Standguide's website says:
Operating throughout Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, Standguide focus on the recruitment and training needs of employers in addition to supporting unemployed adults into work through a variety of bespoke courses and training. Our mission is "to help ensure individuals and organisations reach their potential through providing an efficient, effective, quality-driven service to all our customers"
Sounds nice doesn't it? What lovely people!
Unfortunately none of this is true. After 18 months unemployment an individual put on "new deal". For the next three months they get signed on by the same person each week and a more in depth look at their employment search is made. Fair enough so far. When the three months are up they are signed off unemployment, reducing the figures for the government, and sent to standguide.
Standguide get paid when they place a candidate at an employer. The employer gets the individual for free. The employee gets jobseekers allowance plus fifteen pounds a week allowance and, may be, some travel expenses depending on circumstances. Definitely not national minimum wage.
The placements are meant to at least have the possibility of leading to a permanent job with the employer. Unfortunately most of the employers are charities with no paid work available. Standguide's Chester branch predominantly place people at: Ellesmere port boat museum, local charity shops and Neston community centre.
If a candidate is placed with a genuine employer they are often not kept on when the three months is up. The employer just asks for a new person for free. Well they would wouldn't they?
If that's not bad enough, some candidates have suffered intimidation at their placement. With other employees blaming them for staff redundancies.
As for the "bespoke courses and training" is concerned. The more IT literate people help the others and that's it!
When the unemployed person has finished new deal they go back to jobseekers as if they were newly unemployed.