DWP assessment of workfare: It doesn't work.

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Jun 13 2012 15:13
DWP assessment of workfare: It doesn't work.

A DWP commissioned study has found that the Mandatory Work Programme has 'Zero' effect on getting people into work and may in fact increase people's chances of being on long term benefit.

Quote:
In the study, which compared the outcomes between more than 3,000 MWA referrals with 125,00 non-referred jobseekers, they also concluded that the scheme had zero effect in helping people get a job.

"The results show that … a MWA referral had no impact on the likelihood of being employed compared to non-referrals," the 62-page report said.

Analysing the different groups of unemployed people over a five-month period, the study found: "Overall, the benefit impact over the first 21 weeks equates to referrals being off benefits for an average of about four days more than if they had not been referred." This rose to eight days after sanctions.

But it added that, those being sent on mandatory unpaid work "returned to benefit on average more than the comparison group".

Researchers also found that between May and November 2011 more than 1,600 had their benefits cut for up to six months for either refusing to start a placement or leaving it before it finished. One in five of those who didn't start MWA were sanctioned.

Grayling immediately rubbished the study as being 'out-of-date' and representative only of 'teething problems' in the first three months of the scheme.

Still, when even the DWP thinks Workfare is shit...

no1
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Jun 13 2012 15:47

Excellent news, good to have that info when arguing against workfare. The thing is though, nobody should have expected any different - studies (I think from NZ and Canada) showed that workfare doesn't get people into jobs, which is good evidence that the aim of workfare has always been a different one.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 13 2012 15:48

A DWP report before the Tories were in government (2008), comparing US, Canadian and Australian workfare schemes also concluded:

"There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers. (…) Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high."

A study by the Center For Economic and Social Inclusion in 2011 also concluded the same, and included this graph:

So I think it's safe to assume the aim of workfare isn't to get people into paid jobs. Which is why the government is expanding Mandatory Work Activity when the DWP tells them it isn't working.

wojtek
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Dec 1 2012 22:39

No jobs. Just sanctions.

I know it's expensive, but has anyone read Jamie Peck's book Workfare State (2001) which looks at workfare in the US, Canada and the UK? There's a review here.

Comedian Kevin Bridges and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on workfare here and here - hilarious, but problematic.

wojtek
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Dec 2 2012 14:49
Quote:
So I think it's safe to assume the aim of workfare isn't to get people into paid jobs. Which is why the government is expanding Mandatory Work Activity when the DWP tells them it isn't working.

George Osborne admitted as much today when he said it was to unshackle British industry, i.e. repress wages/ restructure labour market.
https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/275175169025265665

wojtek
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Dec 6 2012 03:10
Quote:
I know it's expensive, but has anyone read Jamie Peck's book Workfare State (2001) which looks at workfare in the US, Canada and the UK? There's a review here.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=brECO9gNTEcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
His chapter on the evolution of workfare in the UK is excellent, well worth a read.

crwydryny
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Dec 8 2012 12:44

I've been saying this since before the whole thing started, and the first thing I've heard people say the moment they start placements is "if they have a job we can do unpaid why can't they just employ us to do the job?"

my own experiences with the program have proven it to me more than anything. even my advisor at the jobcentre did her best to avoid putting me on the program, I was already doing voulntry work which I found on my own time which she tried to use to convince her bosses that it would be best if I didn't go on it until they threatened her job. yes the menegment at the jobcentre actually decided that being put on the work program was more important than taking part in an activity that had a high chance of providing employment

then when I started the work program... I don't think I ever met anyone with less of a clue in my life. they were all "you have to do this this and this course" they first tried putting me on "CV writing courses" until I proved to them not only did I already know how to write one I had a current one that had been updated less than a week before hand and was (by the work's program advisor's own admission) better than her own. they then tried to put me on "confidence building" courses because I was "too quiet" despite my informing them of the reasons it wouldn't be any use to me (I have aspergers so tend to listen more than speak and only say what I need to say) the person in charge of my group who I was doing voulntry work with upon hearing this actually called their offices and informed them that the course would have no benifits to me, gave them a compleate roasting and they decided maybe they shouldn't put me on the course.
they then decided that I obviously wasn't looking for work because I did not wear a shirt and tie (yes that was the excuse he gave me lol) ignoring the fact that I had been voulteering with a charity for over a year at this point and spent a year previously working on setting up a social enterprise (which didn't take off thanks to being screwed over by the group that was suppose to help set it up).
then they tried to actually prevent me from doing any voulenteering despite the fact that the DWP rules state that JCP and it's sub contractors can not prevent clients from taking part in voluntry work that they find on their own so long as they are not getting paid anything other than expenses (i.e travel costs ect) and went so far as to send an inspector to check that the work was safe. not only was it safe we had more health and safty in place than most council works, everyone there had at least basic first aid training and there were at least 2 fully stocked first aid kits close at had at all times.

and then finally they contacted me with a "job" they had waiting for me. so I went down and took a look only to find it wasn't a "job" but a "work placement with chance of employment at the end" within five minuets of talking with the guy doing the interview he had told me that they reciently finished one group from the job and the employers were looking for more people and going to the place I spoke to the people there and they all basically said the same thing "no there are no jobs here"

so yeah I agree the whole work program thing is nothing but a sham just so the goverment can claim it's doing something to "end unemployment" but is actually just creating a generation of slave labour which despite what the courts claim is against basic human rights

wojtek
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Dec 8 2012 16:40

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) last month published an interesting report on Workfare which examines its effectiveness since June 2011:

Quote:
Proportion of Work Programme participants recruited to new jobs

Fewer than one in five (18%) Work Programme participants are recruited to new roles, with 63% recruited to existing roles and 18% a combination of the two (Figure 4).

...

Effectiveness of the Work Programme
With regard to the employment outcomes of those individuals recruited via the Work Programme, on average employers reported that half (50%) of individuals recruited through the Work Programme would still be in work six months after their starting date. Employers also reported that a third (33%) of those recruited had gone on to secure or were likely to secure a permanent contract (Figure 7).

Labour Market Outlook: Focus on the Work Programme

Re. Peck, I found this passage particularly illuminating:

Quote:
Jamie Peck wrote on pages 265, 266 of 'Workfare States':

While the unemployed were certainly induced to enter programs, or where possible waged work, rather than to remain on benefits, the early 1980s regime was a relatively passive one. Urban riots at the start of the 1980s and the widespread collapse of manufacturing economies dictated that the benefit regime be operated in a comparatively liberal manner, at least for the time being. This hardly sat well with Conservatives' political instincts, but pragmatism and expediency suggested a more cautious approach. If there had to be labor market, however, at least they would be de(re)designed in such as way as to compliment and strengthen market forces, rather than to replace them. Schemes were "designed to work with the grain of the market, so as to encourage more realistic wage levels and more flexible working patterns" (Treasury, 1984: 3). Thus far, the coercive integration of the unemployed into the labor market was largely an aspiration of government policy rather than a reality. The overriding imperative remained one of containment.

wojtek
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Dec 23 2012 17:16

Has anyone read the SWP's/ Right to Work's pamphlet on workfare The Tories' war on the poor?

wojtek
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Jan 11 2013 01:14

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pvbp3/Growing_up_Poor_Girls/

Surprise surprise, Amber the girl on workfare didn't get a job at the end.

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Jan 22 2013 18:43

I hate to say "I told you, so. However seeing as I am a human being I will say it. Anyone with the slightest common sense knew this would not work. Sorry to say but this workfare is just a way for businesses to use people for free labour, doing nothing to help the unemployed and it is the fault of the system not businesses. Well if you could get someone to work for free would you hire someone who you had to pay. xx