The first set of Government data on the Work Programme suggests the scheme is helping to get people off benefits and back into work. Image courtesy of sxc.hu/Carlos Chavez.
More than a year after it was launched in June 2011, the first set of data published by the Government on the 'Work Programme
' suggests the scheme is having a positive effect in helping the long-term unemployed
The data, which was released yesterday (July 9) by the Department for Work and Pensions
, shows that a significant number of participants are spending at least three months off benefits. It revealed that after the first nine months, almost one in four (24 percent) of those participants that joined the scheme in June 2011 had already completed at least three successive months off benefits.
The Government has also published data from 'Work Programme' providers showing that in the three months since the launch of the Youth Contract
in April 2012, around 17,000 18 to 24 year olds
started in a job.
Employment minister Chris Grayling commented: "These figures are the first indication that the 'Work Programme' has had a promising start in what’s been a very difficult labour market.”
"People I meet in the industry already say that performance is well ahead of where it was at the same stage with the 'Flexible New Deal' from which it took over, and this data gives further encouragement. Now the welfare to work industry really has to demonstrate that it can reach new levels in helping the long-term unemployed back to work."
The 'Work Programme' was designed to provide those at risk of long-term unemployment with tailored support. Private providers and voluntary organisations receive a job outcome payment
after the participant has been in employment for at least 13 or 26 weeks, with additional payments being made for continued employment after that.
The Department for Work and Pensions has stressed that reliable data on job outcomes is not yet available, as most claimants have to be in a job for six months before providers receive an outcome payment. Official Statistics will be released in the autumn.
However, the data released yesterday shows that 36 weeks into the programme, 48 percent of those participants that started in June 2011, had a break in their benefits claim and 24 percent had spent a continuous 13 week period off benefits. Of those who left benefits most quickly, in the first 10 weeks seven out of 10 (70 percent) were still off benefits 13 weeks later.