Author Topic: Back to work initiative.  (Read 9019 times)

Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2015, 12:36:54 AM »
Unfortunately, living in a village environment like Jersey,(Where everyone knows everyone else,s business), there are folk too proud to even admit that they are unemployed let alone broadcast online,(For fear of SS retribution), how badly they are treated by the SS.
The unfortunate thing is that these proud folk aren,t clued up on all the scams and schemes of claiming benefits used by the, "Life-style choosers", but are treated by the junior SS as if they were.
Its the SS that need, "Training", Not the folk who have been contributing toward their salaries for decades.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2015, 05:53:14 PM »
In 2013, almost half of the £8.1 million cost of 'Employment Services including Back to Work and Jersey Employment Trust' consisted of staff costs, I can reveal today for the first time as a result of a FOI disclosure.

I have also been supplied with the individual costs for both 2012 and 2013 for 'Workwise', 'Workzone', 'Back to Work', 'Advance to Work', 'Advance Plus' and 'Long Term Unemployment Unit'. I won't publish the full disclosure now as there is quite a lot of detail and it is in table form, which may not reproduce correctly in this thread. However, here is the breakdown for the year 2013 of the costs of running just these 6 sectors, excluding various other grants and employer incentives:

2013:

1) Workwise = £399,000 (of which £373,000 was staff costs);
2) Workzone = £1,205,000 (of which £1,176,000 was staff costs);
3) Back to Work = £2,417,000 (of which £1,382,000 was staff costs);
4) Advance to Work = £791,000 (of which £597,000 was staff costs);
5) Advance Plus = £516,000 (of which £328,000 was staff costs);
6) Long Term Unemployment = £152,000 (of which £132,000 was staff costs).

Therefore the total costs of running just the above 6 sectors in 2013 was £5,480,000 (of which £3,988,000 was staff costs), according to my calculations. That is just £12,000 short of £4 million staff costs in 2013.

It is worth pointing out that the new sanctions regime only started in October 2013. Since that has been introduced, jobseekers are now being subjected to a far more staff-intensive regime than was previously the case in 2013. Whereas a jobseeker might previously have had contact with the Department perhaps once a week, they are now likely to be contacted every working day by phone or e-mail, in addition to attending at the Department at least 3 times a week (and these individual visits are now taking far longer than they used to). Without any doubt whatsoever, the staff costs for 2014 will have rocketed way above £4 million as a result of this new intensive regime. We will have to wait until much later in the year to find out the exact figures for 2014, which should start to reveal the true costs of Social Security's new sanctions regime...


Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 01:04:20 AM »
Worrying thing is. If unemployment is actually reduced due to the economy recovering, what do we do with the £4m per annum,(At 2013 rates), worth of staff who will not be required?
Will we have to create another ,"Back to ,get to,advance to....", scheme,(And staff it), for unemployed "Back to ,get to,advance to....",benefit claimants?

The mind boggles.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 01:11:16 AM by Fritz »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2015, 07:52:19 AM »
Nothing to do with Back to Work or Jersey so this is off-topic, but I spotted this headline in the Mirror about Southwark Council spending £140,000 to build a new Berlin Wall to keep protesters from squatting in a council housing estate that is being demolished:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/council-splashes-140k-unpopular-berlin-5436199

I'd like to think that this was an amusing April Fool joke by the Mirror but seeing as it was published on 31st March, I doubt it.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2015, 08:26:06 AM »
A Freedom of Information response has confirmed that the number of jobseekers enrolling and participating in the Advance Plus work-for-benefits scheme has been persistently growing by double digit percentages every year since 2011, with 2014 recording the highest-ever number of participants - a rise of 19% on the previous year. This is in spite of the fact that the level of unemployment has been steadily falling since peaking at a high of 2,050 in March 2013. For example, the number of jobless in December 2012 was 1,840, which dropped to 1,750 by December 2013 and to 1,440 by December 2014. Therefore the bizarre figures speak for themselves- as the number of registered unemployed has dropped, the number of unemployed forced to participate in Advance Plus has conversely continued rising, which defies all logic:

2011: 149 jobseekers.
2012: 184 jobseekers.
2013: 208 jobseekers.
2014: 248 jobseekers.

I have already revealed on this thread that the total costs of Advance Plus in 2013 amounted to £516,000, of which £328,000 was staff costs and £188,000 was 'other costs'. This latest disclosure shows us that 208 jobseekers were enrolled and participated in Advance Plus during 2013. That works out at about £2,480 per jobseeker according to my calculation. The majority of this is staff costs, but when you consider that the jobseekers aren't paid for their participation and apparently the employers don't receive a grant either, you have to wonder why the amount of 'other costs' as a proportion of total costs is as high as this.

No doubt Kevin Keen has been duly warned not to go sniffing around this particular area of unsustainable States expenditure.

