Thursday, November 29, 2012

Work, Programme

Imagine for a moment that the sole reason for your existence is to find employment for people who do not have it.

Are you imagining it?

How do you feel? Do you feel like it's probably quite a tough thing to do? I think I'd feel that way.

Now imagine that, in order to facilitate you finding employment for people who do not have it, you have been given £435 million pounds since the middle of 2011.

Wow! That's a whole lot of money isn't it? £435 million buys a lot of Jaffa Cakes. It buys so many Jaffa Cakes that my (non-scientific, natch) calculator CANNOT EVEN CONCEIVE OF THE NUMBER. Fortunately, I am cleverer than the calculator and can tell you that it's 10,440,000,000 Jaffa Cakes.

But you haven't used the money you were given to buy Jaffa Cakes, have you? No. Of course not. You've been using it to find employment for people who do not have it.

Which is good, because no-one's going to have given you £435 million without setting some performance targets. If you'd just gone out and bought all those Jaffa Cakes you'd have definitely fallen short of those targets.

Well guess what?

The (private sector) companies who've ACTUALLY been given all this money might as well have just bought the Jaffa Cakes, because despite being given that enormous sum of money (so far, there's more to come) they have collectively managed to find long term employment for *dramatic pause for effect* 3.5% of the people they have had referred to them.

*prolonged slow hand clap*

The target set by The Department for Work & Pensions, by the way, was 5.5%. It's good to aim high, apparently.

Obviously, as I'm a left leaning believer in all things nice and fluffy, I'm sort of questioning whether throwing enormous piles of cash at private companies is really the best way of going about finding people employment. I'm definitely questioning whether it's a good idea to continue throwing more money at them when they haven't met their targets.

I'll stick my neck out here and make an assumption: A few people are doing really fucking well out of all this, but they're not the supposed beneficiaries of The Work Programme. To me, this stinks of giving money to the private sector when they have no chance of achieving a good return on that investment.

Nearly nine hundred thousand people had been referred to one of these companies in the first year of the scheme, are there even nine hundred thousand job vacancies in the country?

Also, isn't this what the Job Centre is for? What sort of results do they achieve? What would be the results if no action at all had been taken? Or if some of the money had been used to provide grants or loans to people who wanted to start their own small businesses?

Unemployment is shit. Really, really shit. And there's loads of it about. So I understand there's a need to do something about it. I just don't think The Work Programme is the right thing to be doing.

And I really want a Jaffa Cake.

1 comment:

  1. Throwing money at private companies is NEVER the right way to go -- when have they ever used the money right and done what they were supposed to? US bailout of banks, anyone? They couldn't account for the BILLIONS that were given to them! Corproate world bast*rds.

    I don't know what a jaffa cake is. Must be a euro thing.:-)