Memorandum from Black Country Colleges
1. Your paper indicates that employers are
discriminating against those who are unemployed because of their
lack of qualification and experience.
2. In our experience employers do not discriminate
against the unemployed, because of qualifications and experience.
They only discriminate against those who are not job ready. In
many cases qualifications are irrelevant to employers, as employees
will be trained in-house. Experience, in whatever form, is likely
to be the evidence employers seek to confirm job readiness.
3. The Government could focus training for
unemployed people more towards job ready skills rather than focusing
on NVQ Level 2, as per New Deal. There needs to be a move away
from NVQ Level 2 qualifications and a move towards short, employment
related courses that includes work ethics, attitudes, etc, which
are appropriately accredited. This would lead to sustainable employment
and reduce unemployment.
4. Employment Service could do more in the
recruitment of unemployed people by understanding the needs of
business and industry. Employment Service are currently far too
bureaucratic and indoctrinated in their own culture. Staff have
little or no knowledge, in many cases, of the industrial and business
environment. Many have never worked outside of the civil service.
5. Some of the proposed Intermediaries Fund
could be used to second Employment Service personnel into other
sectors and vice versa, to increase their knowledge and understanding
of another culture. Similarly, there needs to be encouragement
to bring the two cultures closer together.
6. Some of the funding could be allocated
towards employability programmes. An example of good practice
in this area is a partnership between a hotel chain (building
a new hotel and leisure complex in the area), Employment Service
and a local further education college. Every unemployed person
on the local register has been sent a letter inviting them to
join an employment related short course at the college (developed
between the college staff and the hotel personnel), and everyone
who completes the course is guaranteed an interview at the new
7. Other funding could be used to offer
an incentive to companies to take trainees on a "taster"
for a short period of time to test their suitability.
8. Many employers use employment agencies
for recruitment. There is a perception that Employment Service
staff do not send the right person for the job and that employment
agencies are better at matching clients to jobs.
9. Local partnership could be established
between Employment Service and employment agencies to share best
practice and learn from each other's employment related issues.
10. Whilst given the opportunity to respond
to your enquiry we would also like to offer some further thoughts
for the Committee:
Current New Deal training providers are reluctant
to move clients into subsidised employment from the options, as
there is no financial incentive to do so. We lose out on further
on-programme payments but more importantly we lose both the qualification
output payment and the employment output payment, as well as the
output relating to performance data.
If a client moves into employment shortly after
leaving the FTET option the provider is not entitled to claim
the job outcome fee and can only claim this payment if the job
is offered whilst still on the option. We would argue that the
client has been able to gain sustainable employment because of
the training, support, job search experience and work experience
given to the client whilst on the option. Employment Service cannot
dismiss the fact that the clients, who have been unemployed for
many months, have been supported by a provider for a period of
up to 52 weeks, in many cases, and that any employment gained
by the client is as a result of all their hard work.
Black Country Colleges Consortium