I SHARE the concerns expressed in your editorial ("Jobless scheme needs more work", The Herald, February 13) that the UK Government may still fail to see sense despite the latest blow to its back-to-work schemes.
It seems to be blind to the concerns about the many failings of the Work Programme. When found to be breaking the law, Ministers seem eager to challenge the courts and redraft the rules rather than accept the verdict and reimburse those who have been exploited.
What seems especially perverse is that Poundland and other companies get free, if disgruntled, labour which must be a disincentive to creating real jobs. We have a flagship programme supposedly helping unemployed people which only has a 3.5% success rate, makes millions for private companies and actually reduces the number of jobs in the economy.
It is time to consign the Work Programme to history and find better ways to tackle unemployment. There are many better ways of supporting unemployed people to find work, including Community Jobs Scotland, which has a success rate in excess of 12 times that of the Work Programme.
Why has there not been a meaningful challenge to the dire performance of the Department of Work and Pensions Work Programme and investment redirected to more successful models? The UK Government needs to start thinking about how it can emulate and expand approaches that actually work and abandon this failed experiment in profit-led public services.
Sadly, I strongly suspect that it will not, opting to continue failing unemployed people instead.
Chief executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.