One more thing- according to the Actively Seeking Work Report for February 2015 published by the Statistics Unit, Deputy Susie Pinel's decision to raise the threshold for LTIA claimants from 35% to 40% "resulted in an additional 90 individuals being registered as ASW at the end of February 2015 compared with the previous month." This increase will conveniently strengthen her argument to keep the current extraordinarily high levels of spending going for a further 3 years when Ministers discuss the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2016-2018.

http://www.gov.je/Government/Pages/StatesReports.aspx?ReportID=1198

« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 08:31:21 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2015, 08:57:09 PM »
It seems that Back to Work are now paying to advertise their employment grant incentives to employers... as if the mere fact that these subsidies are there and waiting to be claimed is not already enough of an incentive to tempt them. I noticed an advertisement on Bailiwick Express today for the giant law-breaking States cash sponge and when I clicked on the link, it took me to this page titled 'Employment Incentive':

http://www.gov.je/Working/BacktoWork/Pages/EmployersEmploymentIncentive.aspx


Well at least that helps to explain why Bailiwick Express never publishes any news articles about Social Security that could in any way be construed as critical!

We know that the cost of 'Employer Incentives and other grants' was £707,000 out of a total Employment Services budget of £8.1 million back in 2013. That total budget has risen a further £3 million since then and no doubt the costs of these incentives for employers has risen too, despite the steadily falling number of 'actively seeking work' (29% of whom were actually employed at the end of April 2015 but working less than 35 hours a week so still required to keep attending Department interviews and courses or face sanctions).

So let's just sum this up in a headline, shall we?

Government pays to advertise that it is giving away free money!
  ::)

Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2015, 01:01:26 AM »
I know of at least one sub-contractor who is reaping the benefits of this scheme.
He,s been supplying labour to a private developer at £20+ per head for more than six months at no cost to himself.
At one point he had 22 men on site.
Still, it looks good for the BTW team. He makes their figures look impressive. >:(

Offline CallMasterV

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2015, 02:56:46 PM »
It seems that Back to Work are now paying to advertise their employment grant incentives to employers... as if the mere fact that these subsidies are there and waiting to be claimed is not already enough of an incentive to tempt them. I noticed an advertisement on Bailiwick Express today for the giant law-breaking States cash sponge and when I clicked on the link, it took me to this page titled 'Employment Incentive':

http://www.gov.je/Working/BacktoWork/Pages/EmployersEmploymentIncentive.aspx


Well at least that helps to explain why Bailiwick Express never publishes any news articles about Social Security that could in any way be construed as critical!

We know that the cost of 'Employer Incentives and other grants' was £707,000 out of a total Employment Services budget of £8.1 million back in 2013. That total budget has risen a further £3 million since then and no doubt the costs of these incentives for employers has risen too, despite the steadily falling number of 'actively seeking work' (29% of whom were actually employed at the end of April 2015 but working less than 35 hours a week so still required to keep attending Department interviews and courses or face sanctions).

So let's just sum this up in a headline, shall we?

Government pays to advertise that it is giving away free money!
  ::)

I remember reading the JEP about this... it seems employers were reluctant to take on unskilled workers and weren't even aware of the scheme in many cases. Hardly surprising I suppose...! :)

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2015, 06:06:23 PM »
Cost of Employment Services (including Back to Work) continues to rise to £14 million (£4.8 million in 2012) despite benefit cuts for the very poorest:

This astonishing extract from page 75 of today's Medium Term Financial Plan 2016-2019 (P.72/2015):
Quote
Recognising the importance of investing in our economy and jobs, additional funding allocated through the current MTFP of £14 million by 2015, for getting people into work, back to work and employment initiatives, is being maintained, although as with all areas of expenditure may be subject to savings targets.

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2015/P.72-2015%20FULL%20PLAN.pdf


Remember that unemployment peaked in March 2013 and the total costs of Employment Services (including Back to Work and J.E.T.) in 2013 were £8.1 million. Two years later and we're informed that the costs have been allowed to increase by 75% with no  cutbacks planned for 2016-19. It is an utterly reckless waste of public resources given the cuts to income support and other benefits also announced today.

It also looks like many dozens of jobseekers aged between 19-24 years who are registered as actively seeking work and living at home with their parents may permanently lose their current entitlement to income support of £92.12 per week under the new proposals. It is claimed these changes will save £200,000 per year. This extract from page 84 of the MTFP:
Quote
A jobseeker aged between 19 and 24 can currently claim £92 per week, even if living at home with parents who do not qualify for income support. By 2016, the treatment of jobseekers will be brought in line with the treatment of full-time students in a similar situation.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 06:08:38 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 02:14:48 AM »
Most of the,"Back to, get to, pretend to...........etc.. work", budget goes to Private company,s running ,"Mickey Mouse", courses. There are firms charging about £200 per skull for useless courses that last about 2 hrs for up to 10 people at a time supposedly giving them some sort of qualification. It is a total waste of public money.
No one gets a job on the strength of having attended a 2hr course on how to use Microsoft word or excel.
The BTW team, on the other hand, are seen to be doing their job by forcing folk to attend these courses.
Same goes for their so called, "Meet the employers", days where folk are once again forced to attend, "Speed-dating", venues where no jobs actually exist.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2015, 08:08:56 PM »
At least two media outlets have announced that registered jobseekers aged 19 to 24 years living at home can no longer claim their £92.12 per week income support, apparently with effect from yesterday for new claims:

