Skip to main content


I've just been having a look at te training websites the Work Programme recommended (,, and I was told there are loads of these organisations, but when I asked for a comprehensive list I was told by the Adviser that she didn't have such a thing, however I can be sure that there are loads, despite being given only three. is a strange one with an equally strange name. It seems to be a bunch of higher education courses, but without the qualification. In other words you can be an 'amateur' student and do the learning for its own sake, just without the official reward. Not entirely sure what to make of it really, nor how I could use it on, say, a CV. The list of courses is not huge, but somewhat diverse - I could study for a 'diploma' in Human Resources, or Environment Science, or study Arabic (I'd prefer Mandarin, as it goes, but that's a personal thing).

The other two seem to be carbon copies and are really why I'm making this post. I've noticed, among the success stories workfare providers put out, a lot of similarity. Most of the providers have a couple of these 'personal testimonials' on their website, usually featuring young women who have ended up working in one of the caring professions. Great, if true, and good luck to them. However when you look at these training sites you see that 'health and social care' is one of the (few) categories that they offer, so it's easy for young women, usually those that don't have much of an idea of anything else, to end up in or end up wanting a career in health and social care. 

The provider can then foot the bill (probably a couple of hundred quid, nothing huge) for them to study what isn't likely to be too taxing a curriculum. Let's be honest, these courses are not there to be arcane, inaccessible or hideously complicated. They are entry level courses. So it's probably easy to produce a success story from this situation with no real effort (from the provider). The real question is whether these people end up in a stable career as a result. Of course we hope they do, providing it's something they wanted and not something the provider persuaded them to do (under threat of non compliance perhaps) or that they felt obligated to do by virtue of no alternative.

Other courses are similar: IT Skills covering basic word processing, a bit of Excel, 'Life Skills' encompassing numeracy and literacy, 'Employability' which translates as construction card training, and, similar to health and social care, training in being a trainer in one of these 'Learning Centres'. So maybe if that's your thing, you could work in one of these places. It's all a bit of a closed circle really and, I fear, a bubble that, one day, will surely burst, if only through changes in technology/accessibility rendering them redundant. There are lots of these sites and places now; it's easy money for the likes of the Work Programme who doubtless get funding/payment each time they get someone on to a Health and Social Care course. But is this really going to address the problems in society of unemployment, underemployment, skills and knowledge? Or is this another example of big business dictating or running things: these courses for example don't cover art, culture, philosophy (what gave us democracy: thought or big business?), and creativity.


Popular posts from this blog

I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

I Hate James Bartholomew

Know the Tory mindset: according to these creatures welfare breeds dependency. Meanwhile they do not want to set a minimum wage, they do not want to create legislation to protect the un - and under - employed from the predations of the system they benefit from. That word is chosen deliberately, because they like benefits for themselves - the ability to sack whom they like, when they like and how they like. In this UKIP are the same. This is the febrile heart of the right wing.
Yesterday on 5 Live's laughable morning phone in - bigots drink for free - another right wing excuse for a human, James Bartholomew, revealed another aspect of their nasty prejudice and staggering ignorance. Not surprisingly this vile creature was once a banker. He writes (if one can call it that) for the Telegraph and though I don't know the content of his ballot paper, I dare say I can guess. He props up every tory myth about the unemployed and welfare with dull witted aplomb.
He believes people have …

Magical Thinking

Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

We have a society fuelled by …