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How bad is "The Work Programme" and does it ever help?

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So essentially, I'm just going to provide a little bit of background information and then I'll get to the question at hand.

 

I'm a University graduate with a 2:1 honors degree in Web Systems and Development (i.e. A Web Developer). I finished University in 2013, I worked up until July 2014 and have been out of work since that time, I have had freelance jobs here and there to help me along the way, but essentially, I have been out of full-time employment since July 2014.

 

 

Without trying to toot my own horn here, I'm portraying this across to simply imply, I have a lot of qualifications and I have a fair amount of job experience, I have worked with over 5 individual clients, had jobs with 3 different people (from July 2013 - July 2014), so it's not as if I'm in short supply there either.

 

So to get onto the actual topic. I've been on JSA since July 2014, but recently when I went to sign on, one of the advisors there informed me that because I had been on JSA for 12-months, I am now being transferred to "The Work Programme", she didn't tell me much about it, nor did the person who I had my interview regarding the appointment to set-up TWP interview.

 

The sad thing that I happen to see reoccurring all the time is that, The Work Programme is a pile of crap, essentially. I have read no good stories about TWP, no advantageous results of being on TWP, it just seems like it is a gigantic waste of my time and it's going to be more hassle than it's worth.

 

So I guess my question is this, typically what does TWP entail? Has there been any benefits of being on TWP and as someone with a heavy Computing background, will that help me with TWP. I've read that despite your qualifications, you are usually thrown into retail work (shops or whatever) just stacking shelves for 2-4 weeks, you then have a 2 week gap and then you're back on the next job, rinse and repeat until you eventually get a job out of it.

 

I just don't really see how I or anyone else currently on this programme can take it seriously knowing that you're going to be in a place surrounded by other full time employees knowing that they are getting paid minimum wage while you're there working for close to £1.2 p/h? It just doesn't make sense to me.

 

If anyone could fill me in, help me understand this a little bit more, that would be great.

Edited by Fragil1ty

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Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage. We are a grassroots campaign, formed in 2010 by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact. We expose and take action against companies and organisations profiting from workfare; encourage organisations to pledge to boycott it; and actively inform people of their rights.

 

 

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16


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My advice is that ESA is not the easy ride and that once on it, it can actual make you ill. I was trapped on it for a number of years

 

Regards charity work, I signed up to a site called DO-IT.org and chose my own before giving them the chance, I got what I wanted and was local, it does not give me experience but, keeps the wolves kind of from the door.

 

Go to the site create an account and the rest is just local charities to where you live, mine reimburses my bus fare. Sometimes you benefit more from jumping before you are pushed, mine is only four hours a week but, I would do more if asked.

 

Apparently this site gives you the opportunity to find something that you might prefer rather than having to accept whatever the Work Programme providers decide to put you somewhere you might hate.


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Apparently this site gives you the opportunity to find something that you might prefer rather than having to accept whatever the Work Programme providers decide to put you somewhere you might hate.

 

Thanks bud, I'll get on that right away, see if I can find anything.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. It is not essential that you begin your introduction with a list of your academic achievements, we're not proud.

 

You question is "What does TWP entail"? If you mean the Work Programme, which is WP, I can refer you to:

 

Work Programme provider guidance notes

I reckon you will need your full range of academic powers to figure them out.

 

 

If you mean something else please elaborate.

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The work program is useful for those who need and want help and a burden for those that would rather be left to deal with their own affairs.

 

The main strategy of these providers is to bombard you with mind numbing tasks so that your very soul screams for a way out.

 

Once that happens they get paid.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. It is not essential that you begin your introduction with a list of your academic achievements, we're not proud.

 

You question is "What does TWP entail"? If you mean the Work Programme, which is WP, I can refer you to:

 

Work Programme provider guidance notes[/url]

I reckon you will need your full range of academic powers to figure them out.

 

 

If you mean something else please elaborate.

 

Fixed, thank you.

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The main strategy of these providers is to bombard you with mind numbing tasks so that your very soul screams for a way out.

 

There are three ways out of the Work Programme:

 

  • Find permanent employment.
  • Sign off.
  • Die.

