EXCLUSIVE: Privatised job-finding fiddles rife, says agency source.

Private job-finder intermediaries are ripping off the DWP

Through being ill-informed generally (and specifically distracted by political point-scoring) the Ed Miller Band missed an open goal at PMQs today.

Not that many people will be surprised by a headline about intermediary fiddles; but anyway, this is just to confirm what we have all come to expect from private suppliers to government in the 21st century: those providing ‘services’ to The Work Programme (and other departments in the process of finding people jobs) are scamming the system.

Three weeks ago I received information from a Slogger with family experience of what’s happening. On Monday, an insider finally confirmed some elements of the allegations. Bizarrely, yesterday the original source wrote to me again with an update. This concurred almost exactly with what I had learned the day before. Here’s the bottom line:

Employers and intermediaries are paid by results to get people into work, and providers can earn between £3,700 and £13,700 per person, depending how hard it is to help an individual. The DWP says the scheme so far has cost just over £2,097 for every participant.

A relation of my original source went to an agency for help and got risible service. He subsequently found a job himself.

“They rang me up today to check how I was doing,” he wrote, “and when I told him I had a job he seemed to perk up a bit. He said he’d give me £100 “petrol money” if I signed some paperwork to let him contact the DWP.”

In fact, the agency was after the credit for finding the job. The £100 bribe to the job-seeker gave the company a £2000 clear profit for claiming responsibility for success.

“This kind of fraud is probably quite widespread,” said my industry source, “but is almost impossible to prove either way.”
The reality on the ground (according to the latest ONS data) is that long term unemployed (LTU) Brits have nearly doubled in incidence since the Coalition scheme began…their numbers are up by 96%. The same source also reveals that three million British citizens are now underemployed: that is, they’d rather work full-time, but can only get part-time jobs.
I’ve been saying for some time that the economic model we are following in the UK simply cannot employ the huge population we now have, thanks to the immigration floods encouraged by New Labour between 1999 and 2009. As the model is down to the Tories, and the population down to Labour, we are led – as usual – to the obvious conclusion: neither major Party has a clue what it is doing to our country.

40 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Privatised job-finding fiddles rife, says agency source.

  1. If that fraud is widespread then the success of the work programme is even lower than the dismal rate admitted to.


  2. Michelle Dewberry (the entrepeneur of The Apprentice fame) – is also involved in these work programmes. She was on Sky News yesterday and commented that they were basically a shambles and that when she asked the directorship of one of the main ones what the aim was, was promptly informed “to make a profit”. She suggested that maybe it was to find the longterm unemployed jobs to be met with laughter and a ‘not out problem’ attitude.


  3. There’s another big hole in the net I think. it is one through which I fell myself. Having been made redundant and having drawn my statutory jobseekers allowance for 6 months [I paid in for 38 years I expect I have the right] that’s it, I’m cast adrift, signed off no longer claiming but not in work.
    I did have an interview with some geezer who checked out my cv and said he’d organize a Prince II course or something if I wanted to go back into IT project management. That was it. Never heard from him again and the company didn’t want to know. I’m guessing here but I bet they get paid to interview folks and do some squiddy little report/reccommend. But no one follows up.
    Anyway a small service pension is all the income we have at the moment really and it is £1 too much to allow us to qualify for any other state benefits -not that we would but there are those that maybe aren’t as organized. I can’t help thinking that this £1 above threshold is not accidental but that’s another story.

    There are lots of folk that I know who are not working and not claiming, they are in effect treading water until they can draw a state/private pension. They are in their late 50’s/early 60’s redundant but either with a wife at work or just enough income from another source to queer their pitch for a benefit of some kind. They are off the radar I think -lots of them.

    There are loads of people out there with loads of experience but the problem is they become too expensive especially teachers and healthcare workers because they are at the top of their promotion tree on the top payband for the job, and getting annual increments. Solution -dump ’em and to do this in healthcare all they need do is carve the job up and parcel it out to others in the section/office/division and say the job has disappeared. The redundancy payments have plummeted [glad I went when I did] and there’s so little chance of getting a job it would make me scream if I were looking for one. Another 4 years and I’ll have the first of my private pensions and my NHS pension but I’m dreading what will be left after Osborne has finished with them.


  4. Let’s build on 1,500 square miles of productive land so that we can increase the population even more in an effort to force down wages a bit more.

    Who cares about the lack of power, water or food?


  5. John – this has been going on for years. My ex worked in Job Centres in the early 90s, and it was well know that many of the companies being used to get the unemployed back to work were doing no such thing.


  6. My position is very similar.

    The waste of skills in a supposedly equal opportunity (by age) environment is a disgrace. What to do about ageism in an environment where the retirement age is moving upwards?

    I have recently noticed, via Facebook profiles, that several talented commercials film editors of the eighties / nineties that JW or his colleagues must have worked with are now checkout operators in supermarkets.


