Recruitment companies getting tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to find jobs for the unemployed are at the centre of a fraud probe after staff made false claims of getting people into work.
The Observer found that A4e, one of the government’s biggest private contractors, is at the centre of the Department for Work and Pensions inquiries. It is understood that at least two other recruitment companies have been probed by the DWP.
The revelation comes weeks after A4e was earmarked for £100m of contracts for the government’s Flexible New Deal, in which private companies will be paid for each person they place in a job.
Anyone want to try and persuade the public that funding corrupt recruitment consultants is a worthwhile use of taxpayer’s money?
Further update: A commenter shares his experience of A4e:
Well, what a surprise about A4e. Last year I was recovering from illness so found myself seeking help from A4e so that I could get back to work under their Government Jobcenta related assistance to people like me. So I went to their office a few times and met some of their “advisers”. Their assistance seemed to be limited to them looking for jobs in the local papers, websites and, of course, the Jobcenta Plus list of vacancies: all things I can do for myself. I asked if they had any contacts with local employers and found that they didn’t. They did help me a little bit with with one job application in that they put the application in for me so, I guess, they could claim their payment if I got the job. Well, fair enough, I’m not begrudging them payment for work they do but I could have just as easily applied directly myself and if I had done would not have flagged up the fact that I had been recently off sick, which is not necessarily a plus point with employers.
I did get an interview for this job but didn’t get selected: it was a job that had been advertised in the local paper.
Then, as I was feeling better, recovered and ready to work I ceased claiming Incapacity Benefit. The people at A4e were clearly unhappy about me stopping my claim since they were only paid for helping people on Incapacity Benefit. One of them advised me to keep claiming. Instead I started claiming Jobseekers Allowance, which, because of my circumstances I didn’t get and, after finding there was similarly not much assistance, stopped my claim for that too.
The real problem is that contrary to Cordon Bleu and Peter M’s assertions, there are very few jobs out there at the moment. So wasting money on A4e and other contractors so they can give phoney advice to those looking for work is wrong.
It’s also potty that those unable to work because of illness are targetted (”we want to look at work you can do, rather than work you cannot do”) while there’s not so much help for those fit enough to work: most employers want employees who are fully fit.
There’s also not much training available, just some Learn Direct courses on English, Arithmetic and Word Processing. But what’s the point of doing training if there are no jobs out there?