Work Programme falls short – by quite a way

House of Commons, Committee of Public Accounts Report

  • The Work Programme’s performance for its first 14 months of operation—from June 2011 to July 2012—fell well short of the Department’s expectations.
  • Overall, only 3.6% of claimants on the Programme moved off benefit and into sustained employment, less than a third of the 11.9% the Department expected to achieve, and well below the Department’s own estimate of what would have happened if there had been no Work Programme running at all. The Department had said that 9.2% of the largest group of participants would have moved off benefits and into work with no intervention at all.
  • Not one of the 18 providers has met their contractual targets.
  • The difference between actual and expected performance is greatest for those claimants considered the hardest to help, including in particular claimants with disabilities. The Department’s own evaluation suggests that these claimants have been receiving a poor service from providers. Creaming and parking are clear policy concerns which we share with the Department. Despite assurances that it would do so, the Department has not provided the further analysis which would demonstrate whether or not creaming and parking was taking place.


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