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£14MILLION GOVERNMENT WORKING WELL JOB SCHEME MADE ALMOST NO IMPACT IN GREATER MANCHESTER
 

Star date: 12th January 2018

70% OF SALFORD PEOPLE ON JOB SCHEME SAY IT DID NOT IMPROVE EMPLOYABILITY

A £14.4million Government Working Well scheme to help benefit claimants into long-term jobs, piloted in Greater Manchester, "has not increased the chances of individuals moving into work", states an early impact study from the Department for Work and Pensions, published yesterday.

Meanwhile, a separate independent evaluation done for Big Life Enterprises, which got the Salford contract, reported that over 70% of those who gave feedback thought that Working Well did not improve their employability. The GMCA is about to start a £52million extension to the programme.

Full details here...


Greater Manchester Working Well statistics Greater Manchester Working Well Big Life statistics
click image to enlarge

Working Well, or WW, was a five year pilot begun in 2014 by the Government's Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and run by Salford City Council on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), with the aim of helping long-term claimants with health conditions into work.

All participants in WW were claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), were deemed as capable of work 'at some point in the future', and had been on the Work Programme but failed to get work.

The idea was that key workers from contracted organisations would help up to five thousand people with problems like health, debts, housing and skills before focusing on employment and then, once a job had been found, provide them with in-work support for at least twelve months.

Two companies were contracted to carry out the programme in Greater Manchester Ė Big Life, which was supposed to sort Salford, Manchester and Trafford, and Ingeus, which took on the other GM authority areas. And there was huge money at stake for these companies, which were paid on results.

The companies were paid £1,440 per person who joined the pilot scheme; £576 for every person who got work, and £864 for every person who stayed in work for twelve months Ė a potential of £2,880 per 'client', with scope for five thousand 'clients', giving a total £14.4million potential earning.

Yesterday, the Department of Work and Pensions published an early impact assessment of the pilot, by the Learning and Work Institute, which covered 53% of those referred up to August 2015. It compares those on the Working Well programme and a 'match group'...

"Overall, our analysis of different job outcomes suggests that WW has not increased the chances of individuals moving into work" the authors concluded.

They added that those on WW who did manage to get a job had their time in work lengthened by 4.57 weeks, and did have an impact on being in work for 26 weeks or more...but "The pilot programme was not found to have a statistically significant impact on any periods spent off out-of-work benefits".

Statistics produced by the report show 'no significant' difference between the match group and those on Working Well in eight categories, apart from 'job sustained for 26 weeks', which had a 5% difference (see photo).

Meanwhile, in 2015, Big Life Enterprises, or Big Life, commissioned Scott Dickinson to do an interim evaluation of its delivery of the Working Well programme. While those in Manchester and Trafford thought that the programme was having a positive impact on their employability, in Salford, almost 71% (70.84%) of the 391 people sampled, said that it wasn't improving their chances of employability.

"While clients were generally positive about Working Well's approach, some clients remained uncertain as to their long-term employment prospects" that section of the report concluded.

This month, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has appointed InWork GM (an 'alliance' of Ingeus and The Growth Company, and including Pathways CIC and Pluss) to deliver a new Working Well programme.

The programme, part of the devolution deal with the DWP and part-funded by the European Social Fund, is costing £52million and hopes to support over 22,000 people across Greater Manchester until 2024... 

"The new Working Well (Work and Health Programme) will support people who are out of work due to poor health and disabilities, and will build on Greater Manchester's successful Working Well programme" states the GMCA "It has been designed to respond to one of Greater Manchester's strategic aims to reduce long term unemployment and help more residents into sustained employment.

"The Working Well (Work and Health Programme) programme will continue to fundamentally change how skills, health and employment services work together across Greater Manchester, by offering a seamless, co-ordinated and sequenced package of support to individuals to help them to address specific barriers and challenges that make it difficult to move forward" it adds.


