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News Archives 5381-5400
Number Title Post Date
5381 Murdoch’s US troubles keep getting worse 27/02/2012 11:44:13
5382 Was Murdoch's Sun on Sunday brought forward to beat bloodbath? 27/02/2012 11:45:10
5383 Linking side effects that develop many years after an exposure to the exposure 27/02/2012 11:47:51
5384 Antipsychotics raise risks of death in dementia patients - study 27/02/2012 11:48:48
5385 Savage disability benefit reform in chaos as two in five appeals 28/02/2012 15:20:28
5386 A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning 28/02/2012 15:22:10
5387 Bradley Manning, U.S. soldier accused of leaking material to WikiLeaks, among those nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 28/02/2012 15:23:35
5388 Police corruption, Murdoch and the Leveson Inquiry 28/02/2012 15:25:51
5389 Influenza vaccine ineffective on elderly 28/02/2012 15:28:00
5390 Whittemore Peterson Institute seek millions in damages from fired researcher 01/03/2012 15:51:37
5391 Slap: American Psychiatric Association Pressures Brit DSM5 Blogger Suzy Chapman 01/03/2012 15:54:41
5392 The Scientific Curmudgeon - Are psychiatric drugs making us sicker? 01/03/2012 15:58:48
5393 Three deaths linked to flu vaccine 01/03/2012 15:59:49
5394 Early diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination associated with higher female mortality and no difference in male mortality 01/03/2012 16:01:41
5395 UK Charities and Workfare: The Sad Truth 01/03/2012 16:03:02
5396 As Daniel Morgan police corruption murder reopens, James Murdoch quits UK 01/03/2012 16:04:22
5397 One Click Stats, February 2012 01/03/2012 16:09:55
5398 The Occupy saga shows why the Church is becoming irrelevant 02/03/2012 17:53:49
5399 How Workfare trapped charities into offering free labour 02/03/2012 17:55:25
5400 Ex-police official admits links to hack suspects 02/03/2012 17:56:43

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How Workfare trapped charities into offering free labour
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How Workfare trapped charities into offering free labour

by Guest    
March 2, 2012 at 8:55 am

contribution by Gayan Samarasinghe

When the Big Society was conceived, supporters and critics alike believed it would be volunteer organisations to which the government would turn to, for contracting out work. But it did not work out like that.

In reality, private companies are frequently the successful bidders for government contracts. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations expressed concerns in October 2011 that almost 90% of contracts had gone to private firms.

Late last year, A4e – the government’s key Workfare contractor, called on comrades from the volunteering sector to work with them. After several refugee and asylum charities were asked to work for A4e without payment, Farrukh Husain, director of the Migrants Resource Centre, described the practice as “gross exploitation of the voluntary sector”.

Volunteering England complained that volunteering centres had been approached to provide training to job seekers which A4e were paid by the Government to deliver.

Job seekers could be referred to many volunteering organisations anonymously – volunteers often had no way of knowing whether they were doing a private contractor’s work for free.

In February 2011, Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, asked Andrew Dutton, Chief Executive of A4e, what value was added when they took £400 from the government for every job seeker taken on under the Work Programme, only to be referred to a charity called Lifeline for £300.

“I cannot for the life of me see any value you add at all for that £100″ she said. Dutton defended the practice by describing the £100 it pocketed as a “management fee”.

If winning bidders such as A4e decide to subcontract out work, they have a large pool of small charities to choose from and inevitably were in a far stronger bargaining position when setting the terms.

One rising super-charity in particular – FSI ( the Foundation for Social Improvement) – put small charities in touch with workfare providers such as A4e. A close look at FSI shows a suprising number of connections to A4e.

FSI’s chair trustee is Emma Harrison. Four of FSI’s eight trustees are key players from A4e and include A4e’s Group CEO, it’s Executive Chairman, and it’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations. A4e is FSI’s main donor. A4e and FSI even share the same address, FSI’s premises generously paid for by A4e.

It appears in this case no thanks are necessary – it’s all part of the Big Society.

Gayan is a London based writer, and a paralegal at a human rights law firm

Related Links:
* UK Charities and Workfare: The Sad Truth
Johnny Void, the void

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