Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Report Finds Work Programme Performance “Extremely Poor.”

with 28 comments

Today’s news.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said:

“The Work Programme is absolutely crucial for helping people, especially the most vulnerable, get into and stay in work.

“However its performance so far has been extremely poor.

“The first set of data on job outcomes shows that between June 2011 and July 2012, only 3.6% of people referred to the Work Programme moved off benefit and into work, less than a third of the target of 11.9%.

“In fact, performance was so poor that it was actually worse than the Department’s own expectations of the number of people who would have found work if the Programme didn’t exist.

“None of the providers managed to meet their minimum performance targets. The best performing provider only moved 5% of people off benefit and into work, while the worst managed just 2%.”The Programme is particularly failing young people and the hardest-to-help.

“It is shocking that of the 9,500 former incapacity benefit claimants referred to providers, only 20 people have been placed in a job that has lasted three months, while the poorest performing provider did not manage to place a single person in the under 25 category into a job lasting six months.

“The Department must hold failing providers to account, as well as ensuring that good practice is identified and shared.

“Under the payment by results system, the Department has incentives in place which in theory are supposed to prevent providers concentrating on the easiest cases and ignoring those who are hardest to help. But these incentives are not working and there is increasing evidence of ‘creaming and parking’.

The statement continues

“A provider that continues to underperform could become financially unsustainable. The Department must identify cases where a provider is at risk of failing and ensure there are specific plans in place to deal with this.

“When the Department eventually published the first lot of performance data, 18 months into the Programme, it lacked context or explanation and was four months later than promised.

“The Department did, however, published unvalidated data from a trade body representing the providers. This is just not on. In future we expect data to be published in a much timelier manner, with a proper explanation if performance falls short.”

Report Conclusions:

The first set of data on the employment outcomes achieved by the Work Programme shows that it is performing well below expectations. From June 2011 to July 2012, only 3.6% of people referred to the Work Programme moved off benefit and into sustained employment, less than a third of the level the Department expected. None of the 18 providers met their minimum performance targets. Actual performance was even below the Department’s assessment of the non­intervention rate—the number of people that would have found sustained work had the Work Programme not been running. While we recognise that it is early days for the Work Programme, such poor performance undermines confidence in its long­term success. The Department needs a better understanding of the factors that led to early performance being well below expectations in order to assess whether the longer term targets for the Work Programme are still achievable.

2.  There is substantial variation in the performance of individual providers. The best performing provider moved 5% of people off benefit and into sustained employment, the lowest performing managed only 2.2%. The Department has dismissed local economic conditions as the reason for variation; instead it attributes it to the different approaches taken by providers and the competence of their management. The Department told us that it is working with providers to ascertain what approaches are working well and which are not. The Department should put in place mechanisms to share lessons learned and disseminate good practice across providers. It should also hold poor performing providers to proper account.

3.  The incentives for reaching the hardest to help claimants are not working. Early evidence suggests that the Work Programme is failing those claimants who are hardest to help, despite the differential payment arrangements intended to incentivise providers not to neglect this group. Results for these claimants (those claiming Employment Support Allowance) were worse than performance for the easier to help claimants (on Jobseeker’s Allowance). The Department’s own evaluation also suggests that the hardest to help are receiving a poor quality service, with providers focusing on the easiest to help. There is some emerging evidence that those who are hardest to help are being parked with minimum support, and therefore little prospect of moving into work. The Department should identify why the Work Programme’s financial incentives are not working as intended and, in its formal response to this report, set out what action it will take to address the problem.

4.  Poor performance to date increases the risk that one or more provider will fail. A provider that continues to underperform may become financially unsustainable and go out of business, or the Department may decide to cancel its contract. The Department will have a better idea of which providers are at risk of failure when performance data is available up to March 2013, and it can cancel contracts if necessary after June 2013, when providers will have had two years to help their first cohort of claimants. The Department told us it has procedures for identifying and dealing with provider failure and that it has in place a framework contract from which it could appoint a replacement provider. To facilitate swift and tailored interventions in the event of failure, the Department should, in the period up to June 2013, monitor contracts to identify those most at risk of failure and produce contract specific plans for the steps it will take should failure occur.

5.  The Department published performance data on the Work Programme without sufficient context and explanation. The Department’s failure to publish information on its own expectations of performance, or an explanation of why actual performance was worse than expected, hindered a proper understanding of the Programme’s progress. To our surprise the Department did publish unvalidated information from the trade body representing providers. It was also in stark contrast to the Department’s willingness to make Parliament and the public wait for almost four months, hiding behind National Statistics’ requirements, before it published its own data. In future the Department should release information in a timely manner, and include details of expected as well as actual performance, explaining any differences between the two.

Parliament Commons Select Committee.

Ipswich Unemployed Action  adds the following observations.

We contest the claim that, “The Work Programme is absolutely crucial for helping people.”