  7. I can confirm this scam. My daughter was put on the Work Programme and she is registered on it for 2 years whether she likes it or not. She was given no real help (since she had a degree she already knew how to write a CV!), so she found some part-time voluntary social work along with a small subsidy on her own initiative and stopped taking the JSeekers allowance. This has now developed into a 6 month job replacement for somebody on maternity leave.
    I have since been phoned 3 times by the WP company while my daughter was at work asking for information on her job situation – I naturally thought it odd to be asked personal details even if it was my own daughter and I just fobbed them off with a vague answer. It was obviously the same scam I had been aware of.
    So, until the full 2 years is up, any job SHE gets can be claimed by the WP company as something they ‘helped’ with … as long as they can get the information by some devious means or other.


  8. I am the same…51 years old now and on the work programme, I was made redundant 16 months ago and living in chorley Lancs have no chance of a job.
    After 6 months signing on I recieved a career advice interview organised by the job centre….I told them I :
    Was a qualified engineer (4 year apprenticeship with BREL),
    spent 20 years in Munich so speak fluent german,
    have run and managed small firms almost alone,
    worked 7 years on the arriane 4 space programme in munich and augsburg,(hand finishing rocket parts to extreme tolerance)
    I am a qualified PC technician
    Have worked as a plumber and specialist builder as well as
    painter/decorator for 4 years.
    Hell, I even quit working for Microsoft in Munich because they did’nt pay enough.
    She said “have you thought about re-training”

    Family issues keep me basically locked here in despair.
    I despise Britain.


  9. “..neither major Party has a clue what it is doing to our country.”

    I don’t buy that at all. All three main Party organisations have busloads of very expensive ‘Advisors’ paid for by us. They know what they are doing and it obviously fits in with their or their Master’s plan. Nothing else will explain the apparently serial stupidity of the best advised successive governments in the world. At least since Thatcher.


  10. Oh heres an idea lets sell alcohol at all night service stations , drink and drive ? Not our oroblem..well done shell and all the other mega corps who need the money so much


  11. @FS. I would agree with that observation, this is part of the bigger plan. Not the scam, that’s just par for the course these days, No, they know what they are doing, we just don’t know why just yet, I’m sure we’ll get to find out soon enough.


  12. Privatised job finding, so a private company is paid a bounty to find the unemployed work , if the work existed there would be no problem, and you wouldn’t need a private company to find a job, lets face it genuine job seekers will find work.
    This is another example of parasite business climbing on the back of unemployment. Agencies are another, and then there is the whole NVQ scam…
    I’m in construction was in management, now I’m back on the tools, and I’ve been in and out of work for four years, try walking on to a construction site looking for a start, only to be told the company you once worked for now only employs Romanians, apparently they get an EU grant for training them to a trade.. I think we all know what the problem is ..


  13. All of these schemes are effectively a fraud. The government is well aware of this and cynically depend on an economic upturn (previously there always was one and it is still the underlying assumption, one I have suspected to be flawed for several years, that tells government public debt does not matter) to create employment and thus ‘prove’ their system works.

    The only schemes that do actually work are those that bribe external companies to set up or re-locate here, creating jobs that would not have existed otherwise or where tax payer money is used to fund a new business unable to gain funds elsewhere. Experience suggests that these have less than a 10% success rate and will typically cost around £50,000 per permanent (longer than 5 years) job, often more than the benefits saved.

    The pre-Thatcher method was simply to have nationalised industries soak up unemployment, post Thatcher it was to have public service jobs soak up the shortfall together with enhanced welfare benefits and things like Enterprise zones which created highly subsidised jobs that vanished as soon as the subsidies did.

    The truth is we simply cannot sustain full employment at our current standard of living, even with one or two million non-jobs on the go.


  14. My grandchildren tell me :
    ‘When you have the youth of eastern europe arriving on our doorstep, prepared to work any hours for minimum wage, it is bound to affect the prospects of the local population. Next year we have Bulgaria and Romania, and Turkey soon after. Yet the Government target the so called ‘scrounging unemployed’. The work programme is a costly substitution for the Job Centre, both of whom’s personnel are bottom fished low life.’


  15. Correction! Not all are frauds by any means. In fact there is a superb one working in Liverpool – http://www.basetechtrainingcic.com/ which is a community based project. As an independent observer, and now a committed supporter, I witnessed four previously disadvantaged young trainees being awarded their first full time jobs last Friday. Many more full time job and apprentice opportunities are in the pipe line for Base Tech trained youngsters.


  16. The overwhelming majority of these things are a complete scam, and they were always going to be as soon as it appeared the private sector, rather than charities, had won the bulk of the contracts.

    The ultimate aim is vindictiveness towards people on the dole, which is arguably one thing when jobs were plentiful, but totally counter-productive now that they’re not.


