Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Work Programme Fails at 3,5%

with 52 comments

Wriggle out of this one, Ian Duncan Smith.

The BBC has just reported on the dismal failure of the Work Programme,

 Official figures showed only 3.53% of people found a job for six months or more – missing the 5.5% target.

Ministers said it was “early days” and the programme was succeeding in getting people off benefits and into work.

The figures, which cover the 13 months from June 2011 to July 2012, showed 3.53% of people were still in employment six months after joining the Work Programme.

The Department for Work and Pensions had told providers they should get 5.5% of people on the programme into sustained employment.

Faced with this poor result Employment minister Mark Hoban took a stand of stout denial.

He said: “It’s still early days, but already thousands of lives are being transformed.”

Indeed they have.

Hundreds and hundreds of posts and comments here have described the incompetence, the bullying, the downright cheating, used by companies operating the Work Programme.

For those on the Programme their  lives are have  changed – for the worse.

Meanwhile  the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

We learn that as  as from 31 October this year David Blunkett is no longer an adviser for A4E.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

52 Responses

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  1. Damn, I was expecting around 4.5% to 5% …. 3.5% really? No not surprised.

    So at least twice the people who found work while on the Work Programme, got a benefit sanction.

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

  2. The true figures are even worse than reported! The BBC have quoted a 13 month period whereas the target quoted (5.5%) relates to the 12 month period from the start of the programme up to 31/5/12, The 5.5 % is the “non intervention figure” of 5% +10% giving what the DWP refer to as a “Minimum Performance Standard”. As time goes on the Minimum Performance Figure is supposed to improve. By 31/5/13 (2 years in) the minimum performance figures for the 3 WP groups are supposed to be: JSA 18 to 24 =33%. JSA 25 and over (the largest group) 27.5% and ESA Flow = 16.5%!!!!!
    Taking the largest group and interpolating for 1 month after 31/5/12 (i.e. the 13 month period they have used) the Non Intervention figure should be 6.875% (not 5%) and the minimum performance level should be 10% higher at 7.5625%. The scale of the underperformance is staggering!
    I have used the DWP’s Invitation to Tender document as a source for my figures:
    para 3.14


    November 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    • We have around 180 subscribers to the Blog and up to 1,000 people a day (normally around 500- 600) at the moment click on it.

      Let’s hope someone in the media picks up on your important figures Gissajob.

      Andrew Coates

      November 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    • or someone should ask the DWP what the figure is at 31/5/12 – the date they are supposed to be using!


      November 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    • Spot on. The Work Programme providers got a “holiday”… the WP contracts included the ability to raise (or lower – i.e. not to upset the providers) the target… it was set to 5.5% due to the recession… it would have been (and gone up to) around 8% in other circumstances.

      Many Work Programme providers have large back offices somewhere, the local branch contact the employer once… they then pass it over to a central call centre (if you like) who ring up pretty much every day trying to chase a job income.

      Had Seetec annoying me recently, about one of their “customers”… calling from Birmingham. They ring up non-stop and it happened to be “job log leads” (i.e. someone signed off… so they chase every employer on the job log sheet).

      I thought of going up to Birmingham and pay these pests a visit…

      Universal Jobmatch

      November 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

  3. Well… this “bad news” has really made my day.

    I was partly concerned the Work Programme providers were going to just exceed this minimum target of point-1 of a percent. haha! If only..

    I wonder if A4e will have a hard time over these figures… I happen to recall someone releasing their performance data they leaked on their own website…

    From 20362 referrals only 1.9% outcome rate / 8.9% Job Entry Rate…

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

  4. Is the government’s welfare-to-work programme working? (Comment is free)


    Charlie D

    November 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

  5. Absolutely appalling, to the surprise of no-one, the usual rebuttals, that it is not fair to judge a programme by the first year, that figures are represented in an unfair way are all coming out, but the fact is that performance is totally in line with the underwhelming mess that was FND.

