Figures prove Work Programme isn’t working says SCVO


23rd June 2015 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

New figures show the Work Programme is consistently failing to find work for unemployed Scots.

Despite the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spending on average £1,110 on each participant on the government's flagship back-to-work scheme, the programme in Scotland has only managed to get a paltry 24% of those taking part off benefits and into jobs or training.

The top performing region is the east of England which manages a 31% success rate overall. 

Figures, which cover the first four years of the programme from 2011-2014, show rural areas fare the worst. While Brentford in Essex is one of the top performing areas in the UK with an overall success rate of 40%, Orkney reports a 14% success rate in achieving positive outcomes overall.  

The Work Programme uses private contractors on a pay-by-results basis to get people off benefits by finding them work.

It uses a range of providers for work experience and training for up to two years to help people find and stay in work.

Up to March this year, the DWP had paid providers a total of £1.89 billion since the scheme started in 2011.  

What we need to see in future is a non-profit model that uses the strengths, skill and experience of the third sector - John Downie

Yet, despite the huge investment in the programme, DWP figures show less than 9% of sick and disabled people find employment lasting at least three months after one year of taking part in the scheme..

The failure of the Work Programme is even more evident among other (longer-term) Employment Support Allowance claimants, with only 4.3% finding a job – down from 7.1% in 2011.

John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said: “These results show that, beyond any doubt, the Work Programme just isn’t working.

“The performance in Scotland is especially woeful, proving that private sector involvement in finding people jobs - especially those who need additional support - is a total failure.”

He added: “What we need to see in future is a non-profit model that uses the strengths, skill and experience of the third sector to get real jobs and real results for unemployed Scots.

“Schemes like Community Jobs Scotland, run by the third sector, are proven to have far higher rates of success in finding people meaningful employment in the longer term.”

Although Work Programme providers can get a maximum payment of £14,000 for every ESA claimant who goes into a secure job, this payment has not stopped companies from "parking" those who appear to be very hard to help.

Duncan Melville, Inclusion chief economist, said: “The Work Programme can be considered a success for those who are more job ready and in receipt of JSA.

“However, for those more distanced from the labour market, the programme has been much less successful.

“For claimants of ESA, less than 15%, and in some cases less than 10%, have achieved a sustained job outcome within two years. 

“With the nature of the follow on to the Work Programme currently under consideration, the needs of the most disadvantaged workless need to be addressed if the UK is to achieve full employment.”

24th June 2015 by manager

That's fine stating the figures for the work programme aren't very good but why doesn't SCVO post the CJS stats to emphasise how good it is compared to the work programme? SCVO has those figures to hand as they run the CJS programme and should have published them in this article to prove the point further.