From education to employment

The Work Programme to reveal results of crucial first year

The government’s Work Programme, designed to reduce unemployment and welfare payments, is set to publish the results of its first year later this month.

Official data that has already been released shows a staggering 878,000 people have thus far been referred to the scheme, an unsurprising statistic following some of the worst unemployment figures in years.

The impending results will give an outline of performance data for ‘Job Outcomes,’ the information for which will be mostly gathered from those who have remained in their employment for at least six months. There will also be information concerning ‘Sustainments,’ the name given to the payments made to employment providers for keeping people in work. These facts and figures are due to be published at 9:30 am on Tuesday 27 November.

Due to the newness of The Work Programme, the information for ‘Job Outcomes’ may be quite limited, as many who have entered employment with the programme will not have had enough time to complete their first six months before the release of official results. For this reason, many people working on the programme do not believe the results will provide an accurate representation of the scheme’s success or failure over the last 12 months.

In order to support its findings, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), which has also collected data from the scheme, will publish their results on the same day. Results from the ERSA will show the number of Job Starts from the Work Programme, which the association suggests increases every month, but which have not yet surpassed an employment period of six months.

In the interests of the thousands of unemployed in Britain, and the rising number of people the Work Programme now has on its books, it is essential that the results of the scheme show some margin of success. In order for the programme to continue receiving the support and funding from the government that it requires for progression, the Work Programme has to impress. If it does not produce the right results it could be scrapped, leaving those on the system without a follow up to their claim for employment, or employment thereafter.

Daisy Atkinson

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