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TOPIC: New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland

New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 09:58 #320

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I was flicking through my local rag this morning and came across a snipped about these new programmes being announced this week. NEW employment support services apparently launching this week.

So I cut out the newspaper clipping and then googled it. Came up with this:

news.gov.scot/news/employment-support-1

Importantly, they will be voluntary:

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Will be looking at this with interests, but also with some scepticism since it will still be linked to Job Centre Plus. But reading between the lines, it seems like the better option to the wok & health programme which is also being launched, although this may be the Scottish equivalent? I think they are both separate as the work & health programme only gets mentioned as being in England & Wales? So this could well be the Scottish version. Hope to find out more in the coming weeks.

Edited to add: Just clicked on the internal link in the link I posted and it`s someone called the WISE Group who will be running the scheme in my area. I feel some research coming on.....
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 10:04 #321

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We await your findings CoD :)
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 11:18 #338

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Found this on the Wise group website announcing their appointment with the Scottish government initiative:

www.thewisegroup.co.uk/2017/01/26/work-able-scotland/

It seems to say that it`s a Scottish approach to employability and a step away from the usual work programme and other job centre/DWP help. It starts April 1st apparently, so will be keeping an eye on this and for any new announcement on it and what the commitment of their `help` is and if indeed, it is tailored to our individual needs and not just another `sign here and join the group sat around the table listening to the same drivel we all know and love`....

Will be aimed at ESA and UC claimants who can`t find help through other JCP avenues...


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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 11:26 #342

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Feedback from people who had jobs with the Wise group from the jobsite Indeed feedback pages:

www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/The-Wise-Group/reviews

They do sound more pleasant than the morons who run the work programmes.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 11:47 #344

comply or die wrote:

They do sound more pleasant than the morons who run the work programmes.

They do indeed, but they are still pimps.

www.thewisegroup.co.uk/2017/01/26/work-able-scotland/

This is only the beginning of new devolved employability provision called "Fair Start Scotland Employability Services" which will be introduced next year.
The Scottish Government is seeking offers from service providers to provide Employability Support Services in Scotland. This exercise will be split into 8 geographical lots. The service will be known as Fair Start Scotland. The Scottish Government will require the Service Provider to deliver the services as part of the devolution of employment support under section 31 of the Scotland Act 2016. Namely, it will provide support for unemployed disabled people and people claiming reserved benefits who are at risk of long-term unemployment. The aim is to provide a tailored, coherent range of support which can respond flexibly to the individual needs of unemployed people and their employers and make best use of resources. The programme will deliver high quality employment support to unemployed people, including those with complex issues who want to work and need help to enter and/or remain in the labour market.
www.government-online.net/fair-start-scotland-employability-services-2018/

Sounds pretty much like the work program. Lets hope they drop the compulsion and sanctioning.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 12:31 #350

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True. They will have won the contract to run these employability schemes and like their predecessors, may well end up looking and sounding the same, but there is a feeling of less compliance here as they are saying the schemes will be voluntary and not feel like a punishment. Here is what the news story stated in my local newspaper:

Quote: "Help to get in to work: NEW employment support services are launching this week. People living with health conditions and disabilities in the county can receive help to get into and sustain work through the new schemes in one of the first excersises of devolved powers by the Scottish Government.

And this is the important part - Residents are being ENCOURAGED to find out if they are ELIGABLE for the WORK ABLE Scotland and the WORK FIRST Scotland.

So this sentence seems to be saying that WE, the claimants, need to find out if we are eligible to take part in these schemes because it does say for ESA and Universal Claimants, so I would definitely qualify under ESA. It goes on to say:

Jamie Hepburn, employability minister, said "The devolution of employment support services is a real opportunity to make Scotland FAIRER. By making them VOLUNTARY we are putting dignity and respect at the heart of our support so that participants are not under threat of benefit sanctions through their involvement with our new services. We want them to be seen as an opportunity and NOT a threat".....

