Sunday, November 16, 2008

Part Two: Recommendations (to die for!!!)

Given that independent organizations and companies provide those in the program with employment, there would have to be a dramatic restructuring of the funding that is used for the process of giving financial assistance. A previous blog entry cited the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (RMOC) and their idea of "economic incentives." It means that the provincial government pays approximately half of the workfare recipient’s wages and the employer pays the other half. For the most part, this is already being carried out through the Ontario Works program.

In addition, however, the RMOC endorses the distribution of several "resources" to the worker, so that reclamation into independence (along a reasonable time period) is assured. Childcare and access to an employee assistance program (for coping and/or stress related issues) would be made available. Employment counseling would be an important piece as many workers do not leave the workfare program better equipped for entrance into meaningful employment than when they entered. Thus, skills-training from an institution such as Fanshawe College would be made available as well, as the kind of education received would prepare the workfare recipient for lasting and competitive employment. This seems like a worthy option, as it would allow extra funding to the employer on the condition that those employed under their helm would receive adequate resources/assistance.

The government reacts to the pressure put on by “the people” when an element in society is not working. In this case, it would be the continuation of taxpayer dollars contributing to welfare. The objective of this new policy would be to increase the sustainability and effectiveness of the time period that individuals are involved in workfare. The incentives given to employers, one would hope, would be sufficient to make providing resources to the employee a worthwhile and “painless” endeavor. In return, the worker would have adequate childcare resources, counseling through their employee assistance plan, and skills training. Thus, the idea is that there will be a greater likelihood of success, the message being: "If you do this, we'll do this for you."

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