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How bad is the work programme?


reallymadwoman
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Unbelievably, I posted this thread nearly 2 years ago :- http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?284285-No-experience-no-job-no-experience.

 

Unfortunately, despite taking and using all the advice given my poor daughter still doesn't have a job and we're getting desperate enough to ask JCP for help. Apparently, as a carer (she gets carer's allowance and IS) she could volunteer for the work programme. However, having read some horror stories we're very wary.

 

For example, if she volunteers to join, is it then compulsory? Could they sanction her benefits if she couldn't turn up because she's in A & E with me or if she refused a course because it was too many hours? Even if they technically can't do that, how likely are Work Programme advisors to have any experience of dealing with carers? Are they going to just push her into caring jobs because that's the easiest option?

 

Does anyone know of any more guidance about support for carers other than the standard DWP leaflet? Or have any other suggestions at all?

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Volunteer for the Work Programme? Lunacy IMHO, you have read the threads, how many positive stories are there?

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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Feels like a lifetime ago now, but the year they brought in New Deal (remember that?), my OH was on incapacity benefit following an RTA. Being 23 at the time, he decided that he didn't fancy a lifetime on benefits and got his consultant to sign him off as fit and then volunteered for New Deal, despite not having been unemployed for 6 months. He wanted to train to be a landscape gardener - he spent 6 weeks on an advanced Microsoft user course and one day building a replica iron age round house. He was then forced to take the first job that came along from a New Deal employer under threat of benefit sanctions. The job in question was as an "apprentice engineer" (read: bucket carrier), he ended up working in excess of 60 hours a week for what worked out at £4 an hour, and that's when he actually got paid. The company went bust after 8 months, owing us a fortune and having helpfully paved the way for an almost lifetime cycle of debt. Despite the fact the company was glaringly obviously in massive financial trouble and dragging us down with them, the JC insisted that if he quit, they'd sanction our benefits.

 

Looking round this forum, nothing's changed - I'd say only do anything that might involve sanctions if they drag you in kicking and screaming.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

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So we're all agreed the work programme is a no then?

 

Any positive suggestions other than carry on doing what we're doing - volunteering and applying for anything that seems remotely suitable.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Personally I would not advise volunteering to attend the WProg, it may voluntary to go along but once you have volunteered and attend the voluntary meeting you become mandated to continue to attend with them.

 

All the providers will be looking at with your daughter is the rather larger than normal "bonus" payment they receive if they help her to move away from IS and Carers Allowance to take up employment. They appear on most levels to inadequate to help the long term unemployed let allone someone is considered more vunerable due to their home circumstances and caring requirements.

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I volunteered to go on the New Deal for the disabled with A4e when it started. It was a complete waste of time, the venue was completely inappropriate for any one with physical disabilities. The staff had little idea about disabilities and seemed to think exersize was the cure for all disabilities. To top it off i was told that the HE diploma I had taken years to achieve was worthless. They effectively removed all thoughts of me ever getting back to work.

 

I am now on ESA SG, don't think I'll bother again.

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Your Daughter would have absolutely NO benefit from the Work Programme, the opposite in fact.

 

And even when you "volunteer" for it, once you volunteer, it then becomes mandatory iirc.

 

It is seriously not worth getting involved with, remotely.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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It seems we're pretty much on our own then. If she was a couple of years younger, 'Young Carers' might provide some help but otherwise there's nothing locally. Not even help with travel costs and fees to do a course or something, not that I think that would help much.

 

Back to the bank of Mum and Dad then!

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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So we're all agreed the work programme is a no then?

 

Any positive suggestions other than carry on doing what we're doing - volunteering and applying for anything that seems remotely suitable.

 

My only advice is not join phoney volunteering projects but keep on applying for jobs. Don't lose sleep over it. There's not much work around, but the only option is to keep on applying and hope that some other applicants give up before your daughter does. It's bit like joing a very long queue, eventually someone in the middle will give up and the queue will get shorter.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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The pimps are just car parks for claimants, they have no access to any special 'secret' job lists, they use the same resources as anyone else. IMO it's more likely that a claimant would come out the other end of a two year stint with the pimps less equipped for the job market than when they started.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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Voluntary work in local charities can lead to permanent positions and training. Local youth centes are alays looking for young volunteers, and their hours are ussually very flexible week by week. If the local council is involved with the facility this opens the door to free places on council youth training courses which are for a few hours or days at a time. This can eventually lead to paid placement work in the facility with the council. Not sure how old your daughter is but council youth facilities often run job clubs and access to training and benefits for up to age 25.

 

Imagine it would be the same with some other voluntary organisations. Your local volunteer centre could probably advise you further on this. Our local Volunteer ADvice Centre asks companies who advertise in them , if the work is paid, expenses are met and what sort of support and training will be offered to a potential volunteer. And they also usually have some knowledge on effect on benefits for volunteers as well.

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Personally I would not advise volunteering to attend the WProg, it may voluntary to go along but once you have volunteered and attend the voluntary meeting you become mandated to continue to attend with them.

 

Have they recently change the participation groups?

 

The last time I checked the "Work Programme Provider guide" (chapter 2) it stated that those on IS or where a "full time carer" are placed in the "Voluntary Participation group" along with those on "ESA support", if they volunteered to enter the work programme.

 

Those on ( for example) ESA WRAG or JSA, if they volunteer to enter WP, then yes, they then become mandated.

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