    Figures are apparently for beginning of June 2011 to end of July 2012 btw so this is for 14 months not 12.

    I personally predicted that not a single Prime would hit target, has anyone found a breakdown by provider?


    November 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

    • I assume the 12 month results were much worse? Adding 2 months to make them less severe!

      I hate how they expect a 5 year scheme to be bad in the first 2-3 years then start working… all the providers have done the same in previous schemes like Flexible New Deal.. so just a rebrand… within first 3 months should have been getting results…

      Universal Jobmatch

      November 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

      • I’ve just looked at 14 months on the FND delivery directorate report, FND achieved 10.54% ‘short’ job starts and 4.63% sustainment after 14 months, so this is looking even worse.

        Am posting on the Guardian thread as ‘Vandervekken’ btw. if anyone else is over there.


        November 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      • Just spotted this from The Guardian:
        To add to the swirl of claim and counter-claim, the Social Market Foundation has just tweeted, “If you’re looking at #workprogramme figs, be aware that 1st yr is 12 months, not 14 as the DWP figures suggest. Performance actually 2.5%”
        So less than half the Minimum Performance Figure!!!!


        November 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

  6. Pull the bloody Work Programme, Mark Hobain was on Sky News trying to justify a figure of only 3.5% and he clearly has no idea because he stated the Work Programme had only been running for 1 year – get your facts right pal it’s 1.5 years.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

    • Guardian site today.

      “The government has “grossly misrepresented” how badly firms are delivering its flagship welfare-to-work programme, the industry has said, after it was claimed just one in 20 long-term unemployed people had got permanent jobs via the scheme.

      Over the weekend, work minister Mark Hoban told the Telegraph that private companies, such as A4e, G4S and Australian giant Ingeus, which are being paid to find jobs for the long-term unemployed under the work programme, had to “get their act together”. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has threatened to remove contracts from providers who fail to meet minimum performance levels.

      However Chris Blackwell, the managing director of Maximus which holds £180m of the work programme, told a press conference that the suggested figures were “just wrong. It’s a complete misrepresentation of the data. The figures are looking at just the first few months of the scheme and do not give an accurate picture of what’s happening with the work programme”.

      The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the trade body for the welfare-to-work industry, said more than 200,000 jobseekers have found employment through the programme, since it was launched in June 2011.

      Sean Williams of G4S, which has three work programme contracts worth £200m, said criticism of the scheme was “just unfair”, predicting an increasing number of people will be helped into a sustained job. “The work programme is the most cost effective welfare-to-work scheme the government has ever produced. At £2,097 per job, it’s less than a third of the previous flexible new deal,” said Williams.

      The government is set to publish data on Monday to show how many people have remained in a job for six months after being helped off long-term unemployment. For the first 12 months of the programme, the DWP expects providers to get this level of sustained employment for at least 5.5% of the main group of jobseekers referred to the scheme.

      Last month Channel 4 News claimed that A4e had had 94,000 referrals in the first 12 months of the scheme, and had found six-month jobs for 3,400 of them, suggesting a performance level of 3.6%.

      The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) predicted that the figures will show performance targets will be missed as a result of the economic downturn.

      “This in turn will have reduced funding for many of the long-term unemployed just at the time that they will have needed it most,” said CESI chief executive Dave Simmonds.

      Under the work programme, providers can earn between £3,700 and £13,700 per person, depending how hard it is to help an individual, with an initial payment of between £400 and £600.

      The Social Market Foundation, a thinktank which had done detailed analysis of the work programme, warned that “if, as looks likely, most providers fail to meet their targets, it will not be credible for the DWP to threaten to remove all of their contracts. Nor does that seem appropriate as average performance suggests that the targets were unrealistically ambitious.”