  • The Work Programme is based on the idea that people need to be ‘fitted’ into work. That there are jobs ‘out there’ waiting to filled. There is no evidence that it addressed the problem of mass unemployment itself.
  • The Work Programme offered ‘training’ to make people ‘ready for work’. What is the evidence of the impact of any ‘training’ in these results?
  • The Work Programme is part of the growing ‘unemployment business’. We notice that the government preferred to rely on statistics from this business rather than public ones for its initial presentation of results. Is there other influence of how this business has determined government policy on unemployment?
  • The Work Programme has been marked by several fraud cases, and the scandal of unpaid ‘workfare’ which private companies have profited from. What, in view of these dismal outcomes, will be done about this?
  •  What sanctions will be taken against Minsiters,  companies and other individuals responsible for these poor results?

More widely we and other sites written by the unemployed have exposed poor service, systematic bullying and misconduct in numerous Work Programme agencies.

What will be done about this?


28 Responses

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  1. Any one that gets a job after 13 weeks is on the work program bullshit it’s a farce


    February 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  2. “Poor performance to date increases the risk that one or more provider will fail. A provider that continues to underperform may become financially unsustainable and go out of business, or the Department may decide to cancel its contract. The Department will have a better idea of which providers are at risk of failure when performance data is available up to March 2013, and it can cancel contracts if necessary after June 2013, when providers will have had two years to help their first cohort of claimants”

    I wonder, if the provider you are with fails and loses it’s contract with the DWP, would it be possible to put a claim in for compensation on the grounds that when you were first referred to them to do 2 years on the Work Programme, you were promised a tailored action plan designed around you to help you find work – (we all know now, that was total bollocks)

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm

  3. Nobody should be surprised that it has been a failure:

    1) The expectations were far higher than the industry had ever achieved before

    2) There was less money in it from the start

    3) ‘Minimum Service Standards’ were pretty much that providers would meet people, give them some information and them see them once a month whilst keeping information on a secure database.

    The only surprise in all this is just how incredibly bad it has actually been.


    February 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

  4. Yeah but in my case I have been sent round and round the providers for about 13 years like a parcel nobody wants to open. They all failed and lost their contracts, and each time I was sent to an equally hopeless bunch of muppets who could not organise a burial in a grave.

    something survived...

    February 23, 2013 at 5:08 am

    • I am coming to the conclusion that there COULD BE a blacklist out there. I DO NOT MEAN the one confined to the building trade. How can we find out if there is and if we are on it.

      Mr Middlesex

      February 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

  5. Anybody In Ipswich Actually Using The Computers In Door ‘A’ Area. Job Points Being Used Yes. But The Computers (?). Is This A Waste Of Money Or What ?

    Mr Middlesex

    February 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

  6. This is exactly why i stated that the work programme was the carbon copy of the FND to yourselves,providers and DWP.

    I dont know if others complain but i now have the government completely ignoring me whether it be the Independant examiner,ICO and now Chief Operating Officer’s Correspondence Team. Its quite clear that they knew it wasnt working and are now instead of admiting the truth,took the elected path to blame providers tactics.

    Dont get me wrong,they do need to go back to the drawing board but the problem starts with the idea and that squarely puts the blame back at government. For a start 400 is simply not enough to cover the cost of an individual over 2 years. On top if any business is to surivive it must generate an income so its only natural is it not (im not saying its right) to work on those that sustain it (formally called benching).The government know this is going on hence the persistence to mask it under the guise of the mandatory work activity. By doing so it gives the taxpayer the appearance that the moneies well invested, much the same as these 2 hour internet job searches that providers put claimants under.

    Im sorry as even though you have or might have experienced the physical nature of the programme it is all just smoke and mirrors for the bigger picture.

    As for Mr middlesexs POST, im not sure you’d call it a black llist as such but have you heard of PV and no i dont mean solar power. How about the forms IF1,2,3?

    Health & Safety – Unacceptable customer behaviour. As of august 2011 this is now on a real time database where staff are openly encouraged to keep it updated. This and the original system covered a wide varierty of acts and to give you some clarity look up Section 4 of the Public Order Act, 1986. So raising a voice can constitute such and be aware that despite the fact that you never ever meant anything to be such an act, that you can still be found guilty of said act.

    Now if you can get a copy of the guidance notes you will also see that they are not legally oblidged to inform you of this record so anyone could well have one.

    Lastly on another topic does anyone have or in the process of obtaining the sanction stats as it would save me time if i could obtain a copy from your good spirited selves?


    February 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm

  7. This shows just how stupid and out of touch lord freud is:

    “Commute three hours a day or lose benefits, jobseekers are told in tough new plan”

    Lord Freud is an incompetent idiot. We must assume this to be true as he has not been informed by his own DWP of what’s in the current Jobseekers Agreement form ES3JP that was issued to all JSA claimants in November 2012.

    It’s already in the current Jobseekers Agreement – it states:

    I will look for work that I can travel to within 90mins each way from home.

