‘Promising signs’ from Work Programme

Early results from the Work Programme show ‘promising signs’, the government claims. The Work Programme is the government’s key welfare-to-work scheme, relying heavily on private contractors paid according to results.

Newly published statistics describe the benefit circumstances of the first cohort of participants attached to the Work Programme in June 2011, who were tracked up to March 2012.

Key points

  • Out of 28,600 people tracked, 13,800 (48 per cent) had had a break in their benefit claim since joining the programme.
  • 7,000 (24 per cent) had had a continuous break of 13 weeks.
  • 3,900 (14 per cent) had had a continuous break of 26 weeks.
  • 7,100 (25 per cent) were off benefit at the end of the 36-week tracking period.

The report points out, however, that these are early figures and should be treated with caution. They are evidence of movement off benefit – but not necessarily of movement into sustained employment. They include people leaving benefit in order to go back to school or training, and those who simply stop signing on for unknown reasons and disappear from the system.

Source: Work Programme: Analysis of Early Entrants, Department for Work and Pensions
Links: Report | DWP press release | CBI press release | Labour Party press release | SMF press release