wonder then even after 300 years of apparent sociological and political ‘progress, Britain is still run by ex public school boys. might, unlike some other organisations, even be cynical enough to suggest that maybe that has been the intention all along.

Well, if the government disagrees, it knows where to find us and can even comment in our forum should one of their representatives ever be brave or foolish enough to do so. We are waiting for you Mr Cameron – or whoever you send in order to allow you not to admit the truth.

(Share your opinion in our forum. Click HERE)

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15 Responses to Work Programme a total failure as government ignores older unemployed and CRB check jobless

  1. Robert
    July 21, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I totally agree that Maximus is a total wasste of time and money. In my year there they have not found me one interview and are only interested. In having me sign the quarterly review meeting papers. On the occasions ive complained I’ve been forced to do a job search three times a week for acouple of weeks then its back to normal. Ive applied for almost a thousand jobs and secured a few interviews which have all been done from home on my own computer. Dont get me started on sanctions!

  2. JOHN
    March 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm


  3. Tom Wingrove
    February 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I’m currently one year through my sentence at Maximus. I was made unemployed on New Year’s Eve 2010. Since then I’ve applied for nine hundred and seven jobs and had no success. The work program with Maximus feels like a punishment and if I do find work, the provider doesn’t deserve any money as I’ve done everything off my own back. I’ve tried complaining to my local MP about my situation but all he did was drop me in it with Maximus and I got threatened with a sanction for my troubles. Since being at Maximus I’ve been lied to, threatened and bullied into applying for part time work (instead of the full time work that I’m after) by Maximus staff. I will never trust politicians again. Especially ones who chose to knight, for services to the economy, Andrew Witty the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline who was the one who chose to close down the manufacturing plant that I worked on in the first place.

  4. Patrick
    July 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    The work programme is a complete waste of time….i was ordered onto a work programme run by a company called Maximus….my last meeting with them was in march, i have recieved no help from them whatsoever, the only contact they have with me is when the call me to cancel my next appointment which they have done every couple of weeks for the last 4 months. A while ago i was offered a job by a friend, i needed to do a basic 3 week course to gain the qualification needed for said job, it wasn’t cheap, my family could pay half of it for me so all i needed was funding for the other half, when i asked my advisor for help to locate funding (thinking that they would have a large database for that sort of thing) i was told “its not what we do” well what do they do then? i thought that it was bad enough trying to get help from the jobcentre…but this company are a hundred times worse…

    • david watts
      September 12, 2012 at 12:21 am

      maximus are a complete waste of time, a national disgrace and an american company wtf?

  5. David
    June 29, 2012 at 5:34 am

    A woman on BBC Question Time complained that unemployed where better off than her and they can smoke, drink, and watch satellite TV. This is a huge exaggeration. She is welcome to quit her job and try it, but she won’t because just she’s just a typical middle class who won’t lower herself to interacting with us benefit scroungers and hates paying for our giros. In fact, the bankers have been fleecing her bank interest and fixing her mortage payments for years. I may be out of work, but if I were to go on Question Time, I wouldn’t have to read my question off a piece of note paper.

  6. Richard Cassley
    June 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Completely agree. I am 49 and when I go to my ‘Work Programme’ all I do is show what I have applied for over the previous two weeks and come home…..basically just signing on again. I have had no help or advice in any way or form. It’s a complete waste of time. Rather than the government paying for this service, I would prefer some financial help in order to help me losing my flat. I have been unemployed for over twelve months and so my mortgage interest payments have stopped, meaning I have to find over £120 a month just to pay for that, never mind the other bills. Not easy on £73.46 a week!! Will be even harder to find a job when address is ‘no fixed abode’!!

