Since October 2011, TSBC’s Chief Executive, programme delivery staff, City of London staff and entrepreneur guests have been involved in [...]
What happens to the jobless, when those putting them into jobs close down?
TBSC has always expressed concern over the Work Programme and this week, these concerns were confirmed with the forced closure of Sutton Eco-Actif, a social enterprise that ironically endeavoured to work in partnership with Government to help put people into employment through the work programme, has actually found itself forced out of business! As a social enterprise ourselves, it is both startling and heart-breaking to hear of the tale of a successful fellow organisation falling at the hands of a government initiative.
Delving a little deeper and exploring the statistics, it is even more surprising, that the work of Ecofit has gone in vein. Research by the Met police has shown that for every £1 invested in Eco-Actif, they return £10.75 to society. Over the last six years they have worked with over 5,000 disadvantaged people and have transformed thousands of lives and created active citizens in this community. It sounds like the type of grass-root enterprise that this government claims to support and the fact that it has been pushed into this situation through their involvement with the work programme is very worrying for us at TSBC. Like us, Eco-Actif had a long history of working in partnership to tackle unemployment and social exclusion, particularly among ex-offenders and people recovering from alcohol and substance misuse.
But perhaps the most distressing aspect of this mess is that, despite the fact the organisation has been successful in securing a healthy forward order book, in excess of £1million, negotiations with social and established finance providers were totally unfruitful. They have been told that the Government’s Work Programme is too high risk;
the Prime Contractors are not passing sufficient funds to the ultimate delivery organisations to make sufficient surplus to finance any loan and that their association with A4E is a matter of great concern.
The Work Programme has dealt this thriving social enterprise, that worked to connect the most marginalised people in Sutton with the labour market, a lethal blow. If such government programmes are viewed with distain from finance providers, is it time that the Government backed off and allowed the organic development of social enterprises to continue free from interference.
The Merlin standard can not be effective if it is forming organisations like this who are at the administrative at the premise of the likes of A4E?
The Small Business Consultancy was aired on BBC World News on Monday, where Chief Executive of TSBC Amar Lodhia, took [...]