Whatever happened to this site? Has the Indus Delta Website been issued with an AtoS et al. ‘Cease and Desist’ Notice???

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 03/07/2012 – 5:13pm

Any explanation of the blocking of all comment making for the last few days?


  • 3079 reads
Submitted by Kaz on Tue, 03/07/2012 – 7:31pm.

Maybe not enough people were ‘On Message’

A case of exclusion over Inclusion 😉

Submitted by mkmky on Tue, 03/07/2012 – 8:11pm.

No they E-Mailed me it just went down,funny timing,just as the report came out that the WP was not living up to even the barest goals and the article stated that the WP Providers need more money upfront. A4E was actually paid £300,000 to help the DWP design the “Pay By Results” model.like I said FUNNY.

Submitted by Grappling on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 1:44am.

Seems too much of a coincidence to me!
But we did spend the weekend spreading ‘the message’ far and wide. Meanwhile they want more ££££ upfront for them, and more sanctions for the ‘customers’, seems they still haven’t figured what the obvious problem is. So it’s looking like delayed results(again)!

Submitted by mkmky on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 2:18pm.

@grappling,In the article that I read,the results are only for 10 months and it apparently will change dramatically in the next 2 months [Moderated] I remember A4E putting out a statement that Emma deserved that £8.6 mil “Because of the personal financial risk she takes” (also known as taxpayers money)well seems now,the Primes want to change the contract because there are financial risks.

Submitted by osdset on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 7:42am.

The only way there will be a dramatic change from 3.5% in the next two months is if someone takes the books and sticks them in the middle of the oven at gas mark 7.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 7:46am.

If A4e were paid £300,000 to design the WP (and came up with a design that they were happy to contract for) and that design is now “flawed”, shouldn’t there be a refund?

Submitted by osdset on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 8:44am.

TBH all this beggars belief, it’s totally Kafkaesque

WP What’s our target then DWP?
DWP A very modest 5.5%!
WP We’re 80% into the year and have achieved 3.5%, good eh?
DWP Err no, actually that’s rubbish figures
WP We still have two months to go, confidence is high
DWP You are getting your aspirations confused with your abilities
WP Nonsense, we just need more upfront cash
DWP OK, how much do you want?
WP Oh we don’t really know, a couple of billion should do it
DWP OK, but only if you can improve the percentage
WP How does 3.6% sound?
DWP Great! Carry on the good work!

Submitted by sabrina on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:06am.

WP providers negotiated their contracts BEFORE the double dip recession, and the Euro crisis hit jobs in the UK and greatly increased unemployment.

Why should WP providers be locked into targets that only really applied before the double dip? Is it fair?

I think not.

Submitted by mkmky on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:06am.


Submitted by osdset on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:30am.

Why should WP providers be locked into targets that only really applied before the double dip? Is it fair?

How would a WP advisor react to a similar entreaty from a job seeker with regard to job availability before the double dip and now?

I suggest the job seeker would be harangued with accusations of negativity or laziness, and told that fairness doesn’t come into it, because life’s not fair.

Submitted by mkmky on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:42am.

Odset….Bingo,right on the nose.The WP and JCP very rarely accept any excuse regardless of the situation,as the WP has not lived up to its contract with both the DWP and the client sanction them with a monetary fine,what is fair for one is fair for the other.As a client I signed a contract,if my provider goes bust because they did not plan on the economy tanking, I believe they should still be liable as they are the “Experts” handing out advise If they are not financially stable they should not of taken on the contract to begin with.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:59am.

The model for the Work Programme is fundamentally flawed. Sabrina is absolutely right, but then so is osdset’s last comment. Yes, the model was created when the financial outlook was more positive but that logic applies equally to jobseekers. Providers and the DWP can’t have it both ways – the reasons for people not getting work apply across all parties.

Quite simply, there is not enough money in the pot to make fundamental differences to all but those jobseekers who are most employable and who would find work with minimal intervention anyway.

Meanwhile, whilst the industry is making excuses for poor performance across all the contract package areas some providers are saying “it’s not our fault, it’s the economy” to the DWP while still maintaining unachievable outcome targets for their staff and putting them on capability/disciplinary action for not achieving them, as well as telling their jobseekers they’re not doing enough.

Thw point of the WP and two year client ownership was so that a long term view could be taken with long term unemployment. Many providers still have the short term mentality and try to get as much out for as little input as possible. This is driven a much by low funding and shareholder pressure as anything else. All in all, as it stands, it’s a bit of a mess.

Sweepstake on which prime bails first anyone?

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 3:22pm.

@ Sabrina

Why should WP providers be locked into targets that only really applied before the double dip? Is it fair?

I think it’s eminently fair.

This is the private sector – and in the private sector there is a concept of “commercial risk”.

Maybe the providers had their judgement clouded by the obscene and undeserved “profits” made in previous schemes – that’s no excuse.

Providers assessed the risk/reward using all their private sector expertise (and having designed the system in the first place!). If they succeed, they will reap the reward and no one would have wasted their time demanding a refund of the profits made.
They look like they’re failing – so they should be ready to accept the consequences of that failure. They should not be expecting the tax payer to bail them out. This would be – privatising profits but nationalising losses – a philosphy that has already done enough damage with banks!

Got to go now – I can’t concentrate – the sound of that gravy train derailing is deafening me.

Submitted by mkmky on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 3:25pm.