      Acevo, the body that represents charity chief executives, said it would be launching a review of the work programme, to report in spring 2013. Acevo chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb said: “Long-term unemployment is fast becoming a national emergency, costing us billions and blighting thousands of lives. It is no good the government playing smoke and mirrors by telling work programme providers to ‘get their act together’, or focusing on how many benefit claimants aren’t ‘playing by the rules’. The truth is that the work programme is the government’s big answer to long-term unemployment, and if we are to make it work, there are serious questions to answer.”

      A DWP spokesperson said: “It’s still early days, but it’s a welcome sign that one year in providers are getting more and more people into sustained jobs.”

      “ERSA’s research also shows the work programme is giving better value for money than previous programmes, thanks to its payment-by-results model, with every job start costing the taxpayer £2,000 compared with the £7,000 per job that the flexible new deal cost.”

      Poor lambs.

      Yes indeed that 3,5% figure is indeed quite an achievement!


      Andrew Coates

      November 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

  7. This is BAD news folks because the only thing they can do is to make life more unbearable for the unemployed, e.g., sanctions, workfare and time limited benefits etc., hoping that if things get bad enough the unemployed will mysteriously all find themselves jobs. Surely these Work Programme figures will nail once and for all the urban myth that unemployed people are fiddlers and idlers… or are 97.5% of WP participants criminal masterminds who can all outwit all these private provider organisations (motivated by the “pay by results” ethos) to drive them into gainful work?

    If you listen to Cameron and Freud it’s chilling.

    They want to make things even worse than they are.


    November 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  8. What sort of target is 5.5% anyway? That is 1 in 20! If I was paying money to a company, I would expect a minimum success rate of at least 75%. The New Deal, Flexible New Deal, and Work Programme are all an expensive waste of tax-payer’s money. Even if they were any good they would be unable to secure their targets because there are nowhere near enough jobs out there, but don’t let that get in the way of an excuse to attack poor people. Thatcher created mass unemployment over 30 years ago to destroy the power of the unions, but the Conservatives won’t admit that, and Labour can’t.

    Blackpool Lad

    November 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    • Exactly mate! 5.5%. Just shows how much faith they have it the scheme.

      If decent jobs are there, people will want them.
      At the present time people are being pushed into jobs they don’t want just to please the Providers.


      November 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

  9. The BBC are asking people who are on the Work Programme to send them their experiences of it. Go to the link below and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


    You can also make free comments on the following link at Channel 4 News.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    • I’ve put comments on both the BBC and Channel 4 News – the more of us do it – the more the unemployed will be took notice of.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

  10. The worse thing about it is, if they had saved the £435 million by actually doing nothing, they would have had better results.

    You couldn’t make it up.


    November 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

  11. Why has my icon changed from green to purple?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    • Obi Wan Kenobi :
      Why has my icon changed from green to purple?

      You are now a marked man, a well known trouble maker.


      November 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      • hang on, it seriousley changed colour at 2:12pm today – how the hell has that happened.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    • DWP has accessed your account.


      November 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    • It’s to reflect the way rage is mounting against the Work Programme.

      Well, my rage went up listening to the BBC Radio Four News at lunch-time.

      It seems that the ‘providers’ want to say two things.

      Firstly, that they are hard done by, the government made things too difficult for them to fulfill the objectifies they signed up and legally agreed to.

      Secondly, that they have done a marvellous job and should be praised to the skies for it.

      Even the BBC interviewer couldn’t quite swallow that.

      Andrew Coates

      November 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  12. Obi Wan Kenobi the Chameleon.


    November 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

  13. Must have been that bottle of vodka I had yesterday.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  14. Love it… A4e has published theirs… the shortest ever news article with no bullshit…


    Oh wait the file doesn’t exist… Perhaps it was leaked and they removed it? Or plain stupid!

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    • The point now will be the comparative failures of the different ‘providers’.

      Who did the worst?

      Andrew Coates

      November 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  15. I like the way a year is now 14 months (as other people have pointed out). The DWP must have got the idea off Sir Alex Ferguson (spit). Keep adding time on until you get a better result.