  7. wesleybillingham
    June 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    i am 48 years old worked since i was 16 years of age, last 2 years unemeployed the dole have stopped my money for 6 months because i can not get a job i stopped going to work programe so they stopped my money work programe is a waste of time and money

  8. William Garland
    May 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    You have hit it on a nutshell when you say, “Britain is still run by ex Public School boys*. And of course, with their privileged and wealthy backgrounds, they inhabit a different planet to you and I. Everything is marked out for them at birth and of course, they do not have to be particularly intelligent, to rise to colossal heights (well above what they merit). The current re-elected Mayor of London, will suffice, as a good example. It is often said about this gentleman, “what a great Classical Scholar”, he was, at firstly Eton and then Oxford. And pray tell!, what relevence are a thorough grounding in these dead languages, in the running of a modern country today?, or the City of London, for that matter? I once heard on the television, Johnson, trying to speak, a modern European Language (I think it was Italian), he had no idea, mainly, because his constipated, affected English accent, made, the speaking of a language of another country, impossible, (Oh!, I myself do speak reasonable French). But, again, the old (almost ancient), top Public School arrogance is on display here! I think, it was Alistair Campbell, who once, succinctly, summed up this man, by saying, “only in Britain could such a person, rise to such heights”.

    And, the above example, illustrates, why Britain, will never, be a true meritocracy, while we have this Public School elite running the country. They are not the most intelligent people in the country. there are equally, intelligent (or perhaps more so!) people then they are, claiming Unemployment Benefit. In fact, in many ways, their lives are divoreced from the reality or many Middle Class Britain’s, let alone Working Class one’s. Do you think, for one momment, the like’s of Johnson or Cameron, for that matter, had to worry about financing themselves, during their University years, did they have to go and find a job, stacking shelves in the local Supermarket, or picking cabbages somewhere, not only to earn some much needed money, but also to show, all important, first time work experience, to a future employer. And, of course we all know, even an early brush with the law, (which ruins the career prospects, of most ordinary people) is no problem for them. I mean, did being caught in posession of a Class A controlled Drug, in his room at Eton, stop Cameron, from becoming Prime Minister.

  9. colin
    April 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    theres no jobs to be had yet they are now employing so called health professionals to say you are fit for work …no matter what ur GP says.. you can appeal this decission but it dont mater whether you win it or not you are still going to loose upto a third of your income i hope all conservative and lib dem supporters loose there income or get ill so they know how cruel these new rules are people will be comitting offences just to feed themselves or better still for the conservatives they will kill themselves out of desperation i will never ever pay into this country again i have an illness that will kill me but if i manage to work again they will not get anything from me without a fight…they dont care but when the people rise they will hide because of the cowards they are

    • Raymond Peytors -
      April 23, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Please also add this to the forum as I am sure others will wish to discuss it. Thank you.- Editor

  10. P. Smith
    April 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I was told by the Jobcentre that unlike the other hairbrained schemes by the previous Government, this would ‘not be one size fits all, but one to one’. On the second visit to the Work Programme office, i was told that (due to my conviction), the chances of me getting full time work was very slim. This scheme, just like the rubbish New Deal, should be scrapped. This is all about massaging figures and also the Governments massive egos!.

  11. Richard McMillan
    April 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I feel that this coalition government has no contact with what the total Electorate want. To improve educational standards will take at least two generations, the whole structure from teaching methods, the quality and commitment of teaching staff and removal of government interference.
    I retired last year and noticed probably on the increase. the educational standards of youngsters was generally going down hill.
    Governments don’t need a large pool of educated labourers or button pushers so why waste money educating them. However the collateral effect is very expensive, with petty crime, rioting. My young girls getting pregnant because they have nothing else to do or aim for.

  12. David Smith
    April 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I am 53 and unemployed. I used to work in helping ex-offenders into jobs. I can see it from both sides, so to speak. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was reviewed in 2002 and guess what, nothing has been done about it to date, despite the assurances given by Nick Clegg a few years ago ! Politicians are purely concerned with building their own egos and filling their own pockets, as has been recently revealed by undercover filming. They are not interested in helping anyone but themselves. I will NEVER vote for any politician ever again, it is a complete waste of time. I am born, bred and totally dissillusioned with this country. In fact, why should I get a job and pay taxes, just so Cameron and Co can line their own pockets ? I think not.

  13. bobjob
    April 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    What a disgrace this is – and why is no one else talking about it? With the millions of people affected, you think someone other than the opinion site would say something.

    I shall start a thread in the forum if anyone wants to join me.

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