He went on to say, "Because some people in the community will have different needs the residents elsewhere in Scotland, Holyrood is committed to tailoring services to local issues"

So reading this and taking into account the people running the schemes, it seems we have to approach them or the Job Centre to ask about these new schemes? Not to jump the gun or anything, but they are saying that word voluntary and if that`s what they mean, then anyone taking part could feel better about attending and could actually find some help and be able to be listened to and like myself who has to attend medical appointments, could do so and still attend when available or ask them to be flexible with attendances as long as we let them know we couldn`t go that day just to be polite, rather than feel compelled to attend, such as with the current work programme and other mandated ideology.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 12:52 #358

It does sound like a big improvement but as ever, the devil may be hidden in the detail.

One concern I have though is how will the pimps be able to evaluate their potential takings to enable them to arrive at an appropriate level of bid? They need at least some indication of the potential uptake and it's sustainability.

The tender documents for these services are being kept tightly under wraps. You need to be registered as an acceptable potential supplier to be allowed to see them. Even the WP looked almost reasonable until the detail from the tender documents was revealed.

Without coercion or sanctioning I would be in favour of as much support for people who need it as possible. But I can't see how a voluntary induction can sustain the volume of clients to provide the easy pickings these pimps require.

I can also see an interesting battle with Westminster should a genuine sanction free system arise in Scotland.

We shall see.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” Sun Tzu - The Art of War.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 13:03 #359

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Done another quick search and until the Wise group seemingly take over the reigns of this new initiative in 2018, it looks like the schemes beginning next week come under the names of Work Able and Work First, run by......Shaw`s Trust? See link below:

www.shaw-trust.org.uk/Scotland/Work-First-Scotland

Now I`m sure I`ve read about Shaw`s Trust before and it wasn`t all positive. I`ve never dealt with them before so can`t really comment. But reading the start of the linked page, it seems you can apply through Job Centres or DEA (disability employment advisors) and reading on, it asks, "Do you need help with your CV, interview skills....." and then I got bored and saw visions of the work programme......

It`s no wonder people are scared to ask about these opportunities because they sugar coat them as being something different, something nice. All I can say is, if they ARE voluntary, I would want to know this before I showed my interest.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 13:10 #361

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I think that taking away the element of conditionality will certainly make people feel that they can engage with these services if they so wish.

Edit: As SL mentions, as the tender documents become available, the detail will be revealed.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 14:14 #369

Surplus Labour wrote:

Without coercion or sanctioning I would be in favour of as much support for people who need it as possible.

oops!

Obviously I meant "for people who want it".

If their service were ever to demonstrate that they genuinely "support customers into sustainable jobs through high quality employment support services " which is what they claim, I am sure they would be overwhelmed with applicants.

But let's face it... what are the chances of that?

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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 14:15 #370

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I will enquire about these schemes when I see my new work coach in four/five weeks time as it`s a face to face, so if she turns around and states she knows nothing about them, I will ask to see a DEA and discuss it further because I know for a fact they are available to people on ESA and UC. I would take steps to contact them myself but I don`t want to show my hand too quickly. I`m supposed to be hearing back from a voluntary organisation regarding placements and they havn`t bothered to get back in touch, so I ain`t wasting my valuable time chasing them up when I am offering MY time to them.

So we have learned so far that The Wise group will be running the Fair Start courses from 2018, but from next week, Shaw`s Trust seem to be responsible for the Work Able and Work First schemes. Surplus is right to point out too that with no cosh to send people on these courses, they might end up twiddling heir thumbs with nothing to do most days, but if they can insure people that they are not the same as the work programme and the learning is open and voluntary, I think most claimants will take the step to go and then walk away if they don`t feel enabled or perhaps, feel much the same as if being on any other scheme. The difference here though is taking part in (what they say) is voluntary, so if that turns out to be the case, we have nothing to lose from it.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 14:49 #375

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The where and who of the wise group:

The Wise Group

more here

They also provide energy advice and have recycling expertise, so a multi-talented, all singing, all dancing organisation :whistle:
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 15:04 #378

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Um.....found this in your link X-M:

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I`m beginning to think there is a hidden agenda here. If they have been involved with the governments work programme and are now the chosen provider for the new Scottish Fair Start programme next year, I wonder how they will provide the Scottish government with `results` for payment initiatives like the work programme do? Or are the Scottish government being generous by paying them a large sum of money to run a voluntary scheme only and are running some social experiment to see how many people they help into a job without the conditionality tag?
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 15:07 #379

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It certainly makes me wonder.