    November 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

  16. Me? When my sanction is served I will have had about 30 weeks without any income! Lol.

    All due to incompetent bullying psychopathic work programme provider staff.

    Maybe they have got 5.5% of people sanctioned?

    Mr No

    November 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  17. Time to pull the plug on this £5 billon pound lemon.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  18. Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm

  19. According to some guy on radio 4 the ultimate aim is to get 36% of all Workfare participants into work.

    Roll eyes.


    November 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

  20. Full results for each respective Private Provider/


    Data summary
    Work programme referrals and job outcomes

    Click heading to sort table. Download this data

    1st figure: Contract Total Referrals (Thousands)
    2nd figure: Total Job Outcomes (Thousands)
    3rd figure: Key Performance Measure

    The 3rd figure is the percentage for how many people each Private Provider got in to work.

    Notes: Until July 2012

    Total 877.88 31.24 3.56
    East of England: Ingeus UK LTD 30.93 1.35 4.36
    East of England: Seetec 30.25 0.85 2.81
    East Midlands: A4E Ltd 29.26 1.02 3.49
    East Midlands: Ingeus UK Ltd 29.51 1.48 5.02
    West London: Ingeus UK Ltd 19.16 0.91 4.75
    West London: Maximus Emp UK Ltd 18.83 0.76 4.04
    West London: Reed in Partnership 18.87 0.69 3.66
    East London: A4E Ltd 26.69 0.86 3.22
    East London: Careers Development Group 26.63 0.91 3.42
    East London: Seetec 26.55 0.68 2.56
    North East: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 27.86 0.73 2.62
    North East: Ingeus UK Ltd 27.6 0.92 3.33
    Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancs: A4E Ltd 28.09 0.94 3.35
    Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancs: Ingeus UK LTD 28.11 0.96 3.42
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 19.46 0.59 3.03
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: G4S 19.33 0.88 4.55
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: Seetec 19.22 0.71 3.69
    Scotland: Ingeus UK LTD 43.73 1.77 4.05
    Scotland: Working Links 43.48 1.55 3.56
    Thames Valley, Hamps, Isle of Wight: A4E Ltd 17.65 0.49 2.78
    Thames Valley, Hamps, Isle of Wight: Maximus Emp UK Ltd 17.74 0.91 5.13
    Surrey, Sussex, Kent: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 21.44 0.82 3.82
    Surrey, Sussex, Kent: G4S 21.5 0.9 4.19
    Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset: Prospects Serv Ltd 11.89 0.27 2.27
    Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset: Working Links 12.02 0.48 3.99
    Glouc, Wilts, Swindon, West of England: JHP Group Ltd 11.82 0.26 2.2
    Glouc, Wilts, Swindon, West of England: Rehab jobfit 11.7 0.28 2.39
    Wales: Rehab jobfit 22.35 0.63 2.82
    Wales: Working Links 22.41 0.76 3.39
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: EOS-Works Ltd 21.8 0.91 4.17
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: Newc College Group 21.84 0.53 2.43
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: Pertemps 21.78 0.76 3.49
    Coventry, Warwicks, Staffs, Manchester: ESG 16.29 0.81 4.97
    Coventry, Warwicks, Staffs, Manchester: Serco Ltd 16.48 0.76 4.61
    West Yorkshire: Business Employment Services 21.04 0.57 2.71
    West Yorkshire: Ingeus UK LTD 21.14 0.81 3.83
    South Yorkshire: A4E Ltd 13.52 0.48 3.55
    South Yorkshire: Serco Ltd 13.45 0.48 3.57
    NE Yorks, The Humber: G4S 13.25 0.46 3.47
    NE Yorks, The Humber: Newc College Group 13.2 0.31 2.35

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

  21. You also have to ask if 50,000 people found jobs last month how come the figures of these companies are so bad?

    Someone is lying here. Take your choice.


