Sunday, November 16, 2008

Part Three: The Implementation Plan

Economists say that of all people within the province there is a population that is "employable." It basically means all people who are able to work. Of THAT population, scholars relay that there will always be a percentage that remain unemployed. The reasons for this remain unclear, but regardless, this "grouping" of employable individuals will NOT work.

It must always be kept in mind that there is a multitude of reasons why someone would remain in a position where they do not work: sickness, lack of transferable skills, language barriers, as well as lack of childcare. Under no circumstances does this argument seek to pinpoint a particular subset of people. The point of this discussion is to relay how workfare, at the core, is inherently problematic; we cannot force someone to work. However, we cannot sit idly by while a person collects financial assistance without any form of plan to get off that assistance and return to independence and ideally, empowerment (a place where the person can manage his or her own life).

It would be important to conduct research so as to produce statistics that relay information on what barriers people in Workfare are facing (not just simultaneously but also based on their involvement with the program). Hopefully there are documents which suggest the typical outcomes that recipients have met while involved in the program. This would help compose a profile of which areas seem to be the biggest challenges. I think it would be important to campaign to the public so that an understanding is developed of the barriers and challenges to successful employment.

Ultimately, however, we'd need to get our message out to the companies so that they understand the changes that might be coming. To get their sense of how this will work, and how easily, would be vital. The media would be instrumental in this process. Lastly, workfare recipients must have a worker that helps them monitor their progress in the program and assists the person through any problems that arise. This same worker could submit a questionnaire that would get the person's opinions on how these intended policy changes would affect them.

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