In June 2016, “Working Links” (the British company behind “Turas Nua” who administer JobPath in Ireland) were acquired by international investment company Aurelias whose investors were attracted by Working Links’ returns of €160m, a considerable improvement on the company returns in Britain of €35m in 2010, thanks primarily to the Fine Gael/Labour contract awarded to the company’s Irish branch Turas Nua. Shares are now available on the German stock market. (See link 1. below.)
In short, our government, using public funds, has hired a discredited British company (See Link 2.) that provides prison services across Europe and elsewhere, to manage the Irish unemployed, a social minority that our government has been busy tainting as criminal. The funding awarded to this company by our government has increased this company’s perceived profitability, causing it to be taken over by a German-based investment company, whose shareholders are now earning dividends from the arrangement.
These profits for investors are being created indirectly from the Irish government’s demonising and scapegoating of a social minority, and as a result of our government’s facilitating a discredited British company’s access to Irish public funding, earmarked for social protection, for “services” that are, at best, rudimentary and at worst window dressing for future investment opportunities in the “incarceration services sector”, for want of a better term.
In the JobPath model, “clients” become essentially raw material to be processed into employable entities, with commission paid by our government for each entity placed in a job. To facilitate the success of the venture the educational and professional status of clients is all but disregarded, considered secondary to the concept of “a job”, regardless of how low-grade such a job might be. Essentially “clients” are commodities and it is in the managing of these commodities that companies like Working Links, Turas Nua and Seetec can claim public funding.
However, given Working Links expertise in prison services and the investment opportunities these afford, (One of the directors of Turas Nua, and two of the directors of Working Links are former directors of Sodexo, UK Detention Services. (See Links 3 and 4.) “clients” might just as easily be processed to fit prison systems and the investment opportunities that this might afford into the future. In terms of an investment opportunity, the criminalizing of clients may make for more promising investment returns, since it has been shown in studies in Britain that the system of employment activation is not actually working in its stated aims of creating employment. (See links 5 and 6.)
A cursory internet search will throw up several articles showing that Working Links in Britain has only a 1 in 10 success rate in creating employment, and are considered by many as being funded from the public purse not so much to create employment, though that is what they are tasked with doing, but more to manage the poor. And how better to legally manage the poor than to criminalize them? This idea might shed some light on that question that was included in a questionnaire by Turas Nua in November 2015, “Do you think you’ll commit a criminal offence within six months?” (See Link 7.)
By the way, with regard to employment creation, no one thinks it odd apparently, that the unemployed are being charged with the task of employment creation, something that has vexed the best efforts of most governments, including our own. Furthermore, the unfortunate unemployed are also being threatened with immediate and unforgiving immiseration for failure in this impossible task. Then, to cap it off, our politicians award themselves success raises and bonuses for their work in employment creation, the main achievement being the creation of JobPath and its ilk.
JobPath hasn’t come up with any useful figures, despite a performance report being published in January 2017. (See link 8.) But this report concentrates on a narrow window of performance data between July and Sept 2015, with the bulk of the report taken up with figures related to a customer satisfaction survey commissioned by the DSP which reports unusually high happiness levels among participants, at odds with anecdotal reports, boasting satisfaction percentages on a par with Putin’s approval ratings.
The questions are pitched on a level-of-agreement spectrum regarding the facilities the jobseekers are being detained in to conduct their job-searches under supervision in a parole officer/parolee-type relationship with an employment activation advisor whose credentials, by the way, are never cited but are assumed to provide expertise across a wide spectrum of professions.
The survey concerns itself with questions relating to the friendliness of the staff, the attractiveness of the surroundings, the opening hours and other similar innocuous observations. But the core question, the elephant in the living room, is not addressed. That question is: By what law are these private companies and their employees permitted to detain Irish citizens at their facilities for the “crime” of being 12 months unemployed?