The Work Programme has helped over 400,000 long-term unemployed people find work, according to a government report.
The latest statistics from Parliament show that the Work Programme has had the most successful results than any previous employment scheme.
The programme has contributed to the overall long-term unemployment figures falling to the lowest level in five years. Claims for Jobseekers Allowance have also dropped every month for two years in a row.
Speaking on Friday, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
“Today’s figures are further proof that by sticking to the government’s long-term economic plan we have been able to give people the right support and opportunities – so there are more people with the self-esteem and financial security that a job brings.”
Two years of support is offered to claimants who have already been out of work for up to a year. Unlike previous programmes which only focused on the getting people back into work, the Work Programme focuses on keeping people in jobs.
Secretary Smith adds:
“The Work Programme has revolutionised the way we support long-term unemployed claimants turn their lives around, and focuses on keeping people in work while also making sure that taxpayers only pay for results. But this isn’t just about numbers – behind these numbers there are individual stories of hard work and determination and jobseekers who – in many cases – for the first time have been able to turn their lives around with our support.”
Industry figures show that 680,000 people have started work thanks to the programme. The latest statistics of the scheme reveal that 401,210 long-term unemployed people have got lasting work of at least 6 months and more than 150,000 have stayed in work for at least 18 months.
Independent employment statistics reveal that long-term unemployment has fallen by 202,000 within the last year, long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance claims have fallen for two consecutive years and overall unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in five years.
Previous schemes didn’t do enough for disabled people, the Work Programme focuses on giving some of the hardest to help people two years of support as well as offering providers higher prices for working with these claimants.
In a report by the National Audit Office (June 2014) the programme will save over £40 million in comparison to previous employment programmes. Also the government will save £450 million on benefits compared with other schemes.
In addition to the Work Programme, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) works with more than 700 Jobcentres across the country to get people off benefits and into jobs. These include work experience, employer-led training, work placements, skills training and help for budding entrepreneurs through the New Enterprise Allowance.