The UK Governments’ Work programme has hit the headlines this past week for failing miserably to achieve the targets set of it. The two biggest contractors hired to assist the unemployed into work, Ingeus and A4e (the latter was under investigation for doctoring their numbers) managed to get 3.3% and 2.8 of their reffered unemployed into long term (longer than 6 months) employment-well under the 5.5% target, and at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
Fortunately I was in the minority. Prior to November 2011, I’d been unemployed for three and a half ears, and had been on the Work Programme under two governments. Whilst on the Work Programme under the Coalition, I was with a company with TNG and it did wonders for me. My confidence was renewed, I was supported in applying for jobs left right and centre. In the end, I ended up gaining my apprenticeship, which lasted me until the start of this month.
What I saw was people who put the work into applying for jobs eventually got somewhere. But what I also saw wasn’t the lazy youth but the stuck in their ways older generation. People who had been in a trade most of their life who would usually refuse to look for anything else. Sure the younger ones were sometimes lazy but I saw the majority of them working to try and get work. I also saw people who really shouldn’t be there, like someone 2 months away from retirement sent there by inflexible rules.
The thing is, I’m not surprised the numbers are so low, and I wouldn’t particularly blame the contractors. As more and more business take on people from the Work Programme for their work experience (not to be confused with slave labour), and given the amount of unemployed people applying for each job, as well as a shrinking construction sector and a retail sector only growing because of the Olympics, it’s getting harder and harder for anybody to find work.
Please feel free to leave you thoughts in the comments below, especially if you’ve also gone under the work programme.
Have a great day.