Went to the WP today,they have started to scale back front office admin,advisers are safe for now,but a marked change in the prevailing attitude (a positive) as my adviser stated “management are starting to accept that the job market is not what it appears to be” a lot of jobs that are advertised,but really don’t exist.I am not against the WP,but those that bid on it are now starting to understand that it is a financial risk..Time to invest in what amounts to a service that the are supposed to be experts in delivering or admit it was nothing but a big scam that is about to bite them. [Moderated]

Submitted by Grappling on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 1:41am.

sabrina on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 9:06am.
WP providers negotiated their contracts BEFORE the double dip recession, and the Euro crisis hit jobs in the UK and greatly increased unemployment.

So, what. If they can’t predict the UK economy as well as even I can, that’s their problem not the tax-payers’ again.

Why should WP providers be locked into targets that only really applied before the double dip? Is it fair?
I think not.

If we miraculously had GDP of >2.7 and proper jobs were being created, the providers wouldn’t complain that it was to easy for them and they were making too much profit. CG has said he’s happy for them ‘to make shed loads of money’.

osdset on Thu, 05/07/2012 – 7:42am.
The only way there will be a dramatic change from 3.5%

Bit low isn’t it! I can’t help thinking that 100 random jobseekers, not conscripted to the waste programme, just the JCP’s ‘help’/threats would hit that figure purely by accident. I think the wp is ‘working’ just like mwa.

CG just 11 days ago on itv breakfast still at it. lazy brits v. immigrants.

“Echoes of the 1930s as this job hunter hits the streets”
26 year old with a blackboard.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 10:00am.

Perhaps it’s worth recapping where these original target figures came from.
They appear in the DWP’s Invitation to Tender document which can be found here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-prog-itt.pdf
section 3 THE PAYMENT MODEL, PERFORMANCE AND MARKET SHARE is a good starting point for those wanting to understand just when and how much providers get paid. I appreciate that successful bids may be different from the figures quoted, some bidders having deliberately underbid, however the structure and targets remain valid.

Para 3.14 gives the Non Intervention performance Profile for 3 groups – I suspect by far the most numerous of these 3 groups is the JSA 25 and over. The Non intervention performance is exactly what it says – an estimate of what would have been achieved without the WP (sometimes called the deadweight figure). For the JSA25+ group the first 7 years Non Intervention figures are:
Para 3.17 tells us that “Minimum performance standard will apply to payment groups 1, 2 and 6. It will be defined as non-intervention performance level plus 10%.”
Hence we get the 5.5% figure for yr 1 by taking 110% of 5%.
I understand that the percentages relate to the number of people who have completed 13 weeks continuous employment at the end of each WP year (30th June) as a percentage of the number of people referred to the WP in the preceding period. The preceding period being just 12 months at the end of year 1.
This in itself leads to some distortion or “lag” since only those attached in the first 9 months have any chance at all of completing 13 weeks employment by the end of the first year.
As the A4e figures aren’t 12 months but only 10 this lag is exacerbated hence the pained cries of “the figures will improve at 12 months”. I expect they will – but not enough to meet the minimum performance level of 5.5%

The really stiking figure for me is the second year figure of 25% (equivalent to a minimum performance level of 27.5%). This is one big jump from the year one figures and for the life of me I cannot see how such a shift in performance is going to be achieved.

If you work on the WP then take from this analysis what you will – at least console yourself that it kept one of your ignorant, uneducated and unemployable customers/candidates/claimants amused and out of mischief for a while.

Submitted by Paul.Bivand on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 10:46am.

@write… Have you been talking to Voice when we were offline?

Not quite accurate, but close on the figures.

The job outcome counted for the measure is at six months not three for the main JSA groups – at least three-quarters of all participants. And, that’s six months total paid work so can be accumulated over several jobs (which of course takes longer).

The way the performance figures work is based on every month’s starters achieving 30% (non-intervention) or 33.3% (minimum performance) in these six-months of paid work within the two-year participation period. The DWP spreadsheet issued with the ITT pack makes that clear (even if DWP tried to hide the working a bit).

Just how the job outcomes occur over time is one of the big unknowns – providers haven’t been dealing with people for two years before. Everyone’s been estimating that.

So, one year in, no-one expects 30% of even the first month’s starters to have achieved six months’ work. Some favoured areas might just do that. Of course, no-one who started within the last six months could have achieved a counted job outcome.

There has been argument about whether the minimum levels are stated in financial years (April-March) or WP years (June-May).

JSA 25+ were expected to be about half the participants – in the ITT.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 11:17am.

@ Paul.Bivand

@write… Have you been talking to Voice when we were offline?

She should be so lucky!

I didn’t have the spreadsheet you mention but I accept your interpretation. This being the case it looks like we have to do a full 2 years of thw WP before it is “mature” – this is borne out by the year 3,4 and 5 all being the same.

It still looks to me like an almighty and unlikely leap from year 1 (5%) to year 2 (25%) just to match the deadweight figures. Just a “gut” feeling.

Hey I’m only a humble dole scrounger – what would I know?

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 11:23am.

@ Paul.Bivand

Interesting that the 6 months work could be spread over 2 years. We seem to have a situation where someone could actually spend 18 out of 24 months out of work with a series of temporary jobs but would still be deemed a successful outcome resulting in a payment to a provider.

“rope”, “old” and “money” leap to mind.

Submitted by Paul.Bivand on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 12:15pm.

Six months work out of 24 would count as a job outcome, but most of the money is on sustainment payments.

Once people have achieved their job outcome, each further four-week period in paid work triggers a sustainment payment. Unlike the job outcome, this can’t be accumulated with jobs shorter than 4 weeks (unless people move straight from one job to the next).

The original idea from David Freud was sustainment payments only, but given economic uncertainty, that didn’t work out.