For all others, expect two years of tedious, worthless, and pointless interventions by staff who will treat you with contempt and belittle your achievements to date. If you have the misfortune to be referred to A4e, be mindful of one of their promises:

To treat you as we ourselves expect to be treated.
I reserved the right to reciprocate when insulted, threatened, intimidated, and generally treated with contempt :bounce:

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Ditto for Ingeus too, should you be referred there. There's a long thread about Ingeus on here and it is not pleasant reading.

 

The best you can hope for is that if they can't find work in your particular field, thay may just 'park' you - this means asking you to come in once in a while just so they can say they've 'actively engaged with the client' and for the most part leaving you alone. Doesn't matter how good your CV is, be sure they will re-write it..badly. WP employees are not known for their literacy skills. You needn't ever use it of course, I never did when they tried to change mine.

 

One thing you must do is to make yourself aware of the WP guidance, which they have to follow or else risk losing their contract with the DWP. They'll tell you all sorts of lies about what is mandatory and what isn't and if you can't immediately spot this and pull them up, your time there will be all the harder. Always remember that the WP's are businesses and are there to make money. Guidance link below; definitely worth downloading it, reading it and keeping it handy (especially Chapter 3a - Mandation) If they know that you're wise to the rules and can't be bullied they'll tread far more warily with you.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

 

They can make money by doing a good job and finding you work but they can also make a hell of a lot from clients just by merely having them on the books and claiming payments for a variety of 'help' they supposedly provide.

 

Sorry it's all grim news but sadly that's the way the WP is. A lot of us here have done the 2 years and nobody found anything of real value from it.

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Thanks very much for the advice/help, it's all very helpful, I just wanted to know what I'd be in for over the course of however long I'm going to remain on the WP.

 

Thanks very much.

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Thanks very much for the advice/help, it's all very helpful, I just wanted to know what I'd be in for over the course of however long I'm going to remain on the WP.

 

Thanks very much.

Like Mr P. says, unless you get a job, sign off benefits or die you will be on WP for 2 years.

On the plus side you will be mandated to go on all sorts of courses that will improve your job prospects and enhance your CV.

 

Courses like:

How to write a CV.

How to write Job application letters and fill in application forms

Interviewing techniques.

How to use computer.

How to access the Internet.

How to look for jobs.

You will also be mandated to do month long stints in charity shops and/or pound shops to learn about working.

If you are on Universal Credit insert 6 months in place of 1 month.

All this education will be imparted to you by ignorant, illiterate morons that you must always humble yourself before.

In between all that you will be sanctioned for anything from 4 weeks to 2 years for such deviant behaviour as not turning up for appointments or interviews that you weren't informed of in the first place, or sent a letter tomorrow to attend yesterday, or not applying for jobs that don't exist.

ENJOY!!!!!!

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I'll try again - Lapsed Workaholic you talk a great game but if you are so knowledgeable and high handed, then why haven't you got a job?

Simple question, simple answer - please explain....

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williamtold your post was unapproved

 

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I'll try again - Lapsed Workaholic you talk a great game but if you are so knowledgeable and high handed, then why haven't you got a job?

Simple question, simple answer - please explain....

I tell you again William, and this time be 'told'. A subjective opinion is not a question, not even a simple one.

Not sure how you are so knowledgeable as to my employment status when knowledge of your own condition eludes you.

Suggest you heed your own advice and not call or regard someone a parasite, or worse, when you know nothing about them.

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Like Mr P. says, unless you get a job, sign off benefits or die you will be on WP for 2 years.

On the plus side you will be mandated to go on all sorts of courses that will improve your job prospects and enhance your CV.

 

Courses like:

How to write a CV.

How to write Job application letters and fill in application forms

Interviewing techniques.

How to use computer.

How to access the Internet.

How to look for jobs.

You will also be mandated to do month long stints in charity shops and/or pound shops to learn about working.

If you are on Universal Credit insert 6 months in place of 1 month.

All this education will be imparted to you by ignorant, illiterate morons that you must always humble yourself before.

In between all that you will be sanctioned for anything from 4 weeks to 2 years for such deviant behaviour as not turning up for appointments or interviews that you weren't informed of in the first place, or sent a letter tomorrow to attend yesterday, or not applying for jobs that don't exist.