Is there really no way to dig up the tender document and see what they are promising to do for the money?

The truth is out there ;)
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 15:18 #382

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Let the spying commence! If it`s out there, we will find it....I had/have hopes that the Scottish government would implement these changes to bring about less compliance, but I doubt most people signing on will be given any information that these schemes exist. It will be hidden agenda stuff and job centres will probably keep them well hidden from the main stuff they like to push. Sanctions for example will always remain for job seeking activities no doubt, but employability schemes should remain neutral and open to anyone who wants to explore them. After all, taking part in these things takes up valuable time, but job search activities could also be combined while attending, which means not relying on a Library or other source and likely work better for people who need someone helping them with computers. It all sounds very `work programme esq.." but I want to hear more about it to be able to determine whether it is the compassionate training and help they said it would be.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 17:26 #405

They were beaten in the WP tender in Scotland by Working Links and Ingeus. This cost them an estimated £150 million and resulted in them sacking 2/3 of their staff.

So much for their commitment to "sustainable" employment!

Prior to the introduction of the WP, the DWP said the tendering would be transparent and that all documents would be published. However they backtracked for a long time over this with the documents only coming to light after introduction. And then heavily redacted.

Even were we to suspend cynicism, forget all our past experiences, and give them the benefit of the doubt, I still don't see where at any meaningful level, these sustainable jobs might come from.

Like all the rest, they will at best be just churning the pool.

However benevolent or otherwise they might treat claimants, they are no answer at all to the problems that face us.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 17:32 #407

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This is so true SL.

Unless they can magically create jobs for everyone who wants one, then they are not achieving anything other than the 'something-must-be-done' ideology to placate the 'taxpayer' :sick:
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 29 Mar 2017 17:58 #410

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Have to agree with every work Surplus. We look for the golden nuggets and end up with peanuts. Due to the work programmes ending, these companies have all been salivating at the thought of winning the next renewal and the Wise group have got past the winning post first it seems ahead of the competition. I wouldn`t trust any of them as far as I could spit in all honesty. Just a willingness to work for such companies drives their egos. I imagine there are `good` people within these organisations who feel a sense of achievement when they do genuinely help someone, but for someone like me walking through their doors who has ongoing complex pain issues, they just wouldn`t be able to adapt a workplace for me because I find even using my own laptop makes me ill. It`s a grind just sitting here typing for too long but being able to get up and rest is the key. I couldn`t do that in a workplace. They seem to think pain is nothing more than something people can manage when a few adaptions are made to accommodate. Sorry, not in my particular case. I have to sit down, stand up, walk about, rest in a soft armchair supporting my back and nurse severe headaches brought on by using a PC or doing anything that triggers it. And that doesn`t have to be much.
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 30 Mar 2017 13:58 #477

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Earlier, I googled "work able in X area) my own area, to find out where they were based and they seem to have a base within the local community hub where a voluntary organisation (third tier sector interface) are already based? So because I know who they are, I might just contact them myself for more info before I see my coach again to find out if they are linked to the new Scottish employability schemes. They all seem to be a***hole connections anyway!
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New Employment Support Programmes in Scotland 30 Mar 2017 14:29 #479

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Has anyone put in an FOI request to see how many people have "volunteered" to sign up to this scheme so far :huh: ? As with the "work-program" it cost so many thousands of pounds to get one person into work, and was therefore not value for money. So it would be good to keep a track on this scheme year by year?
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