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.