The provider can only make maximum money if participant achieves job outcome, and then stays in work for up to two years. Each gap between jobs introduces additional needs to a) provide what they provide and b) evidence the next job start to DWP. There’s costs attached to both.

The intent is to get people into actual jobs that last. However, those who get people into a succession of temp jobs get something – but it will cost them more to run.

Submitted by Voice of WP on Fri, 13/07/2012 – 10:18am.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Fri, 06/07/2012 – 11:23am.
“Interesting that the 6 months work could be spread over 2 years. We seem to have a situation where someone could actually spend 18 out of 24 months out of work with a series of temporary jobs but would still be deemed a successful outcome resulting in a payment to a provider”

using your example, the provider would not be paid any sustainment money, you are correct that the job outcome is cumulative, however this rather extreme example is very time consuming regarding having to provide evidence for each and every job start, thus a succession of agency/temp jobs that do not lead to sustainment payments is extremly hard work with litle by way of financial reward.
That said if the Customer has barriers and doing temp work over a series of months help address them then this is actually the best route for the Customer, hopfully they would finish The Work Programme in a far stronger position and be equipped with the skills needed to then apply for, and sustain, jobs on their own.
My own experience shows some people get a job, hold it down for 6 months and stay there, others may start a job, leave or be asked to leave, come back to the programme, sort out the issues, get another job and stay there ongoing. Others struggle to hold down a job, in thse circumstances the issues and barriers need to be re-addressed hence why some have multiple jobs to obtain the outcome.
The agency route is not one that I see used a lot to be honest as it is so unpredictable and time consuming, used properly though it works well for the Customer (flexibility on location, hours, type of work etc)
Hopefully you see it is not money for old rope, nothing about the Work Programme is easy, trust me the money paid is earned.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Mon, 16/07/2012 – 1:34pm.


Why was it not possible to post anything on this discussion forum during the weekend of 14/15 July, please?

If I owned this Indus Delta forum, I’d be worried about the number and duration of the “outages” from which it seems to have been suffering in recent weeks.

Submitted by Tyn on Mon, 16/07/2012 – 2:15pm.

I must say, a message on the front page to explain the outages would have been appreciated.

Submitted by osdset on Mon, 16/07/2012 – 8:22pm.

I must say, a message on the front page to explain the outages would have been appreciated.

Oh please! It’s a WP site, never apologise never explain.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 10:54am.

Up and down like the proverbials. Still no explanation of the intermittant nature of this site? I refer back to the original question : “Any explanation of the blocking of all comment making for the last few days?” [Moderated]

Submitted by jray on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 2:43pm.

I think at times,opinions made by contributors to this arena come a little to close to the truth(and the Moderator throws the toys out of the pram) so everybody needs to fall in line and say nothing that comes close to the truth,keep the lie alive, that the WP is the best thing since sliced bread.Follow the Yellow Brick Road,Follow The Yellow Brick Road(Keep repeating)

Submitted by Mountain Dew on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 2:57pm.

Similarly JRay over the top opinions made my some contributors only alienate those in the industry who do care and work very hard to benefit their clients. I’m not saying the Work Programme is the best thing since sliced bread far from it, but it’s also changed the lives of some individuals for the better. This website was created to allow reasoned debate on Welfare to Work programs, not mud slinging.

Submitted by gis_a_job on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 3:26pm.

@Mountain Dew

how can we have a reasoned debate when the statistics are held back, anti W.P posts are moderated or deleted and the mud is thrown both ways.i suggest a banner over the discussion forum which reads “all views are equal but some are more equal than others”/”forum will be taken down if the news is bad or i feel like it” as this sums up my feelings to this site in the past few weeks.

Submitted by Grappling on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 4:57pm.

Mountain Dew on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 2:57pm.
but it’s also changed the lives of some individuals for the better.

Of course, but it’s mostly at the expence of someone else’s job and pay. It’s getting a LT into work by creating more LT.

The last UK fairyjobmother got 3 into jobs – sort of, but admitted competition was tough against 170 other candidates! So how much in benefits were saved?
If it’s so good why is there always only 3 programmes in a series? The Americans think they make lots of episodes, and only show 3!

Submitted by Voice of WP on Mon, 30/07/2012 – 5:01pm.

I have ceased posting on here as there is simply no debate, the site goes down for days at a time and the original thread is lost.
However I do have sympathy with ID, namely that a lot of posts in recent weeks simply slag off the WP, state that everyone and everything is useless, in short there is never anything positive that is allowed to survive.
Some posts have spread lies, which then masquerade as “truth” at a later date.
The fact no statistics are released has been well documented, due to the longer term, outcome based nature of the programme some stats are meaningless. The DWP made the decision to release them at whatever date they will be released, not the providers yet it is the providers who take the flack.
Bottom line is the site is far, far too negative, has too many “anti any welfare programme” posts etc etc.
It is no longer the “go to” site for sensible and meaningful debate. I belong to another site which allows anyone to join but it is moderated sensibly, this leads to a decent site which allows reasoned argument on both sides and moderation keeps things sensible, civiised and on track.

Submitted by Greyham on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 12:59pm.

@ WP – I totally agree with what you are saying!

The site has been swamped with negativity targeted at any one who posts suggested methods that relates in anyway in people finding or obtaining employment. In fact some comments even promote a no work culture and a right to not even look for work because there is no NEW JOBS out there.( although there are jobs they want new jobs – millions of them before they will even start looking)

I am fed up with comments to support people who look to have no intention of working about how to get away with doing nothing: do not give anybody your CV, Tell them all you have no phone, Work Experience is ‘Save Labour’, Don’t sign the consent form and don’t take a job unless you WANT to and the Government is working against your human rights for making you work.