Read the Government Report - click here

Read the Big Life report - click here

Victoria Jones wrote
at 07:40:36 on 12 June 2018
During the Working Well programme, I found the key workers very friendly and approachable. The problem for me was that I was placed in WRAG after a Tier 1 Court Tribunal ruled that I wasn't 'currently' fit for work but placed in the WRAG bracket. I needed a new wheelchair as the 2nd hand one I had was causing pain and nausea due to it's incompatibility to my needs. I was put in touch with an Occupational Therapist that was, to say the least, useless. They were no help at all other than filling my voicemail with messages. I'd call back, at cost to myself, and only spoke to them directly once. With several chronic illnesses that will only deteriorate due to their nature my Key Workers,3 in less than 18 months, were telling me that I shouldn't even be in the WRAG. Yet the Manager was pushing them to get me in to work. Having seen your article and the bonuses involved, I fully understand why. Using the disabled to get cash bonuses if they can be employed is underhanded and despicable. I am an Armed Forces Veteran, HM ROYAL NAVY, so I felt like I was given extra attention. But I truly believe that the programme is not fit for purpose. On one hand the manager is trying to force my Key workers to get me into work or on a college course etc, and on the other hand the Key workers were saying let's help you get back in to the Support Group, and to their credit, I did. I believe that the money being spent on this EU ego stroking project could, and should, be spent on the NHS to

Victoria Jones wrote
at 07:40:16 on 12 June 2018
My first key worker was excellent! Yet they were moved, my second also. My 3rd, I never met. Their hands are tied by the politics and management to meet targets, as detailed in the preceding article. Personally though, I feel it is not fit for purpose. However, my key worker gave me the confidence to file another ESA claim which did end up in another WCA but this time I was successful. Remove the targets and bonuses and I believe that it could work provided that they expand their scope and understandig of chronic, long-term illnesses.

Ged Brough wrote
at 08:24:03 on 14 April 2018
late but better than not at all. the dwp put out tenders to preferred providers to "empower people back into work" the provider who wins the contract employ people to be "back to work coaches". these coaches are given authority to give warnings or sanctions to people who cannot meet the requirements.eg turn up search for so many jobs etc.the coaches are not interested in personal circumstances they have to please their manager.the only thing they want are POSITIVE OUTCOMES. This could be sending a person to a job interview 5miles away costing bus fares etc they know that person will not get the job.but the coach will have have ticked another box towards the weekly outcomes target, maybe a bonus.

Bob wrote
at 08:28:43 on 13 January 2018
Bang on Biffo. You're dead right. The only schemes that work,are the skills courses that people actually want to go at. For instance , over the years I have seen A few lads who went on these bricklaying courses. Whilst its true that most of these people had already been in the building game as labourers, and knew a bit, going on these courses helped them brush up a bit and helped them on their way. All these daft schemes they have now are simply a way to discipline the poor unemployed. no wonder they have to employ 3 or 4 bouncers at each dole office to stop people kicking off when they get sanctioned. When I signed on last year for a couple of months, at Churchill way, they arsed me about a bit. One day, as I was leaving the job centre with steam coming out of my ears, I noticed a strong smell of piss coming from the computer room near the front door.One of the jobseekers had pissed on the floor. "Disgusting", I said to one of the bouncers. "Happens all the time mate", said the bouncer. I don't know why but I laughed and went on my way. All this wasted money should be spent on creating new, real jobs. There are plenty of things that need doing that don't get done. All our politicians make a balls of things. The Torys are not capitalists any more, they are moneytryists, and labour are just total wasters of money who have no idea how to spend cash wisely . Look at our lot here. Will we ever learn? I don't think we will.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 08:27:57 on 13 January 2018
These schemes need a drastic overhaul from punishment status into personal ambition courses. Begin by asking the learner what they want to do. Then fit the learning around their own aims. The plan should enable the individual to retain any benefits for twenty months along with a 40% of the training cost as starter payment. This will stimulate new ideas into communities. Catering or Care Worker. Plasterer or Pole-dancer. Gardener or IT Guru. For some the opportunity to go onto other trading and training courses. The importance of individual well-being must be at the core with each getting professional team leadership in nutrition, hygiene, safety and wellness. Salford should sell its assets to put local people in the best position to create personal health, wealth and family happiness. I demand our elected Mayor trebles the Salford skills budget to lead the U.K. into a post Brexit future. He may then be in with a chance of getting my vote.

Arnold Rimmer wrote
at 16:08:09 on 12 January 2018
"70% OF SALFORD PEOPLE ON JOB SCHEME SAY IT DID NOT IMPROVE EMPLOYABILITY" - So it did improve it for 30% of them. 30% improvement seems good to me.

Biffo wrote
at 14:27:56 on 12 January 2018
None of these organisations that have been set up in order to train the long term unemployed for work ever have good results. They are a waste of tax payers money. For my opinion they are not really expected to produce results, they're really a Government initiative to punish people who are on either JSA or ESA. The way that I see it they're a bit like prison work in Victorian jails, going on the treadmill for ten hours or picking oakum. The philosophy behind it is "have them doing something, and if they don't fully comply then they can be sanctioned."

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