ENJOY!!!!!!

 

Great more stuff to look forward too.

 

Are the people that work in these places that hard to deal with? A lot of the posts that i've read seem to be that a lot of the people (as you've stated her) are just illiterate morons who don't really know anything and want to make your time as painful as possible.

I really hope it doesn't turn out like this because I don't want to sound egotistical here, but I'm not really one to sit in a meeting with someone and not express my opinion really. Lol, like I was reading that a lot of people will get asked to sign a piece of paper, a contract or whatever, but they are usually only given 1/3 of the pages and refused the remaining pages unless they sign the page that they are given. I wont be standing for crap like that, it's just not how I am, lol.

 

But thanks for your advice regardless. :D It sounds like so much fun ahead. /sarcasm

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You might meet some individuals who are OK. Maybe. Perhaps. There are a few of them out there. The problem is that the whole system is just another way to funnel taxpayers cash to firms favoured by the government. After all, what good is a social safety net unless someone can make a profit from it, eh? And with that in mind, it's easy to see how even the nicest, most benign WP adviser, with all the best intentions in the world, is going to struggle to put the lipstick on this pig.

 

And it's not so much that they don't want you to get a job in your professional field, it's just that they no more know how to help you find work in web development than they know how to perform open heart surgery or fly jumbo jets. What they know how to do is hassle people into retail, call centres and manual labour, and onto useless courses and work placements. So that's what they do. You are wise to go into this with the attitude that you will not take any crap.


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They will ask you to sign something. Don't. Others will give you more information.

 

I'm trying (and struggling a lot) to think of a single person who actually found WP useful. It was 9 months of hell for me.

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Fragil1ty,

 

I was (for six months until I found a job I actually enjoyed and thought was valuable) an adviser/coach for one of the companies named above. I'll start by saying that we weren't all illiterate nor would I consider myself a moron, but moving on...

 

What's been said already is, in all fairness, correct. The WP is not geared towards helping professionals into professional roles. It's geared towards getting as many people as possible into any sort of work, that means that largely it's the work that's most freely available. It's this that get's the 'McJob' reputation. Unfortunately, it's also geared into doing it with the least possible investment into the people it's supposed to be helping.

 

I'll freely admit that I know as much about web design as I do about quantum physics, and unless your adviser/coach also happens to be a weekend coder then neither will they. What I did (and to some extent still do) know about is how to help people through the recruitment process having been at the front end of shortlisting / interviewing / recruiting etc for longer than I'd freely admit.

 

I honestly think that one of the sore-points in the WP experience is the expectation of the DWP that someone take any job, rather than only the job they want. That's clear in the fact that the only routes out of the WP are: Getting a job, signing off JS or dying. You ought to know, better than anyone, what the job market for newly qualified web designers is like:

 

Is it an active market?

Are newly qualified designers employed/employable by companies or are their expectations of an in-house designer somehow different?

Is it primarily a self-employed market?

Are your uni friends in work as designers or are they doing something else and building a portfolio?

Who are your potential employers?

What other skills do you have / can you develop to improve your chances?

How far into the recruitment process have you made it so far and what feedback have you had?

 

and probably a million other things to consider. In light of the fact that you're effectively conscripted, would you consider working doing something else whilst you carry on looking for the perfect post-grad job? If only to get you out of the rigmarole of basic training sessions etc. Let's be frank about it, I don't for a moment beleive that the DWP / WP providers think that they're a place for aspiration. They will of course tell you the complete opposite, but their actions tell a different story. Nothing about the training available is anywhere near Post-Grad level, so if you find that you're getting dragged into it then the suggestion made earlier about finding a volunteer post somewhere of your own choosing and then extolling the virtues of it to your adviser / coach is an excellent one.

 

Good luck in whatever you choose to do.

 

TAI


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When I was on the WP every three months I had to 're-write' my CV. Then I got a job myself through putting back a lot of experience on my CV I was told was 'no good because it was 10 years old'. That experience got me working for another 2 years...and possibly will get me back into work again when I am ready.

