Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Job providers should be paid entirely by outcomes


My ‘Google Alert’ usually throws up mundane stuff of no interest to me; so much so that recently I during a blitz on unwanted emails I almost ‘unsubscribed’ from this service – glad I didn’t.

The story it brought me today is interesting and, possibly, a positive for disabled people seeking employment. As many of us are aware the current programmes the government has put in place to assist disabled people into employment are not working.

Remploy’s Work Programme, for instance, operates a revolving door approach to placing disabled people into jobs. When Remploy boasts it has secured jobs for 6,500 people 2007/8, this doesn’t mean that they found gainful employment for 6,500 individuals; no, it means they achieved 6,500 placements. Some of the placements would involve the same person more than once.

A US scheme pioneered by ‘America Works’ has come up with a method that eliminates the Remploy double count system. While I’m sceptical of most employment related ideas that cross the pond; this one at least makes the ‘job provider’ work for their money.

Rather than the government paying a company like Remploy on performance, an upfront payment for finding somebody a job; the ‘America Works’ system is reliant on employment longevity. Whereas Remploy is paid the full amount even if the job seeker only lasts a few months, AW is paid in increments stepped from 30 to 180 weeks!

By today’s employment expectations a job that lasts for almost 3½ years is quite rare. Because the scheme has succeeded in the US doesn’t mean it will have a successful transition here; however, anything that is based on results rather than the in-out-in-out-in-out Remploy model of securing employment for disabled people is worth investigating.

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