Friday, August 28, 2009

Welfare To Worry And Welfare To Work Contradictions


The Welfare to Work (Welfare to Worry more like) "entertainment" started off with Channel 4 creating a series called "Benefit Busters" .

Its turning into something of an expose of an economy driven by welfare cannibalism that makes some people and companies rich and the paradox that you cannot create work in a workless recessionary environment in a country too that has lost most of its production base .
You can of course create a very stressful and punitive enviroment .
Last night in the UK we were treated to a story about one man who managed to get a placement with a gardening firm which lasted little more than a week . A4e the "Welfare to Work" company who helped manage this have been awarded a £700 million Govt contract to get people off benefits and into work . Emma - the Chief of A4e was interviewed and had it put to her that the quality of the job placements when temporary were just disruptive to peoples lives. There was even discussion about "zero hour" contracts where clients would be signed up to work for hours the company could not guarantee consistently .
Emma looked thoughtful and could only hold the moment by saying she would investigate matters and try to get advice from those who might be fitted for that .
In the first programme Emma's country estate was shown with one of her employees a rumbustious motivator and semi salesperson saying words to the effect of :
"If you have got it flaunt it "
Yes it was flaunted okay and Labour voters everywhere apart from the post-Blair aspirers must be storing quite a bit of extra class hatred by now - its certainly Welfare to Wealth for some .
Here's what a Channel 4 viewer said of that :

"At 8:51 pm on August 23, 2009 bobgil wrote:

Best laugh I have had for ages. I thought I was watching an office style, black comedy. The Chief executive owning a country estate was ‘priceless’. You really couldn’t make it up! I can’t wait for the next episode."

The man who got the gardening job and treated to a £90 grant for some smart interview clothes went back to the Jobcentre after his job crashed and he was laid off and it took 3 weeks to re-engage his benefits .

Yet the taste for people being in the virtual "workhouse" in the UK is a long lived ghost . In the disability community many realise you cannot negotiate with a system that will not create better trust in the client and their needs . Needs, led by clients are often abandoned or are weakly diluted and training grants for special measures are not available . The stick of Miss and Mr Whakkity at the Welfare to Work training offices have now been fashioned for the leftover Victorian hatred of people on hard times, and the ghost of Charlie Dickens drinking a can of lager is watching it all ..

The part delusion that work for all exists that can sustain people continues in a western world and UK of un-rejigged production and activity ..Capitalism has undermined local stabilties .

Gov't supports most things in reality - including the failed banking sector which still behaves as if it is private when its now living on State benefits too for its disabled incapacities . The meaning of this crisis is still not reaching the brain of post industrial prejudice towards the helpless and the workless though . The paradox is kept to a kind of shared social denial of half-insights and "quantised easings" when the true "quantity" of truth is moaning uneasily in the gutter in those who are delegated now for socially dark angers about being on welfare .

The whole system is on welfare ..

Charities that once saw opportunities now see losses . They believed they could turn the policy of getting people back to work into help and also of course expand themselves financially . There are some pretty highly paid charity staff out there in the UK now yet the social experiment to create more and more people at "work" has become flawed by major contradictions in the West's economic systems

"Shaw Trust accounts show crippling cost of DWP contracts

By John Plummer, Third Sector Online, 10 August 2009

Charity blames Pathways to Work programme for huge deficit

The Shaw Trust made a £2.8m loss in 2008/09 compared with a surplus of £7.4m the previous year, according to its annual report.

The charity, which is the largest voluntary sector provider of employment services for disabled people, blamed the loss on the huge start-up costs involved in delivering Pathways to Work programmes on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions."

Click here to find out more!

The story continues and more Charities are looking for ways out of the Dept of Work and Pensions large experiment driven by the Govt's social inclusion theories . Client groups are unlikely to get what they need for real help but some may benefit . How many ? Who knows ?
Lets hope someone is taking a serious audit of all this and weighing up whether money spent in Welfare to Work new dash and welfare tongue-lash-for-cash companies is truly effective.

"Major charities ditch Pathways contracts

27 August 2009

Two major charities have ended their role as sub-contractors on the Pathways to Work programme because they were no longer financially viable.

RNIB, along with Action for Blind People, have ceased to work as sub-contractors for prime provider A4E and have warned that there may be redundancies as a result.

Meanwhile RNID have also pulled out of most of their Pathways contracts, but intend to be involved in the new DWP funded Work Choice programme, previously known as the Specialist Disability Employment Programme."

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