    2 x 90 mins = 3 hours.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    • 90 miles by bike each way 😦


      February 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      • Lance:

        90 mins by public transport each way – which by the way is refundable if you are put on anything regarding MWA – ALSO ALL LUNCHES HAVE TO BE PAID FOR BY THE FIRM YOU ARE WORKING AT OR VIA THE PRIVATE PROVIDER IF THE TIME YOU SPEND THERE WORKING IS OVER THE LUNCHTIME PERIOD. – THIS IS LAW!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        February 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    • Yes, but the cost of that kind of commute is phenomenal.

      Ipswich to London, before 9 a.m. costs well over £50 a day!

      Andrew Coates

      February 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  8. Lord Freud – D’OH! – more like Homer Simpson.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

  9. “Leaflet entitled ‘Concentration camps for the workers’, 1934”


    Must be the place where IDS gets his ideas from!!!!!!!.


    February 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

  10. Its really cool you posted that OBI and especially Tobanem as although what im about to say is of a security nature i still find it more relevent to your very point when talking nazi germany and hope you do to.

    Get yourselves on youtube and make sure you have 2 hours to view this but look up the term THE END OF AMERICA by naomi wolf. In this lecture she discusses the simularity between facism in ww2 germany along with some others to todays USA. Now it makes no difference its american as we all know what its like here so please air it out.

    Is it me or do you find it all rather strangely striking.


    February 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

  11. Dundee DWP worker accused of embezzling almost £70,000
    A government worker from Dundee is to stand trial accused of embezzling almost £70,000 before paying it to a bookmakers, a court has heard.

    David Allan faces a charge of embezzling £68,534 while employed by the Department of Work and Pensions at the Dundee Pension Centre.

    Dundee Sheriff Court was told the money was then paid to Paddy Power plc. Mr Allan denies the accusation.

    Sheriff Tom Hughes adjourned the case until next week.

    Mr Allan is further accused of “removing criminal property”, namely the cash, from Scotland and England by withdrawing it from his HBOS bank account and paying it to Paddy Power plc bookmakers.

    Prosecutors said Mr Allan “knew the money was criminal property” when he allegedly transferred the cash.

    The offence is alleged to have taken place between 10 May 2009 and 3 March 2011.

    Allan further denies a second charge, brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, said to have taken place between 27 January 2011 and 3 March


    super ted

    February 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    • I’d have thought that was very hard to do. in the past.

      Obvously if they’re now modelled on private companies we can expect more of the same.

      Andrew Coates

      February 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

  12. Right i read the article OBI and its always been that time of travel except now you nolonger have the right to justify why its not financially sustainable.

    As was pointed out by Tobanem and now myself,this is indeed facism as the whole idea of UNI credit is to indeed make you permanently reliable on the state whether your working or not.

    The ones that will get hit will be those that dont reach the desired amount of job searches,another thing if your unaware they’re busy trying to blur.

    Well worry not as the best way to beat the beast is feed it. They want you to look for work that far then by all means do so but make sure your address matches (change it then confess later at the interview) the area your applying to as we all know you wont get an interview if you dont, i know this as im use to working away and quite frankly dont mind it but the truth is i just cant get it. This will instantly generate a massive cost to wealthfare before we even have a job and on a brighter note provide you with a good day out


    February 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm



    February 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

  14. Lance :
    90 miles by bike each way

    That’s true – if you can cycle at 60mph… At 15 mph you’d get about 23 miles each way.


    February 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  15. That’s true – if you can cycle at 60mph… At 15 mph you’d get about 23 miles each way

    on ur bike then is it if they gave me the job outcome i could roll on one of these


    just a shame the law states it must only be 250w and goes only 15mph in the uk we go green when the petrol runs out pmsl

    super ted

    February 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm

  16. Continuing on the subject of work camps in the early part of the twentieth century, have a look at this report which includes a short video:


    But the work camp measure to tackle unemployment is not confined to the early part of the twentieth century. As recently as the 1970s, the DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) was running “Re-establishment Centres” located inside OPEN PRISONS!!!

    The “inmates” consisted of problematic and “asocial” unemployed people whose plight was often exacerbated by the likes of homelessness, alcoholism, mental illness and disability – the very categories of people who ended up in the Nazi concentration camps!


    February 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

  17. Good news the church has joined the fight



    March 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  18. Am on the work programme and I was not well to go to a appointment so i rang them explained wot was up with me .they said they wud send a ova appointment out to me.they must of sent a ova appointment out to me but I never received it and they stopped my money for a month .I said all this for my reasons for not attendin cos I never got the letter and it wasn’t my fault I didn’t no I had a appointment.I wasnt goin to get a hardship payment either cos i didnt give a good enuf reason for not attendin .previous to this I was at a4e every day for 16 weeks on w other no job scheme .av not had any money for 3 weeks av jst been avin beans on toast every day .


    May 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    • Not only do they want to spy on u online by universal job search to see wot ur upto its also against ur human rites to privacy as u av only signed to show on paper wot jobs u av gone after .ya don’t av to tell them ur email as its private info and ur rite to refuse as av done so myself wen I say to them its none of ur business but ya can av my 8 number password if u want it .


      May 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

  19. what do you think of the new enterprise allowance & and do you still get housing benefit


    November 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

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