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BC job plan savings will not exceed cost.

VICTORIA -- "A large numbers of people referred to Job Placement do not benefit from the program," a report on BC government's job placement and training programs for social assistance recipients indicates and "it is unlikely that the Ministry's savings in BCEA payments will exceed the cost of the program for some time."

The program is provided through contractors who are paid on the basis of successful performance.

The report prepared by Peter Adams and Caty Tait of Victoria Consulting Network Ltd indicates that

* 25-30 people referred to the program either do not show up for interview or are not accepted by the contractors;

* more than 40% of people accepted by contractors do not achieve independence within the program timelines.

Some clients need more assistance than has been provided through this program. Less than half the clients interviewed agreed that the job leads provided were helpful in getting a job.

The report points out that many of the people placed could have found work even without any help from the contractors and that the contractors have a financial incentive to accept the most employable people even if they need very little assistance.

The report finds that some persons are being referred simply to ensure that referral targets are met. Many of those referred could find jobs and the contractors do not provide the full range of services needed by more challenged clients.

The program involves a number of time limits (e.g. how long a contractor can assist a client to become independent or earn months of independence) that may not always serve the best interest of individual clients

The review points duplication in process of interviewing and assessing clients as these are done by the Ministry and the contractor. A client may be interviewed and assessed by more than one contractor and if unsuccessful with the program may be interviewed and assessed by other program providers. This duplication of effort stems, in part, from a lack of continuity in case management.

While there are clear benefits in having the program operated by external contractors who have close links with the employer community, the Ministry has to invest considerable staff time and resources in the management Of JP contracts and responding to the concerns of contractors.

In summing up the reviewers state that "Actual performance falls well below some of the more optimistic expectations for the program. The report points out: "that at actual performance of the program reflects the inherent difficulty in designing an employment program that would pay for itself. The difficulty is one of designing a process for identifying, in advance, the individuals who would benefit from the program and, thereby, not investing resources in persons who are unlikely to benefit."
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Title Annotation:INCOME
Publication:Community Action
Date:Oct 24, 2005
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