Some on here who are proven to have been unemployed for many years feel they are experts all of a sudden and are actually giving advice that reflects a no work culture. They talk openly about the how they see the failure of the WP but on the other hand promote non partcipation with providers saying that providers are taking billions from the tax payer even though they are only paid if they are successful. (if they are failing then they are not taking billions)

At first I thought there were a lot of posters with the same view doing this but it seems recent evidence suggests it is only a small number. You can’t get rid of them, as when these posters are banned they come back under a different ID which adds to the confusion. One poster had been banned from the site 5 times but is still back under a new name and still attacks anybody with anything positive to say.

It is a waste of time trying to bring positivity or even try to help people when each comment is coverted in to a negative by the few to generate arguments and support the idea by the few of the right of not working as a chosen life style. I also will not be posting again on this site for the same reasons as WP, well not untill Universal Benefit comes in anyway.


Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 12:57pm.

@ Greyham

it seems recent evidence suggests it is only a small number.

and what “evidence” would that be?


I have ceased posting on here

Ok then.
I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 1:20pm.

The site has been hijacked by a group of people who are using it as a forum to prevent those that work in W2W discussing issues and sharing information. It may be an accidental evolution of Indus Delta that is gathering momentum, it may be an orchestrated method of wrecking a means of communication. It may just be case of “idle hands”. What is clear is that regular users of the site have deserted in droves and it is no longer THE go to place for those that work in W2W. If this was orchestrated it’s achieved it’s purpose.

Submitted by Greyham on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 1:43pm.

@writebetweentheeyes – Think you know but it was Google Groups
(http://groups.google.com/group/InsideTheBlackBox)before the change of the access rights took place –

Now know what your all up to – I think people like WP had an idea but I would not of believed it if I had not seen it for myself. You really do get pleasure and enjoyment in what you do, don’t you. Thanking each other for the others support on this site – how sick! – and how stupid to invite us all to ‘Google Groups’ for a look see.

Now how many times have you been banned from posting on this site and how many ID’s did you say you have had to get back as a new poster!- nevermind not really important, continue to play your games, now one less to attack. It seems at this rate you may have the site to yourselves within a matter of weeks

Bye –

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 1:52pm.

@ greyham
Shame on you!
I’ll leave aside the grammatical errors in your posting.
It seems that you and some others are not robust enough to debate intelligently with those with different opinions to your own.
I think I have contributed hugely to the debate with some very telling and relevant postings on this site (no matter under what ID).
The fact that you seem unable to live with that (even under a hugely over moderated and WP biased site) speaks volumes about both you and the WP.

Submitted by Greyham on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 2:24pm.

and the fact that you have been banned several times from this site for these so called intelligent contributions has nothing to do with it. Shame on me! NO shame on you!

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 3:15pm.

@ Greyham
A reflection on the site moderators rather than me.
I feel no shame – only pride.

Submitted by osdset on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 3:39pm.

Universal Credit yet another ‘flagship’ initiative.

Stand back and watch the fireworks when this flyer leaves the starting blocks.

Woe betide anyone that lives in a high pensioner populated area because their council tax is about to go through the roof.

Far from making work pay, this system will ensure that any single parent renting accommodation will be significantly financially disadvantaged by working.

If Universal credit is the be all and end all simplified replacement for the ‘over complicated’ raft of benefits in place today, why is the new system so fiendishly complicated that only a brand spanking new IT system will be able to navigate the regs? welfare professionals have already indicated that a paper comparison against a computer decision in the case of a dispute is near on impossible due to it’s complexity.

Universal Credit? Just a re-branded way of benefit denial for those that need it most.

Submitted by rover78 on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 4:20pm.

@ writebetweentheeyes
‘I feel no shame – only pride.’
Well you should feel shame, over the last year this site has gone from a forum in which those employed in the Welfare to Work and Skills sectors have been able to share their experiences and best practice to a soap box for petty minded individuals who don’t want to help people better themselves and improve their employment prospects and just want to have a go at the current system.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 4:37pm.

@rover78. Wasting your breath. Wreckers like this despise Government, their policies, those who deliver the programmes and all perceived instruments thereof. They want them all ruined and if that stops other people benefitting then so be it.

These people are militant minorities who arrogantly believe that they know best and will endeavour to bring down whatever they disagree with. They fail to see the dichotomies of their actions. They are anarchists who are happy to live off tax payer funded welfare or are acting for a small minority whilst claiming to be democrats. Indus Delta is ruined and that’s exactly what they set out to achieve. They will be immensely proud of their acts because, like all vandals, as long as their purposes are served they ignore or fail to consider that what they do may be to the detriment of others.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 5:12pm.

@rover78 and BC
Perhaps you’d like to give examples of some postings of which you think I should be ashamed?
Don’t you think you should do some research before launching into abuse mode?
I thought not.
Spout off first then think later (if at all).
As for being a “militant minority”.
How on earth do you deduce that?
Actually I’ve spent a working life in some very conservative industries (Financial Services and IT software development).
I think I am a well educated, literate and numerate individual with some valid views. Nevertheless I am prepared to listen to others with different opinions and make my own mind up on the evidence presented.

Perhaps you should do the same?

Submitted by osdset on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 5:58pm.

