'Extremely poor' work scheme

A multibillion-pound Government programme which is meant to help the long-term unemployed into work has been branded "extremely poor" in a damning assessment by MPs.

Govt: Work scheme report 'paints a skewed picture'

This report paints a skewed picture. More than 200,000 people have moved off benefits and into a job thanks to the Work Programme.

It is making a real difference to tens of thousands of the hardest to help jobseekers. Long-term unemployment fell by 15,000 in the latest quarter.

The Work Programme gives support to claimants for two years and it hasn't even been running that long yet, so it's still early days. We know the performance of our providers is improving.

– Department for Work and Pensions spokesman

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Work Programme providers 'all missing targets'

  • The Work Programme was introduced in June 2011
  • £400m has been spent so far, but the estimated cost is between £3 billion and £5 billion over five years
  • The money is paid to private providers, but not one has met its contractual target and performance "varies wildly"
  • The committee says providers are concentrating on people more likely to generate a fee, which means sidelining jobless clients who require more time and investment

'Extremely poor' scheme to get unemployed into work

A multibillion-pound Government programme which is meant to help the long-term unemployed into work has been branded "extremely poor" in a damning assessment by MPs.

Jobseeker looks into the window of a job centre
Jobseeker looks into the window of a job centre Credit: Press Association

The Public Accounts Committee says that during the first 14 months of the Work Programme only 3.6% of claimants moved off benefits into sustained employment. The figure is less than a third of the 11.9% the Department for Work and Pensions expected to achieve.