JobPath Companies investigated for Fraud

The Anti-Austerity Alliance has today called on the Minister Joan Burton to scrap the finalisation of contracts to award the JobPath contract to Seetec and Working Links after revealing they have been investigated for defrauding the UK government when running similar schemes. 

JobPath is a new ‘activation’ measure which will target the long-term unemployed and see these companies receive a payment for each person they get back to work.

The government has awarded the JobPath contract to Seetec, and Turas Nua a new company which is a joint venture involving a UK based company called Working Links.

These two companies have both been investigated in the UK for fraud allegations when they ran a similar scheme there.

When this idea was first brought up, we raised concerns that, like in the UK which is the model the government are working towards, this would see private companies use the power of welfare sanctions to force the unemployed into low paid and unsuitable jobs so that they could claim their payment. A4E, a company which was involved in this have since lost their contract.

Working Links was accused of fraud and falsifying their success rate to claim payments in 2012 and ended up having to return money. Seetec were disgracefully alleged to have placed disabled people in unpaid work placements and claimed to have found them jobs. Amazingly, this case is at the centre of a British government cover up scandal and is being investigated by the National Audit Office, as recently as July, yet the government have seen fit to award them this contract.

The track record of these schemes is that the unemployed are abused and forced into low-paid jobs or training places. We already have schemes like JobBridge and Gateway which people are being forced into.

The unemployed are seen as a means for making money by these big companies with little or no concern for them. The Minister must stop the finalisation of these contracts.

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