http://www.itv.com/news/channel/update/2015-07-20/income-support-scrapped-for-under-25s-living-at-home-in-jersey/


http://www.channel103.com/news/index.php?storyid=42021&s=2


Although it was known from last week's Medium Term Financial Plan 2016-2019 that this was being proposed, it is still only a proposal that has not yet been debated by the States Assembly and would need further amendments to the Income Support legislation. Yet this announcement to the media appears to mean that, once again, Pinel has grossly abused her sole ministerial powers by going ahead and changing the law without making any formal prior announcement to States Members, some of whom must have presumably learnt about it from the media reports. As is now a regular tactic of hers, she has timed the law change to coincide with a period when the States Assembly has gone into recess for a holiday. The Assembly last sat on Wednesday 15th July and is not scheduled to meet again until Tuesday 8th September. Yet according to ITV Channel TV's report (link above), the benefit changes come into effect on 1st September 2015 - a week before the States sits again.

As is standard Pinel practice, nothing has been published under 'Ministerial Decisions' (although a Ministerial Decision and a change of law must have taken place) but the Jersey government's official Propaganda Unit has released a statement on gov.je today - link here:

http://www.gov.je/News/2015/Pages/IncomeSupportChanges.aspx


So she has gone ahead and implemented with no prior notice one of the proposals included in the MTFP 2016-2019, without bothering to wait for States Members to debate that proposition - and this will result in an unknown number of jobseekers losing 100% of their current benefit entitlement and henceforth having to rely on their parents to support them. The MTFP 2016-2019 proposition is not due to be debated in the House until 6th October 2015. The fact that she is continually allowed to act this way with the implied support of all the other Ministers shows the total contempt that Jersey's executive has for its own legislature. The Ministers are so confident that the legislature won't object to these proposals that they have decided to go ahead and change the law right now without formally waiting another 3 months for the puppets to nod their heads on 6th October.  >:(
 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 08:14:03 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2015, 11:41:09 PM »
Well this will save £200,000 per year.  That £200,000 rings a bell in my head and a name mclean.
Ask him for the money that he gave away.

Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2015, 03:06:40 AM »
What happens when their parents just kick them out because they cant afford to keep them?
Is there money in the pot to build and staff another ,"Shelter"? >:(

Usual guff. "Accountants and bean-counters", coming up with proposals to save money when they really do not have a clue about real-life ,"Economics".

Is the £200,000 saving ring-fenced for a future movie project, or will it be swallowed up administering the new cut to benefits? (Someones got to man the phones, sit at the desks to deny the benefit).

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2015, 07:27:04 AM »
What happens when their parents just kick them out because they cant afford to keep them?
Is there money in the pot to build and staff another ,"Shelter"? >:(

You may have noticed that the income support housing component payable for hostel accommodation (but not any other type of accommodation) is about to rocket in the next two weeks by an inflation-busting 18% at the same time as many unemployed 19-24 year olds living at home are about to lose their ability to make a contribution towards the household expenses. I invite you to draw your own conclusions as to whether or not this is a complete coincidence....

Extract from proposition P.52/2015:
Quote
The proposed Regulations increase the amount specified in the case of accommodation costs for a hostel resident from £80.64 per week to £95.13. This increase was calculated following discussions with hostel providers, and reflects cost increases arising from the shift in the type of specialist services they are required to provide to their clients, as well as changes in the make-up of the client base using hostel accommodation. It is essential that the value of the Income Support component increases to reflect the cost of dealing with what can be a challenging and complex group of clients.

Approximately 50 individuals claim this component at any one time. It is estimated that the annual cost of this increase will be approximately £32,000.

Also bear in mind the extremely close political relationship between the hostel providers, such as the Sanctuary Trust (Board members include Sean Power, Frank Walker and Constable Steve 'Budapest' Pallett) and the government, which might help explain why these providers have been so uniquely successful in getting such a large increase in income support funding.

After all, when did you last hear any individual that is officially associated with any of these Jersey hostels or shelters going public to blame the sudden increase in homelessness on the government's income support clampdown and sanctions policies enacted over the last 2 or 3 years? It just doesn't happen.  :-X

Offline Fritz

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Re: Back to work initiative.
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2015, 02:58:57 AM »
Same old same old.

There will be £500,000 worth of administration etc to organise £200,000 ,"Saving".
It,ll probably look good to some bean-counter in one department, but the real cost will have to be borne by real people somewhere down the line.

Say hello to 20% GST.  :o