From education to employment

Work Programme hails 62,000 successes over the quarter

The Work Programme helped 62,000 people find a job between April and June, according to the latest data from the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA).

The trade body said 384,000 people have so far found work under the scheme, compared with 1.3 million referred to it overall.

More than 100,000 18 to 24 year olds have had at least one job on the Work Programme to date, with 52 per cent of young people who have been on the scheme for the past two years entering work.

However, overall only 39 per cent of those who have been on the programme for the full two years have so far secured employment.

According to ERSA chief executive Kirsty McHugh, this is still a good figure compared with previous welfare to work schemes.

“Over the last two years, performance on the Work Programme has continued to build, with over 380,000 long term unemployed jobseekers now having found a job via the scheme,” she said.

“Our evidence indicates that over 70 per cent of these will go into sustained employment, transforming their lives and saving millions of pounds for the taxpayer.”

ERSA issued a call earlier this month for ideas on a new system to succeed the Work Programme. It is holding a number of consultation events across the country to engage prime contractors, subcontractors and partners with experience of the Work Programme for their input.

Natalie Thornhill


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