Am I one of the militant minority? I don’t know that’s for others to decide, I do know that I am a member of a forum whose membership runs into the thousands, that has one thread about one provider in particular that is currently 63 pages long, and one would be hard pushed in all those 63 pages to find anything positive said about that provider or the Work Programme in general, hardly a militant minority, and very probably a fair representation of how the WP is viewed by those placed in it, whether providers like it or not they are pretty much universally despised out there in the real world so I suggest you all get used to it.

If Indus Delta is ruined it’s not because of a handful of refuseniks, it’s because the WP membership lacked the backbone to fight their corner.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 10:37pm.

I agree with writebetweentheeyes.

In the 3 months or so since I joined Indus Delta, I have seen hardly any threads in which those employed in the W2W industry actually want any help from one another. So I dispute the idea that a forum which is undoubtedly aimed solely at providing this type of help actually does so. There seems to be little or no demand for that amongst those of the members who are employed in the W2W industry.

Meanwhile, democratic debate and freedom of speech remain *fully lawful* concepts and activities in the UK, whether the employees of the W2W industry like it or not.

There is an easy way for the owners of Indus Delta to restrict access to the discussion forum to W2W industry employees alone. Since the owners have chosen not to avail themselves of that opportunity, it is not up to the W2W industry’s employees to complain, in my view.

Also, dishing out gratuitous insults to other members of a discussion forum merely gives the absolute lie to any notion that the person dishing out the insults is any sort of a “professional person” themselves. Respect for another person is never given automatically – it always has to be earned. If the W2W industry’s employees consider that it is unnecessary for them to earn the respect of other people, that is their problem, not mine, frankly. Treat other people properly and they will treat you more kindly in return.

We all know that the Work Programme scheme is in dire trouble. It is not succeeding in its political aim of reducing the size of the overall bill for making welfare payments. The Govt will not tolerate any other result from it, so it is crazy for the employees of the W2W industry and the customers of that industry to squabble with each other, frankly.

The Tory Govt is quite willing to watch the present group of W2W providers go bust and to put all of the W2W industry’s existing employees on the dole. The Tories have loads of wealthy sympathisers and donors who will be happy to set up new companies offering privatised W2W services. However, these same sympathisers would not agree to the current financial model for the Work Programme scheme because that doesn’t work and it will never work according to Amyas Morse of the National Audit Office. Mr Morse is one of the most senior, able and eminent Chartered Accountants of his generation, so only a fool would try to ignore pessimism from him.

Meanwhile the existing W2W industry has shot itself in the foot – Emma Harrison of A4E is merely the public face of the fact that unprincipled avarice will result in a spectacularly embarrassing and public fall from grace. However, she is not the only villain of the piece – as most pollies are very well aware. G4S are also involved with W2W and Nick Buckles’ recent performance merely proves how some of these companies say they can do things but then they fail to deliver, fail to admit it till the 11th hour and then there is nothing left for it but to summon the Armed Forces and the Police. Emma Harrison is not alone in this, not by a long chalk.

New W2W providers, with a new financial model, might succeed. (New providers would not be the sort of spivs chosen by Tony Blair and his ghastly cronies. New providers chosen by the Tories would belong to the social class that would include Old Etonians.) But would these new companies want to hire any of the W2W industry’s existing employees, one wonders?

The existing W2W employees and the customers of the W2W industry would BOTH do better to stop insulting one another, in my view.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 7:30pm.

Duplicate. Must get that button sorted.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 7:30pm.

One may wonder but new W2W providers would hire the best of the current W2W provider’s staff. The idea that any of the W2W industry’s existing staff would not be wanted is ridiculous; you may have some bad experiences with some but I can assure you that there are many, many good ones out there.

I am not going to pretend that the WP is not flawed because it is, and massively so. For that the Government has to take the blame, as do the W2W providers involved in the design and negotiation of the terms and the bids they wrote. Some of the damage to providers is self-inflicted and their staff are suffering through having unmanageable workloads and unrealistic targets. If they fail to hit those targets capability action and the sack will follow.

In another post the word “dehumanising” was correctly applied to the treatment of both WP staff and customers. Whilst not true in all cases, it is common.

I am (thankfully) no longer directly employed in the WP. I still work in the W2W industry but for an organisation that upskills according to labour market needs and works with small groups to make sure that what we do isn’t generic box-ticking. This to me is how it should be, although that view is Utopian and with the vast numbers coralled onto the WP would not be viable.

Having been unemployed myself I would never wish unemployment on anybody. It is debilitating and at times degrading. One of my neighbours once asked me what I did for a living because I was at home a lot and when I told her I was unemployed she actually recoiled from me, as if I had wet leprosy or some other horrific disease. I came into W2W because having been unemployed I wanted to use the skills I had learned to benefit others. Many, many people that I know in W2W do it (or did it) because they feel the same.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 8:10pm.

@Bob Cratchett

One will continue to wonder about whether an Old Etonian billionaire would wish to hire anyone from the existing W2W industry. W2W needs a complete facelift – it is never going to get that whilst its protagonists come from the “old school” of privatised W2W, in which they got paid regardless of how badly they did the job. The hypothetical Old Etonian billionaire is someone like Richard Branson (who went to Stowe, not Eton, but socially both schools are in the same league) or someone like Nat Rothschild, who is an Old Etonian and a post-graduate member of the Bullingdon Club. Both of those gentlemen have plenty of chums of their own – who would have no desire to hanker after the “old days” of privatised W2W because they were not involved with W2W during its “old days.” New ways of doing things usually benefit from having new people to do them, in my observation.

I am sure that your criticisms of the Work Programme scheme are accurate.

“Dehumanisation” is not possible unless both the aggressor and the victim agree to it. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Nobody can make me feel inferior without my consent,” about which she was absolutely right.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 8:39pm.

