So there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about job seekers being work shy and living in luxury on the tax payers’ dime but have you ever thought about the so called solution to unemployment – the Work Programme and the WP providers?
I recently got referred to a Work Programme and I am going to share my experiences with you so you can get an idea of what happens.
First when you are referred to a Work Programme you are disavowed by the Job Centre meaning they will no longer help you with things like travel expenses and everything they do is now covered by the work Programme, unfortunately the Work Programme is a business not a government service.
One of the things people entering on the programme notice is the very stiff penalties for falling foul of the WP providers and the rather high rates of people then receiving those sanctions.
On my first appointment I was almost inundated with information and forms to fill in, fortunately I had done a lot of research before that interview mainly down to an earlier experience with the same WP provider when they did work on the New Deal, basically to cut a long story short they attempted to bully me as well as asking me to take steps that would have lessened my chances at getting a job also they failed to keep to their promises as laid down in the contract.
The important things that came out from my interview:
Data protection waiver:
You are asked to sign a data consent form which if you did means that the provider can use your information as they see fit. The main way in which this works would mean that they can apply for jobs on your behalf without your consent or knowledge. They can also contact your employers after you find your job to ask about your performance and ultimately claim a bonus payment from the government because you found work.
The WP provider took it upon themselves to create an e-mail address for me despite the fact that they already had mine on their record. Furthermore I was informed that they created this e-mail so that they can use it to inspect any job applications by logging into that e-mail address.
So I decided to withhold my consent in terms of the data waiver. I am concerned with losing control of my own data which I think is a reasonable response when dealing with a company that gets paid on the back of people finding jobs often with little help from them.
That is enough from me for now I have a further interview tomorrow so I will be sure to take lots of notes and to be prepared for the reaction to my non-signing of the data waiver.