  17. The dismal science.Supply and demand.Increase the supply of labour,into a no growth economy,and down goes the market clearing rate for work,and up goes the welfare claimants who calculate that work does not pay.It is hardly rocket science..This was the cynical strategy of Garry.Fill the leadership of the public sector with New Labour oiks(aka. Common Purpose ‘graduates’)and flood the country with immigrants,many of whom will be dependent on the Welfare State,and certain to vote for the party that expands public sector employment.Cyril Smith?You should look at the previous of the youthful Garry,in his pomp at various Scottish universities,which is how he came under the direction of our new friends in Moscow..


  18. Several years ago I was just about to start a job, but was told by my Job Centre I still had to go to something called Working Links. I duly went and explained that I was somewhat confused as to why I was there as I already had a job – at which point they fell over themselves to offer me “assistance” in my new job – £60 worth of Sainsbury’s vouchers, £60 worth of bus passes, and as they struggled to find some further way of assisting me (my new job was as a barman) they eventually agreed to pay the @£120 it had cost me to reconnect the phone line in my new flat to BT (essential for my work ?).
    If I was still there in 6 months time I’d get the same again – which I duly did.
    I found such generosity very surprising and in complete contrast to the water out of a stone scenario that usually prevailed in the Job Centre – then I was told that they got @ £2000 for having “helped” me back into employment – with the knowledge of hindsight I wouldn’t have bothered going to see them, it might have cost me a few hundred quid, but it would have deprived those con artists of over £1600, money they got for a couple of signatures signing off on forms that I had filled out.


  19. Not sure I agree with that, SITC. Would those jobs not exist without the project? Would they not have been filled by other folk?

    I am sure it is a welcome event for those underprivileged and originally inadequate to fill the posts who have had the necessary training to fit them for the job. However, if those jobs are not entirely existent and productive because of the scheme then all that has happened is jobs that would have gone to someone else have been diverted to those trainees at additional cost to the community.

    I am not saying it is a bad thing, reducing the incidence of the feral or disadvantaged and introducing a work ethic where it was previously lacking is a good thing in itself, cutting crime, the underclass and so on, but unless it has created real jobs then it is still a fraud on the taxpayer. Only completely new, private sector and productive jobs is an acceptable measure for judging these schemes.

    Widespread educational and cultural failure ensures that we turn out far too many young people who are simply unemployable and need to be trained if they are ever to have hope of work, a problem this and similar schemes address, but while they may create workers they do not create jobs which is what the government claims and thus should be the measure.


  20. I’ve heard a few variations of that story, so you’re far from alone.
    Hopefully other people in your position will start demanding the bulk of the 2 grand the shysters get.


  21. Can I ask if you are still signing on for national insurance purposes?

    A friend’s partner did this for about a year, and was still obliged to have an interview each fortnight regarding what he was doing to find work. Not long ago however they informed him that unless he found a job within the next 2 weeks he was being referred to the work programme. Fortunately, he had already obtained a job and was starting during that fortnight.

    I hope that this doesn’t happen to you. It means that you and others really will be absolutely working for nothing, not even JSA.

    All the best and hope that you find some work soon.


  22. I’m not convinced that the Workfare agenda ever had anything to do with magically shoehorning hundreds of people into each actual vacancy.

    Most of these Tory toffs will have been regaled with boyhood happy tales from the “Camb. Latin Course”, about slaves being put down like dogs, when too old or sick to work. What current policies are doing is creating a permanent underclass which will be a slave class ala the slaves who kept the Roman Empire afloat…with the toffs seemingly believing that, with a little propagandsing help from the MSM, this will be the way to bail Britain out. In Roman times, teaching, doctoring, managing, and most other middle class jobs were done by SLAVES, who were paid pocket money to subsist in backstreet rented hovels. Only toffs and millionaire landed gentry types qualifed as Roman ‘Citizens’. Few ordinary people were free.

    Those becoming homeless due to bedroom taxes, will end up feeling grateful for a cell in some godawful housing block compound (assuming they do not end up as sanctioned workfare refuseniks who will be dying like flies on the streets…just like in Victorian times). Doubtless there will be increases in crime. This will suit the Tories, who will blamed the sanctioned destitute and have an excuse for microchipping and curfew-ing anyone lacking a taxpaying job. Already third class rail carraiges are being planned, so that taxpayers will not be troubled by seeing, smelling, or feeling sorry for the slaves.

    The mooted food stamp credit card (or implanted chip?) system will keep the underclass out of the places where taxpayers shop.

    But hey, it will all be perfectly ‘fair’ and meritocratic, because, after all (in theory), a slave could somehow, someday, get a real, taxpaying job and emigrate back into genteel society (although I predict there will be plenty of red tape making this even harder than it currently is to get into the support group of ESA).


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