@ BC
If I may say so a very sensible, honest and refreshing summary. You see – I’m not the ogre you have made me out to be!

If I can summarise my position (hopefully without fear of undue moderation or being accused of being a “Wrecker”), I think:

The country clearly has an unemployment problem. This is either due to :
A) There not being enough jobs to go round (in spite of Greyham’s perennial cry of “THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE”)
B) people having the wrong/insufficient skills to fill the available jobs.
C) a combination of the above.

If the cause is A) then the answer is to pull every available economic and political lever to stimulate and/or directly create new jobs.

If the cause is B) then the answer is to equip people with the skills required by employers (I do not mean the skills such as CV writing required to “compete” in a very tight “job market” – I actually mean what I say – skills that employers want and which are in short supply)

If the answer is C) then we need both solutions.

The trouble is that the Work Programme is hugely expensive and doesn’t address any of the possible solutions. Instead it concentrates on “removing barriers” and “making people “work ready”. All of which may seem laudable to those engaged as WP employees but which is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

The situation is made worse by the profit motive. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the desire for profit produces better results than if these services were not “PBR”. Think about it and tell me if I’m wrong. I would go further – the need to produce profit for the likes of Emma Harrison et al actually confuses and confounds both people working within the industry and customers. Employees feel like (and are) target driven sales people. Customers feel like goods being exploited so that some fat cat can buy another mansion. Not a recipe for success!

OK so people need help. We need help not to “compete” (believe it or not I can write a cv and I think I’m quite articulate (feel free to agree). We need proper careers advice. We need access to proper training. We need access to proper jobs – by which I mean jobs with an element of security and a degree of mutual respect between employer and employee (the latter may be too much to hope for since the present Government seems intent on destroying such), we need a degree of humanity and empathy. All of this can be provided (and provided better than it is) without the overweaning profit motive.

None of this is a criticism of people working for providers. Some of whom I have found to be (within the constraints imposed by the system) helpful and sympathetic – even likeable.
The problem is not the people it’s the system.

Feel free to moderate or call me a “wrecker”, or “doley” or “scrounger” – having done that, and got it off your chest, then apply a bit of thought.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 9:41pm.

@ Write. I may have called you a wrecker but doley or scrounger are not words I care to use! Nor would I tell sir and moderate, and clearly you are articulate and intelligent. I don’t actually disagree with any of your argument. A significant investment is required to train people for local labour markets and to invest in growth industries. I have no doubt that we have gifted unemployed people who could be funded through higher education to fill the gaping holes in our high tech and automotive industries, currently being filled by highly skilled migrants because the UK talent pool is so depleted, for example.

@LC. Do you have insider information that the Virgin brand is coming to W2W? Make up your own tagline to that ad campaign! Also, Mr Rothschild. an utter **** but not really connected to W2W? Well written, but maybe too hypothetical.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 9:42pm.

Again, must get the enter button fixed.

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Tue, 31/07/2012 – 9:52pm.

And we’re back on track. Intelligent and reasoned discussion between adults.

Could Indus Delta be the website where both sides of the W2W fence meet and parlay, where differences are aired and we get a greater understanding of one another? That would be a worthwhile development.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:04am.

Hi Bob, Hi write

“Could Indus Delta be the website where both sides of the W2W fence meet and parlay, where differences are aired and we get a greater understanding of one another? That would be a worthwhile development.”

I could not agree with both of you more.

As far as the Work Programme itself is concerned, I agree with write. There ought to be proper careers advice, for example, but there isn’t. I don’t need any “help” in order to produce a coherent CV for myself and I can – and will – do without the sort of “help” that consists of, “Dumb it down. Hide all of your academic and professional qualifications and background because all that will only frighten the sort of employer that we want to push you towards – ie an employer who doesn’t want any pre-employment skills apart from the utterly basic.” That idea gets very short shrift from me because it would require a CV that might resemble a Work of Art but it sure as hell wouldn’t resemble the truth. What should I say that I did in all the solicitors’ offices for god knows how many years? Should I claim that I was the office tea-lady with a peculiarly fetishistic interest in solicitors or summat?

Bob, I have no impression of Nat Rothschild. All I know about him is that he went to Eton and then Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club. He might be the Buller who is married to Amelia Gentleman, the journalist, but I can’t remember for sure. (Since I’m a graduate of Cambridge University myself, I tend to look down on Oxonians anyway, but that is just a matter of personal prejudice. I do remember from my own Cambridge days that Cambridge also has an all-male “dining club” that I believe is similar to Oxford’s Bullingdon Club, but since the Cambridge one was not open to women, I only heard about what some of the men got up to. I never saw it myself and I can’t remember what the Cambridge version of the Buller is called.)

As for Richard Branson, I’m aware of his latest foray with Virgin Health. The thing that the City knows best about him is that he doesn’t run any of the Virgin businesses himself. He just went round all the other airlines poaching their smartest experts when he established Virgin Atlantic – and so forth.

I think Branson would set up Virgin W2W if he thought it would make a profit but he’d find a name involving Virgin and innuendo, I suspect. Also, he won’t ever get involved with a “product” unless he believes that it will genuinely help someone else. Eve Branson (his mother) once had to fork out quite a lot of money to keep her beloved baby brat out of prison. He won’t take that risk twice and he will get never get his mother to agree to his getting involved with any project that lacks integrity.

