Last December Sue Jones and I wrote an article, The Just World Fallacy, considering the purpose of the Governments Nudge Unit; therein we demonstrated how unemployment is not caused by psychological barriers but by Governments failure to invest in appropriate growth projects, and how the aforementioned Nudge Unit works to spread the Tory mantra- the fault of worklessness lies firmly with the claimant.
Yesterday Esther McVey announced the latest ‘ psychological test’ for unemployed people, an attitude profile of their ‘psychological resistance to work’; an assessment to identify if they are “determined”, “bewildered” or “despondent” about seeking employment.
This latest scheme well named the ‘segmentation programme’, as it will determine the future hoops claimants must jump through to access benefits, is based upon the work of Australian Therese Rein, founder and Managing Director of Ingeus. Ingeus, in partnership with Deloitte, also happen to be, the “preferred supplier for seven of the DWP ’ 11 Frameworks for the Provision of Employment Related Support Services” with contracts worth £150m a year , according to the FT.
Claimants in three unidentified Jobcentres are currently being interviewed to assess their attitudes, norms and self belief regarding work; this along with a ‘background profile’, reported to determine if they come from a ‘troubled family’, the likely support of any partner in looking for work and their job history; will decide the ‘segment they are directed to.
Having undertaken the assessment, it appears claimants will directed into one of the WorkFare programmes, or for those being deemed less ‘mentally prepared” for work, they’ll become subject to intensive coaching, most likely to be claimants physically spending 35 hours a week in the Jobcentre learning how to write cover letters and sit interviews!
The DWP are initially aiming to expand this Pilot to a further 27,000 claimants, and as McVey expects these tests to become a “de rigeur” part of the signing on process, it is likely this programme will then go Nationwide. Given the collusion between McVey & Rein, I wonder if Ingenus will find themselves providing the national ‘segmentation programme’ ?
The programme concerns me on several levels, it appears to have no real bearing on assisting claimants access work, it provides the DWP with yet more ‘sticks’ with which to bully benefits claimants, and ‘tests’ deeming an individual be ‘less mentally prepared’ may well have a negative psychological affect on their self belief; thus becoming a self fulfilling prophesy. Therefore I fail to see any benefits to claimants?
Further we have a ‘new’ programme, costing an unknown amount of money, devised in conjunction with a primary beneficiary of the programme (Ingenus), designed to feed claimants directly into the very company that helped design the programme initially! it is also worth noting Ingeus Deloitte, “will pocket £773.5million if it meets targets on cutting jobless figure”, precisely what this programme will assist it to do; this is cronyism at its best
I believe it is Time this Government STOPPED playing games with the public purse, STOPPED developing programmes of no public benefit and STOPPED LYING to the People – What do you think?
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