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Scam training course for the unemployed

Keith Parkins | 27.12.2007 12:21 | Repression | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements

Scam training courses that do nothing for the unemployed, have become a lucrative gravy train for the private companies that run them.

'Whilst training may be good for some people seeking work, its also a real money spinner for the private companies making millions by forcing the poor into dead end menial McJobs. And what ever happened to the right NOT to work, anyway?' -- SchNEWS

'If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.' -- US union leader Lane Kirkland

Scam training courses, courses that do nothing for the unemployed, courses that cost the taxpayer literally millions, are becoming big business. The ONLY beneficiaries are the businesses that run them, CDG, A4e, Brixton Base, Working Links.

All the more worrying therefore when Gordon Brown recently announced to the CBI, that unemployment was not an option, that Jobseekers would now be trainees. Training was to be mandatory.

Who then are these scam training companies?

CDG, Careers Development Group, a registered charity, were recently exposed by Indymedia UK

with a recent update

CDG offers skilled workers to local industry, for free! What a bargain!

The Forced Labour Convention of 1930 describes forced labour as 'all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily'.

SchNEWS have recently exposed the activities of Working Links

According to SchNEWS, Working Links is little more than a vampire, feasting on the blood of the unemployed, operating in 'Employment Zones', areas where poverty and long-term unemployment are at their worst. Rather than offer locals decent jobs with a living wage, Working Links have, instead, taken shed loads of taxpayers' money to bully people into minimum wage McJobs - sometimes even offering jobseekers cash-in-hand incentives to go to interviews.

CDG receive £3000 (assuming same deal as Working Links) of taxpayers' money for every Jobseeker they force to take a job, £100 of which they offer as a bribe to the Jobseeker, if they comply, threats if they do not. More often than not, it is the Jobseeker who has obtained the job with little or no help from CDG.

As SchNEWS note, it is not just the company that is making money out of the unemployed

'And it’s not just company bosses or shareholders who benefit from booting the ‘workshy’ into jobs – a Working Links employee can earn a hefty bonus if they decide to be particularly persuasive one month.'

For 'persuasive' read 'threats, bullying and intimidation'.

A look at the figures, again quoting SchNEWS, show the unemployed to be a nice little earner

'By promising to send more people on training schemes, organisations like Working Links are pulling down some serious money. £4m profit in 2006, to be exact. Although profits were down to less than a million quid in 2007, this was mainly because of the recruitment of a new ‘sales team’. Turnover's up 15% and the business won 43 new contracts generating another £6m during the year. The government says that it is determined to ‘grow the value of the business as measured by sustainable economic profit’, and in this spirit shareholders received a dividend payment of £300,000. Proving that you can make money by pushing people off benefits and into work, Working Links can make nearly three grand for every Incapacity Benefit claimant it gets into a job for at least 13 weeks. Nice little earner!'

Brixton Base are (according to the Evening Standard) currently under investigation for fraud. Trainees have been threatened and told to keep quiet.

All of which sounds all too familiar to inmates at CDG.

CDG are currently facing a detailed investigation by DWP following the expose by Indymedia UK. The response of CDG is to threaten trainees that unspecified action will be taken against them if they talk to their Job Centres. They are also revising all their paperwork to try and remove anything incriminating.

At CDG Basingstoke, the manager went AWOL before Christmas. No explanation why, but everyone is hoping this nasty little bully has been fired.

Complaints of bullying have been ignored and covered up.

One nasty little bully, little more than a jumped up thug, was relieved of his tutoring job, but he made such a cock up of job placements, he is back to tutoring.

He was caught one morning printing off information on discrimination. This was to be his topic for the afternoon training session. His display of ignorance was such, that the class suggested he take a break and mug up what he had just downloaded!

His latest piece of advice to Jobseekers, is to do as he did, lie to get the job!

Health and Safety infringements are ignored.

The same cavalier attitude is taken to data protection and safeguarding. Several people had their CVs go missing, including CVs handed direct to the useless manager. Illegal monitoring is taking place of internet usage, including reading e-mails.

It is nice to know our Mr Bean, the former 'prudent' Chancellor, likes to see taxpayers' money so well spent.

Keith Parkins