That said, Branson is a BRILLIANT front-man for the Virgin group because he understands how to make something sound catchy and memorable, plus all of his various stunt-activities would have cost a fortune if he had had to pay for the advertising involved. He knows he can “buy” infinitely more free advertising if he simply gets a balloon pilot to take a balloon marked “VIRGIN” across the Atlantic or some other equally hairy stunt. Per Lindstrand was the actual balloon pilot but Branson was the balloon-virgin, if you like. The idea was brilliant and it was worth several million bucks in terms of advertising the Virgin brand.

I was forced to attend a lecture on “self-employment” provided by A4E, who are my own Work Programme provider. The lecture was moronically stupid from start to finish because the first thing that the A4E “trainer” admitted was that she has never been self-employed herself (and she clearly doesn’t have a clue about what it involves, either.)

So….. first she tried to interest us in a character called the Cup Cake Queen. We could all make cup cakes like good ‘uns, I gathered, and we could flog the said cup cakes at a healthy profit as well, we were told. Nonsense. I have never made a cake in my life, haven’t a clue how to and I am certain that even my best friends would avoid eating a free cup cake made by me, frankly, let alone be willing to pay for such an object. My mother might eat one, just to show willing, but I suspect that indigestion later would do her no good!

Then a man was told to start a window-cleaning round. He explained, very convincingly, why this idea is not possible for anyone who has wound up as a Work Programme customer.

Finally, the trainer told us about Richard Branson. We can all copy him, according to A4E’s trainer. I snorted, “What nonsense,” and proceeded to explain why. It turned out that I know vastly more about Richard Branson and his own background than did the trainer.

The so-called A4E “expert” on self employment whose appearance had been promised never did appear, nor did the promised bloke from HMRC – which is located downstairs in the same building. God knows why he failed to appear but he was also a no show.

The whole thing was a total waste of time and an insult to the intelligence of all the customers who had been forced to attend. The man who does A4E’s “training” locally was far too sensible to get involved with this nonsense himself. He has never been self-employed either, but he has the savvy to stay away from ideas that are only going to get him shot down in flames!

He probably also has the wit to realise that A4E’s only real expert on self-employment is Emma Harrison herself. No doubt she could have explained – utterly convincingly – how to rob the taxpayer blind and she would have succeeded in convincing us all about that because she has done it herself. It is NOT a good advertisement for the utterly toxic brand-name of A4E, but Emma Harrison did that bit as well….

Submitted by Bob Cratchett on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 8:51am.

The term “occupational competence” leaps to mind.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 11:39am.

@ LC

Should I claim that I was the office tea-lady with a peculiarly fetishistic interest in solicitors or summat?

Good idea for sitcom script (or adult movie?!)
The training session also good copy – no wait a minute! That’s already been done – c/f Pauline in the League of Gentlemen.
I can’t stop thinking of you as “the Cup Cake Queen”!

Submitted by mkmky on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:14pm.

I understand that this site is a Forum for mainly the W2W Industry,the clue being in the Banner on the front of this Website “Cheat Sheet” being one of the slogans,but as is the case of A4E,where not even a slightly critical comment will ever be published,at least some comments are allowed to stay,until moderated or the site is suspended. The ability to allow a different point of view or personal experience can benefit both sides of the argument.

Personally,I from my own experience have seen a lot of problems with the way the WP has been carried out,but I have also seen the frustration that the Advisers have to put up with along with the Clients.The concept of the WP seems sound on paper and the “Black Box” delivery method was suppose to enable it to be fluid and adapt to changing situations,all fine with the exception,lack of funding,when A4E sold this bill of goods(advised for a fee) to the DWP,Emma Harrison was everyone’s darling,rolling in taxpayer money and it was all aboard for the Gravy Train Express.Do I blame my Adviser..No,just an ill thought plan,like sending a Soldier in to battle with out the right equipment or support.

Submitted by osdset on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:34pm.

So….. first she tried to interest us in a character called the Cup Cake Queen. We could all make cup cakes like good ‘uns, I gathered, and we could flog the said cup cakes at a healthy profit as well, we were told.

Yes until environmental health get involved with said cup cake cottage industry, you can’t just start up a bakery willy-nilly and flog yer efforts to the unsuspecting public! Is this trainer crackers or what?

Submitted by Paul.Bivand on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:39pm.

Glad you’re mostly being constructive (always exceptions). Some light reading from the USA.


The Work Programme does fit into his argument – aimed at preventing “After 12 months of continuous unemployment, the typical unemployed worker still searched for a job, but in a desultory fashion, without much hope. And, after two years of unemployment, the worker, accurately expecting to be at the end of every hiring queue, had lost hope and, for all practical purposes, left the labor market.”

The issue becomes one of needing to do both things – try and ensure there are jobs available and ensure that the long-term unemployed can and do take the jobs that are available. Clearly, on the first point, there are different views, but on the second, there should be ground for agreement.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:44pm.

Hi write

According to Cynthia Payne (Madam Cyn from the 1970s and 1980s) the way to keep the customers happy in a House of Ill Repute is to give them poached eggs on toast. Madam Cyn never mucked about with cup cakes. I can make poached eggs on toast…..

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 1:56pm.

Hi Paul.Bivand

“The Work Programme does fit into his argument – aimed at preventing “After 12 months of continuous unemployment, the typical unemployed worker still searched for a job, but in a desultory fashion, without much hope. And, after two years of unemployment, the worker, accurately expecting to be at the end of every hiring queue, had lost hope and, for all practical purposes, left the labor market.”

The first thing that the Work Programme providers need to do is to RID themselves of their appalling habit of believing in propaganda got up as stereotypes. A bit of common-sense and imagination would go such a long way but that seems to be a forbidden idea, which is just plain nonsense.

