Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2014

We are not powerless

Last week I attended a ‘round table’ discussion with the Employment Minister Esther McVey. Around the inconveniently long rectangular table were familiar faces - other chief executives and civil servants from the Department for Work and Pensions. The minister responded thoughtfully to proposals about how job centres and agencies could work together more effectively. From some colleagues in the room there was unrestrained frustration that we had been here before and little had changed.  I left the meeting in a pensive mood, unconvinced that we had got our messages home. There was a depressing familiarity about the construction of our case and the tone in which it was delivered. Despite some constructive suggestions, our stance centred on the dual assertions that things are as dreadful as they have ever been and that much of what is happening is beyond our capacity to affect. There are times when it feels that acknowledging a government policy is working effectively is an unforgiva