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Work Programme Shamelessness

October 3, 2014

The wonderful Kate Belgrave says she shared this story because she loved it.

I don’t love it. I’m sharing it because sharing it allows me, and you, dear readers, to laugh at the DWP.


Angela Smith is a woman with a Master’s degree and a long history of working in policy and disability support. She also has cerebral palsy and uses an electric wheelchair to get around. I’ve been accompanying Angela to her compulsory fortnightly Wembley jobcentre signons and meetings with the Reed Partnership, her work programme provider in Harrow. We’ve shown how difficult London buses can be for disabled people to use. We’ve also shown how pointless those fortnightly meetings at the jobcentre and the work programme really are when it comes to finding work.

Anyway. Angela has a new job. She got it without any help whatsoever from the jobcentre or the Reed Parntership. She found the job advertisement, filled in the application form, went to the interview and got through.

She did the whole thing entirely by herself. But that hasn’t stopped the work programme provider from trying to claim the result for itself. I went with Angela to her final meeting there a couple of weeks ago and saw this in all its glory. Her work programme adviser – a pleasant enough woman – congratulated Angela on finding a job. Then she said something along the lines of: “look, I know we haven’t helped you get this job at all – but would you be prepared to be featured in our Success Stories poster campaign? We could get your photo done and get a poster made. That would be really good.” There were posters on the office walls of people working at various jobs and saying things like: “I’m now running a successful business.” Angela and I decided that they must have been a bit short on successful-placements-of-disabled-people-in-work stories so they’d figured they’d have hers. Pity they had nothing to do with it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2014 10:37 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. philipburdekin permalink
    October 3, 2014 11:19 am

    Congratulations on finding your own employment, this government just want us all dead.

  3. October 3, 2014 12:41 pm

    Has anyone seen my stories? twiiter/facebook,Linked In? I am on the Work Program, have been since February, I have not gained 1 interview through them, I get them all myself, they have now started refusing help to travel to interviews I have arranged either myself, or outside my home city (Sheffield) I have an interview in Leeds on Monday with the charity stepchange, 55mins away by coach but the Work Prog provider (serco) will not help with travel costs so I can’t go, yet JCP can sanction me as it’s less than 90 mins away! I have had to turn down 2 previous interviews for this, I raised it with my MP and their reply was incredible, I am trying to set up a local advice service and it seems they are helping me do this! News to me! I’m lucky if I get 15 mins with my provider and all I get is what have you done to look for work? once I was told I was getting too many interviews!!!!

    Here’s an email I sent to my adviser about an opportunity I found 42 miles away

    Hi XXXXX

    I’ve just seen a number of jobs in Calderdale CAB (Halifax) would this be too far if i applied and got an interview? I know I said I wouldn’t go for a CAB but it seems they must have had a lot of funding given

    I hope you are ok. I have checked with my manager and I am afraid our budget does not stretch to that far.

    Halifax is 42 miles away!

  4. October 3, 2014 8:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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