    November 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  22. It`s not about getting people back to work and never was. It`s about being seen to be doing it, while at the same time, using humiliating and draconian measures to force people off benefits. Thus alieviating the high unemployment figures with false statistics.


    November 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

  23. Apparentley IDS has sent letters out to Private Providers to ‘up their game’ or their contracts will be pulled. So that will probably mean more crap for us lot.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

  24. mines in last place pmsl go jhp,not been for a year n half now:)

    super ted

    November 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

  25. Boycott Workfare have a form on their site to name and shame workfare placement providers and the Work Programme Private Provider that sent you on it – (Link below)


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    • The figures for Ipswich are, 2,5% success rate.

      Of 2,360 people on the work programme just 60 found work for 6 months.

      This is from today’s East Anglian Daily Times but is not on the web.

      Andrew Coates

      November 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      • I don’t think its correct to use the word “success” for such a low percentage.

        Besides I prefer to express it as 97.5% failure rate!!!

        Universal Jobmatch

        November 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

  26. I Think Yvette Cooper is sexy!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  27. Indus Delta is as quiet as the grave.. on this not even the pimps main mouth piece and wanker “voice of the wp”(oh there is one post but its hate against the unemployed with not fi single fact to back it up as usual) has anything to say…Yvette Cooper…sexy imao kenobi…beer goggles? besides who would want to poke Ed Balls missus?


    November 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  28. Did anyone watch Channel 4 on ‘The Curious Case of the Clark Brothers’? These 2 men have a rare form of leukodystrophy that turns them into severely disabled ‘childlike’ people, they used to have wives/kids/jobs. Their elderly parents look after them 24/7 making themselves worn out and ill in the process. So does IDS or Chris Grayling etc think there are jobs these men should do? If you are in PVS (Persistent Vegetative State), with the obvious exception of IDS and this government, will you soon be put in the ‘must do workfare’ group? Which group are next: the dead? IDS: “Yes I know you have been cremated but please come to a Work Focused Interview”.
    Most workfare or similar jobs require arms, so what if you have no arms? What if you are paralysed?

    something survived...

    November 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

  29. Considering my treatment by Working Links, I am strongly considering taking legal action against them, particularly in regards to not being able to release yourself from whatever contract they feel they have with you. They also need a really good audit to see where the money has gone. It is not like the government is understanding when you owe them money! Me thinks it is Class Action time!


    December 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    • Dolefinger:

      I take it that you signed the two forms they ask you to sign at your intial appointment with your Private Provider.

      If you did sign these two forms, then you haven’t got a leg to stand on legally.

      If you had actually read them, you would have seen statements in each one stating:


      You should at this point took those two forms folded them up and put them in your pocket (noting who had given them to you plus the time and date)

      Because without your signiture on those two forms, you are protected by the Data Protection Act 1998, and also they can’t apply for any jobs to any firm on your behalf, and if they do, take proof of this to any solicitor and watch the fireworks kick off.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      December 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm



        January 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm

  30. What if I felt that I signed under duress. I was told that I had to sign it.


    December 1, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    • READ WHAT THEY ASK YOU TO SIGN, BEFORE YOU SIGN IT – NEXT TIME. However there is a get out clause, but you have to write with proof to the DWP and request this – WHICH TAKES FOREVER AND A DAY.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      December 2, 2012 at 12:50 am

    • ask for their complaints procedure,they could get fined.

      Google withdraw consent from workprogramme . Also tell em you will deal with them only in writing to avoid any issues of doubt unless you feel you can trust them.lol


      January 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  31. These fat cat politicians will never learn that honesty is the truth.We have economic disaster, both the Tories and labor etc are well aware of this and have both allowed it to get worse.Its a basic numbers thing.Even today labour have announced that they will guarantee a job for all long term unemployed.Its a bloody sick joke.If real jobs with real pay were there the dole ques wouldn’t be so huge,if they tell us we have 2.5 mil on jsa id double it.


    January 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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