The boss of Britain’s largest welfare to work provider believes that claimants are better off in low paid, insecure temporary work “rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle” according to the Telegraph newspaper.
He also argues that the government have to get the “people who are technically unfit to work, back to work” and believes that the appointment of Maximus to carry out medical assessments will lead to a surge in work for his company.
Andy Hogarth runs Staffline ,which bought out A4E last month in order to become Britain’s largest provider of welfare to work services. He believes that if the government is to succeed in its aim of cutting £12 billion from the benefits budget it will have to get people off employment and support allowance and back into work.
“For a government looking to save £12bn from welfare one of the things they have to do is get the people who are technically unfit to work, back to work, which sounds a bit brutal on the face of it, and that is exactly what a lot of welfare groups are saying, but in reality they can work.”
According to the Telegraph, Hogarth believes that his company will get an extra 2.5 million people referred to his company over the coming years as a result of Maximus taking over the work capability assessment from Atos.
Hogarth appears to believe he is particularly suited to working with the sick and disabled claimants because of his own life experiences.
When he was in his thirties, Hogarth sold a successful business for an undisclosed sum of money and then spent a year at home with “deep depression”, finding it difficult to leave the house and splitting up with his girlfriend.
He overcame his depression by going back to studying and retraining in his mid thirties.
According to the Telegraph, Staffline has grown rapidly with turnover increasing from £100 million ten years ago, to £503 million last year and aiming to hit £1bn within two years.
Much of its income comes from placing “up to 35,000 workers each week in temporary jobs, such as food processing, factory assembly lines, and picking items in warehouses.”
Hogarth believes that jobcentres only work “if you are a well motivated guy”. And while some local authorities don’t approve of his company putting people in minimum wage temporary jobs, Hogarth thinks they are mistaken, explaining:
“I personally think they are totally wrong, I think a temporary job, even if it is just for a week, is better because it then gives you a step to better pay, rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle.”
Hogarth expects to have to deal with “kicking and screaming” from claimants and from pressure groups and admits that “It is hard to justify to welfare groups the profits we make . . .” .
But he claims that only 20p in every pound they make is paid as dividends to shareholders.
Rather than simply being there to make money, Hogarth assures Telegraph readers his staff “are genuinely here to help people”. And, in a gesture that would delight Norman Tebbit, they generously “buy a lot of bikes so that people can get to work”.
In separate news ERSA, the umbrella body for welfare to work providers, says that the “backdrop of continued austerity and welfare reform” looks like offering their members a great opportunity.
The leases on many Jobcentre plus offices come up for renewal in this parliament and ERSA hope that the government will take the opportunity to privatise the whole jobcentre network and its services.
Which would, of course, mean many more Andy Hogarth’s having the opportunity to drag claimants “kicking and screaming” into a better life.
See the Telegraph for the full story.
Source – Benefits & Work, 26 May 2015
The number of jobseekers per advertised job vacancy has reached a record post-recession low of 0.89, researchers claim.
According to the latest UK Job Market report from Adzuna – a search engine for job advertisements – the number of advertised job vacancies reached 949,778 in November 2014, the largest number of jobs since the recession and up 23.6% on November 2013.
Adzuna say there has been ten consecutive months in which competition for jobs has fallen and there are now more advertised vacancies than jobseekers.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said:
“The job market has seen significant revival over the past year. The most recent figures provide a solid base for optimism as we head into 2015.”
However, Mr Hunter urged caution, saying temporary jobs for the Christmas period may be partly responsible for a 1.4% increase in advertised vacancies between October to November 2014:
“This peak in advertised vacancies at the close of the year may owe as much to seasonal work as it does to the resurgent core of the jobs market”, he said.
He added: “Some uptick in advertised vacancies during the lead-up to the festive period was expected.”
Mr Hunter said the “cost of living crisis” was starting to ease, “leaving more people with more money in the New Year – injecting a feel-good factor into a traditionally glum time of year.”
This claim will be impossible to accept for the several thousands of jobseekers still struggling to find work and who may have been made redundant during the biggest recession in decades.
And the supposed economic recovery is yet to be felt by families struggling to pay bills, or forced to turn to food banks to feed themselves and their children.
There are also wide variations in the number of available jobs in different towns and cities across the UK. For example, there were 23.54 jobseeker’s for every job vacancy in Salford and 18.54 in the Wirral. This compares to just 0.17 in Cambridge and 0.20 in Guildford.
Research published by the TUC earlier this month (December) reveals that just one in every forty new jobs added to the economy between 2008 and 2014 has been a full-time employee job.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“While more people are in work there are still far too few full-time employee jobs for everyone who wants one.
“It means many working families are on substantially lower incomes as they can only find reduced hours jobs or low-paid self-employment.”
