The Work Programme in Durham – has it helped or failed benefit claimants?
Two North East Charities, which Addictions UK knows well (helping to fund one them) have run short training courses for people with difficulties finding paid employment. The courses were all free of charge and underwritten by a grant from the European Social Fund through Durham Community Foundation.
Undoubtedly the courses were a great success with the participants mainly offering very high satisfaction points in the supplied Evaluation Sheets. The “One to One” sessions were an important part of the courses and this enabled the organisers to offer a more client-led service as part of the training programmes.
Surprisingly, Benefit claimants on the Work Programme do not qualify to for the newly announced New Enterprise Allowance This rule discriminates against the very people that the Government are wanting to start up new enterprises.
Additionally, some of the participants referred from two Work Programme Contractors were threatened with their benefit being suspended if they failed to attend this voluntary course. The same County Durham Work Programme Providers refused to pay for travelling expenses to some of their clients.
Recent Research published by the Government shows failing in other areas – see the BBC’s report “Welfare-to-work: Official figures show job target missed”
Simon Stephens, Addictions UK‘s Director of Case Work expressed concern at the disappointing statistics and seeming shortage of cash for this Government’s “Help” Scheme.
He said, “Threats and relentless pressure alone will not resolve the countless problems of those claimants pathologically dependent on Alcohol and Drugs”.
Simon continued, “More resources are needed to bring people back to the work place. A few short ‘Condition Management’ Programmes will not necessarily bring ‘Recovery’ to people who want to work – but are unable due to their medical conditions.
“Given these reservations we were pleased with the exceptional results from the two courses developed in County Durham”.
Addictions UK is the leading provider of Home-based Addictions Treatment, working with people who cannot attend residential rehab centres and wish to resolve their dependence to drugs and alcohol at home. For further information contact us on lineor telephone us on 0845 4567 030.