From education to employment

More than 200,000 jobseekers find employment under Work Programme, says ERSA

More than 200,000 jobseekers found employment through the Work Programme since its launch in June 2011 through to the end of September 2012.

According to figures released by the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the trade body for the welfare to work industry, 29 of every 100 people who started the scheme since it began have been supported into a job so far.

As the Work Programme matures, ERSA expects the scheme will accelerate to help more people find work. In the final three months of its survey, 64,601 people found work under the programme, while unemployment during the same period fell by 49,000, highlighting its role in getting people who are long term unemployed off benefits and into employment.

ERSA’s figures have been produced to support the Office of National Statistics’ release of official data on sustained jobs. According to the trade body, because its ‘Job Start’ data refers to the number of jobseekers who have entered work, while official government data only relates to jobseekers who have been in employment, in the majority of cases, for at least six months, its data is not limited by a time-lag, enabling it to give a wider picture of how effective the Work Programme is.

ERSA chief executive Kirsty McHugh: said “Although it is still relatively early days for the Work Programme, these figures show that the Work Programme is  making a real difference to people’s lives. Not only have over 200,000 people been moved from long term unemployment into work, but there is clear evidence that month on month performance is building which means there will be a consistent rise in sustained employment numbers in the future.

“As the Work Programme is delivering an average cost of only £2,097 per job, these performance levels represent good value for both jobseekers and the taxpayer.”

Natalie Thornhill

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