The Work Programme from the Department of Work and Pensions has transitioned more than 433,000 long-term unemployed people into work since its inception in 2011, the release of the employment figures this week reveals.

Long-term unemployment has fallen by 214,000 since 2010, and the proportion of the workforce claiming unemployment benefits is now at its lowest level since 1975.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

“Everyone – whatever their background or situation – should have the opportunity to get on in life and support themselves and their families, and our reforms are doing just that.

“Behind these figures are countless stories of hard work and determination. These are individuals who, until the Work Programme, were locked out of the system through illness or time spent caring for their families.

“Because of this scheme, they now have the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job and security of a pay cheque.”

The scheme focuses on helping people stay in work rather than just securing a job. People who are claiming benefits because they have been unemployed for up to a year receive two years of help developing their confidence and skillset.

It also delivers better value for taxpayers, with providers being paid by the results they achieve and receiving more for claimants who are more difficult to help.