Residents and MPs give opinion on Work Programme's bid to provide employment
A LACK of communication from Government bodies and awareness of the help available is a "big flaw" in the Work Programme, according to a local jobseeker.
And another one on the government scheme – this week revealed to be missing many of its targets – feels his "qualifications are going to waste".
The Work Programme pays companies and voluntary organisations if they succeed in securing more than six months' work for clients.
David Albon, 51, of Gilbey Road, Grimsby, said: "I think the Work Programme could put more money into training and support.
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"The whole idea is you go on a work placement with the end goal of gaining experience, which will help you gain a job, but the scheme definitely needs some tweaking.
"I have a forklift driving licence and lots of qualifications in that sector but I lack experience.
"My current placement is as a grounds worker at St Hugh's Community Centre but that's not giving me any relevant experience.
"I think this really needs addressing. I feel like my qualifications are going to waste."
Another person currently undertaking the programme, Jodie Groom, 33, of Burns Grove, Grimsby, volunteers at the St Hugh's Centre.
She added: "I have been unemployed for 10 years and I wasn't aware the Work Programme existed until two weeks ago. I think the lack of people knowing about it is a big flaw, to be honest.
"A lot more should be done to get it out there and raise awareness of it.
"I think the government and other bodies, including the Jobcentre, should communicate more about what help is available."
As reported, out of 3,920 long-term unemployed people in the borough who were referred to the scheme, only 120 have found jobs lasting more than six months.
At three per cent, that is below the national average of 3.5 per cent and well under the Department for Work and Pensions' official target of 5.5 per cent.
Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell said it is clear the Work Programme "isn't working".
He added: "I think it was a good idea for the Government to do payment by results, but it's difficult to judge what a firm considers a good outcome compared to what would have happened naturally. Firms and charities also need to be paid more in places like Grimsby where unemployment is so high, because it's much more difficult to get a job."
Cleethorpes constituency MP Martin Vickers said the figures were "clearly disappointing" and "particularly so" in North East Lincolnshire.
He added: "I've not had a chance to study the figures in detail but I still support the principle of what the Government is trying to achieve."
What do you think?
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