First thing this morning, the newspapers brought us exciting news about a brilliant new job creation scheme! Here’s the Mail’s take on it;
A million jobless people are to be forced into a massive new welfare-to-work scheme run by private firms to ensure British jobs are filled by British workers, ministers will pledge today.
Companies, as well as some charities and public sector bodies, will be paid bounties of between £4,000 and £13,700 for every unemployed person they get into long-term work.
Serco, A4E and security services firm G4S are among those who will run welfare-to-work programmes, while not-for-profit operators include Rehab, the Careers Development Group and Newcastle College.
Then, within the last few minutes, the Independent tells us this;
Up to 600 contact centre jobs are to be created over the next year by a company managing sales for a number of retailers, it was announced today.
By any chance, are the two stories connected? The Independent goes on;
Serco said it will open a new city centre office in Cardiff to manage sales and customer services for a range of organisations, including Shop Direct Group, the country’s biggest online and home shopping retailer.
The contact centre, which will open in August, will be operated by the Listening Company, which was acquired by Serco earlier this year.
Neville Upton, chief executive of the Listening Company, said: “We’re delighted that the growth in our business has provided us with the opportunity to establish ourselves in such a vibrant city centre.
“Not only does this move enable us to enhance our geographical spread and build on our relationships with key clients, it will lead to the creation of a number of exciting job opportunities and we expect to grow the business in the coming months and years.”
That will be a ‘yes’ then.Which means that we’ll be footing the bill for benefits payments and having to put up with yet more cold-calling by strangers asking us how we’re doing today before trying to sell us more tat that we don’t want and cannot afford – particularly as the cost has increased thanks to yet another middleman margin.. What? You expected investment in proper, wealth-creating jobs that would survive the inevitable cessation of the scheme?
There appear to be no benefits savings involved; according to Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, contracts have been structured so that payments should not exceed the amounts taxpayers would have had to pay anyway.
I don’t like the sound of that ‘should’.