Work programme improving at finding work for unemployed

THE NUMBER of people finding work under the government’s work programme has risen, but remains at a low level.

According to a statistical summary released by the Department of Work and Pensions yesterday, the scheme found lasting work for only 13.4 per cent of those applying in the year to March. The scheme is a welfare to work plan which pairs jobseekers with a provider offering a placement.

However, this marked a higher rate of success than seen at the same time last year, when 3.4 per cent of participants found stable employment.

Even fewer people have moved successfully from employment and support allowance, a form of benefit which supports sick and disabled people, into work. According to the release, the proportion who found employment was 5.5 per cent in the same period.

Between the start of June 2011 and the end of March this year, 1.2m people have been referred to the work programme, which is one of Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship welfare reform policies.