 

They kept wanting me to go in and do a day long job search on their computer, which was painfully slow, and stand over me and point out jobs - I disproved them on several jobs as 1) I don't drive and job says lots of driving involved, 2) Must have call centre experience (I have NO call centre experience) 3) Must be young and dynamic - at 55 I may still be young but not when they state 'young, graduate calibre professionals only'. There were other instances where they tried to get me to go on 'relevant' work experience but as I had already got a 'vocational work experience' place myself they were stuffed.

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Yeah, never fully understood the thinking behind constantly re-writing a CV. In honesty your CV ought to be tailored for every job you apply for. So having one 'fixed' CV that in all honesty is your adviser's CV with your name on the top always felt a bit forced.

 

The CV is 'you' on a sheet or two of A4 and there's no harm in putting on the experiences that you're proud of. The key thing is to make more of the things that are actually relavent to the post being applied for rather than taking things out.


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Funnily enough just had a call from an agency about a job, they have just been sent my updated CV and hopefully I may have a nice job for a few months. Had to go back to another laptop which made me save the CV to Microsoft Cloud.

 

It pushes the length of time I have been using the 'ancient' software used by the NHS and the fact that I am fairly flexible.

 

The emphasis for the Work Providers should be providing help and assistance for people with zilch work experience, that way the system might work properly.

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That's good news SG1, like I said earlier, the CV is an expression of who you are (in work terms at least) condensed onto a page or two of paper. Not much space, nor opportunity to put across why you believe you're the best candidate for the job.

 

That's the exact reason why I bang my 'tailored c.v. for every application' drum. I've just had the displeasure of sorting through tens of CV's in application for a job a friend was advertising. How do you realistically shortlist people on that? Well, for us it was people who'd made the effort, who had bothered to write a covering letter that actually addressed the points we were looking for in the advert and whose CV was clear concise and didn't twaddle about things that had no bearing on our decision.

 

Those that got the immediate, 'thanks, but we're not progressing your application any further' email were those that had demonstrated as much in their application. 'Click to apply' = 'Click to decline'

 

Likewise half a page on how good a team worker you are, but also work well on your own, we've seen it a hundred times today already.

 

No, no, NO! Tell me, please, why YOU are the right person for the job using the information I gave you in the advert. If you'd like to be shortlisted then give me no excuse not to meet with you and interview you. If you've not got all of the experience I asked for then explain how what you can do makes you no less capable. All I set out to do was find the right person for the job, I told all of the applicants exactly what that person 'looked like' in terms of their skills and abilities in the Advert, person spec and job description. So, please tell me how YOU meet those requirements. Do that and you've as good as arranged your own interview. Fail at it and you needn't bother clicking 'send'.

 

It's all horribly impersonal but a good CV and covering letter is like an oasis in the desert and it makes me smile when I see one. Seeing more than one makes the interview process a bit more interesting too.


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We can all amuse ourselves with the thought that a hard pressed Business Manager, having failed to source a candidate for a vacancy through their own Professional Network (it is estimated that about 80% of jobs are never advertised), will receive (say) 1000 CV's from different run of the mill agencies, will ask some temp to make an initial success/reject decision on each CV within 10 seconds (although how long does it take to reject on the basis of age?), and shortlist down to 10 for an interview.

 

A CV does not need to be longer than a page - and I cannot re-emphasize the fact that candidates need not tailor a CV for each and every job that they apply for - that simply indulges the perception that an employer may expect a "perfect" or "ideal" candidate.

 

But, if a candidate wishes to spend days or weeks in devising a perfect CV - such a candidate deserves our commendation and respect. However, the employer will make an initial success/reject decision within, at most 10 seconds, and therefore there is absolutely no point in wasting more than sufficient time on a single application, taking time from other applications that have equal value.

Edited by RebeccaPidgeon
Correction
  • Haha 1

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I got sent a Harvard based CV template from a friend of mine who is currently attending, I based my CV off that and personally? I think it looks rather good, it's laid out in the correct manner and so on and I'm not being funny here but if I get told to change it, make adjustments and so on, it's just not going to happen, I've taken a fair amount of time on my CV and I'm not going to let somebody who may know less than me f* it up.

 

Has anyone here turned down their offers to remove/add stuff to their CV's and if so, what happened?

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