“The Chancellor has said he wants full employment, but that should mean full-time jobs for everyone who wants them. At the moment the economy is still not creating enough full-time employee jobs to meet demand.”
Analysis also shows a significant rise in the number of people trapped on controversial low-paid and insecure Zero Hours contracts. TUC says most workers on zero-hours contracts earn less than the living wage.
According to Adzuna, average advertised salaries grew to £34,549 in November 2014 – a 5.8% increase compared to £32,651 a year ago.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) – one measure used to calculate the cost of living – grew by just 1% in the year to November 2014. According to the research, this means that average annual salary increases continue to outpace CPI inflation and shows real wage growth.
Consumer service jobs saw the largest annual increase in average advertised salaries of 16.5% over the year to November to reach £21,353, say Adzuna.
Andrew Hunter said:
“The customer services sector has evolved in response to the changing landscape of business engagement.
Adding: “This increase in their average salary reflects companies’ desire to attract the best talent for this crucial sector.”
Average advertised salaries for jobs in Hospitality & Catering took the largest annual plunge to £24,148, which represents a decrease of 2.11% since November last year.
Andrew Hunter said:
“A decrease in average advertised salaries at the close of the year for Hospitality & Catering might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually a regular seasonal occurrence.
“Many businesses take on extra seasonal staff for low-wage work in order to cope with the extra footfall during this time of year.”
Manufacturing jobs experienced a yearly salary increase to £30,678 in November, representing a 14.5% yearly increase. This increase was followed closely by a 10.4% annual salary boost in Trade & Construction, with an average advertised salary of £38,704.
Mr Hunter said companies in these sectors “are not simply offering higher salaries because they’re feeling flush with cash”, but because “they’re struggling to attract the talent they need to expand”.
“They need to fill the existing skills gap before we can expect other sectors to feel the benefits”, said Mr Hunter.
Scotland is the only region of the UK to experience a year-on-year salary decrease. With average advertised salaries growing by just 0.53% over 2014 it leaves Scotland trailing behind the rest of the UK. According to the research, this was caused by the ‘instability resulting from the referendum’.
At the same time, North East England (11.60%), Yorkshire and The Humber (10.76%) and North West England (8.78%) have jostled Wales (8.44%) out of the pole position it had been enjoying thanks to the Jobs Growth Wales initiative.
Average Northern salaries remain lower than in the South, but at the current rates of change this may not remain the case for long – expect the North to surge forward in 2015, say Adzuna.
Andrew Hunter said:
“A manufacturing boom has buoyed the Northern jobs market this year. The traditional home of manufacturing in the UK is seeing a new demand for highly-skilled labour, which is reflected in healthy annual wage growth.
> Really ? All I see in my local job searches are cleaning jobs at 16 hours/week or less, or zero hours hospitality-type jobs. Jobs at 30+ hours a week seem to be very rare.
“There is a more complicated picture for Scotland, another region where average salaries are tightly tied to a dominant job sector – waning salaries in Energy, Oil and Gas have been compounded across the region by recent political instability.
“However, advertised salaries still managed to grow on average in 2014. The margin of growth was undeniably lower than the increases enjoyed by the rest of the UK.
“Nevertheless, average growth despite the unique setbacks faced by the Scottish jobs market speaks volumes of the market’s resilience – there is every reason to hope Scottish salaries and employment will bounce back into the coming year.”
Source – Welfare Weekly, 31 Dec 2014
> Its only a couple of months since we were being told that the automotive sector, based mainly around Nissan and its suppliers, were the way forward for employment locally.
I commented at the time that this “eggs-all-in-one-basket” approach was previously applied to the advent of call centres, and that didn’t work out too well.
This doesn’t herald the collapse of the automotive industry locally, but it does mean more people back on the dole, and probably some knock-on effects on Nissan’s suppliers.
Nissan is to cut hundreds of temporary jobs at its Sunderland factory.
The car giant announced today it is to cease 24-hour production on line two at the factory, which builds the Juke and Note.
The move will see the workforce reduced by 365, though the firm expects the number of workers affected to be less, due to staff turnover. The cuts will be limited to staff on temporary contracts.
Nissan has recruited 2,000 people to the Sunderland workforce in the past two years to support a £1billion investment programme.
After making more than 500,000 cars in each of the last two years, 24-hour working on both lines was introduced in January.
But the firm announced to staff this morning that demand no longer justifies running three shifts beyond the summer and Line 2 will return to two-shift operations from mid-June.
“At the end of this period we expect headcount at Sunderland to be around 6,700, supporting two-shift operations on Line 2 with 24-hour operations continuing across the rest of the site,” said a spokesman.
Source – Sunderland Echo 02 May 2014