This is why I think that the Work Programme would benefit from some new blood of the type that someone like Richard Branson would be able to give it. Sure, it takes a huge amount of money to do the job properly, to attract the right types of staff members (the bright, sparky ones) and so forth. However, if the job is done well then profit might follow. The present, dismal, “one size fits all and we are determined to label averyone with a negative stereotype” attitude is guaranteed to be a complete failure commercially, I predict.

Submitted by Paul.Bivand on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 2:22pm.

Hi LC. Don’t think you quite twigged where and who the linked article came from.

However, from experience with FND (which, apart from finances, was very like Work Programme) was that the stereotypes companies get did not fit.

Some unexpected companies produced innovative ideas that enthused the advisers and voluntary sector.

Others were more same old.

However, performance figures did not necessarily show that innovative and enthusiastic were more effective at getting people into jobs than the same old.

We’ve got differences between providers in focus in the Work Programme – some going for a quality match, others emphasising any job.

Of course, you only see the one you’re sent to.

The performance figures when they come out will probably show something – but most likely the strength of the labour market in particular areas.

Submitted by Lazy Cow on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 3:16pm.

Hi Paul

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Personally, I am not impressed by the arguments advanced by Edgar J. Chickenshack III or whatever his name is. (The American who wrote the article that you provided the link to.) He is theorising and philosophising but there is no hard, factual evidence that he has a clue what he is talking about. The words “oil” and “snake” spring to mind….!

I don’t think the present bunch of pollies have the guts to do anything as ambitious as the Hoover Dam project in the early 1930s. The Americans were actually pulling themselves out of the Great Depression quite nicely until the Japanese stupidly went and bombed Pearl Harbour, in 1941, which riled the Americans in the same way as 9/11 riled them.

Personally, I think that Boris Island is a crazy idea but I agree with Boris that it would become the British equivalent of the Hoover Dam. Politically, it might be worth doing but Boris can’t get it moving whilst the rest of them are just dithering around doing nothing except being frightened of Boris.

My own suspicion is that the politicians will get their countries out of the present economic mess by finding an excuse for another World War. It won’t be anything as primitive as Britain going to war with Germany again. I suspect that the pollies will find an excuse for military interference in the Middle East this time around. David Cameron is a bellicose little twit, as we all saw last year with Libya.

Submitted by Paul.Bivand on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 3:59pm.

Brad DeLong is on the (extremely short) list of well-known economists who have made testable predictions that have proved broadly consistent with the data and have a rationale for doing so.

See the extremely short list here:http://notthetreasuryview.blogspot.co.uk…

The US has provided more economic stimulus than the UK – but their benefit system (Unemployment Insurance) works by cutting people off – in UK terms it’s making work pay by almost zero benefits.

The US doesn’t have the non-stop pressure to show you’re looking for work that is UK practice. 

The result he’s seeing is that stimulus won’t work if people aren’t looking for work – which historically is what happened here when people were offered ‘more appropriate benefits’ in the 1980s and 1990s.

Submitted by writebetweentheeyes on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 4:51pm.

@ Paul B
Haven’t the time to read the article now. Clearly it’s a truism to say that ” stimulus won’t work if people aren’t looking for work”.
It’s equally true to say that forcing people to look for (largely) non-existant work isn’t the answer either (unless you just wish to punish people).
Get it in the right order – let’s have the opportunities there first and then, and only then, can a case be made for coercion.
Cue the cry of “There are jobs out there”. Yes, I know, but nowhere near enough.

Submitted by Greyham on Thu, 02/08/2012 – 3:08pm.

@LC You said (I think that the Work Programme would benefit from some new blood of the type that someone like Richard Branson would be able to give it.)

I find it incredible after all the heated posts about private companies taking billions of tax payers money, that you would even suggest this solution. You said (‘Sure, it takes a huge amount of money to do the job properly’) so where is this money coming from then – do you think Richard will invest it – and if he does do you not think he will want it back with profits – and where is this going to come from. I can only conclude you now agree with some who want MORE MONEY thrown at the Work Programmes to make it work better.

Having said all that I actually agree with you – The idea of having Richard at the helm – I like Richard I think he is a great inspiration for us all.


Submitted by Grappling on Thu, 02/08/2012 – 3:44pm.

Paul.Bivand on Wed, 01/08/2012 – 3:59pm.

> The US doesn’t have the non-stop pressure to show you’re looking for work that is UK
> practice.
> The result he’s seeing is that stimulus won’t work if people aren’t looking for work

Does he really think that even knowing that US benefits are limited, people would still rather just walk away from the American dream and their homes, to live under plastic sheets in a forest, rather than simply ‘looking for work’

There’s no jobs!
We’re in the era as predicted 30 years ago, less work and more leasure, but replaced the word leasure with unemployment.

I like the comment by ‘Zsolt Hermann’ here but not the author.

Submitted by sabrina on Thu, 02/08/2012 – 5:34pm.

“Sure, it takes a huge amount of money to do the job properly, to attract the right types of staff members (the bright, sparky ones) and so forth.” – Lazy Cow.

I’m glad that you have finally come to the conclusion, as have I, that in order for the Work Programme to successfully tackle long term unemployment the private sector companies involved require a much greater level of funding from government and taxpayers.

Submitted by gis_a_job on Thu, 02/08/2012 – 5:59pm.


” that in order for the Work Programme to successfully tackle long term unemployment the private sector companies involved require a much greater level of funding from government and taxpayers.”

is this not the model that was replaced by the W.P.

Changes to discussion forum

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