Sara Hawthorn 29 July 2014

Charities in ‘excellent position’ to support Work Programme

Charities in ‘excellent position’ to support Work Programme image

Government must work closely with charities and service users to ensure success in its Work Programme, a report claims.

Analysis based on figures from the National Audit Office and feedback from charities involved in contracts shows lower than expected performance of the Work Programme in the first two years of the scheme.

According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the design of the programme was not discussed with the voluntary sector while the speed of the launch also caused limitations on a creative approach to the scheme.

The report claims just 2.3% of Employability Support Allowance (ESA) claimants forecast to be fit for work within 12 months of being referred to the Work Programme have been successful in finding a job, while prime contractors have reduced their budget for harder to help claimants by 54% since the start of the programme.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at NCVO, said: ‘Front-line charities are in an excellent position to help people furthest away from the job market to gain skills, experience and confidence to help them towards and into employment.

‘The Government can benefit from taking their expertise into account at the earliest stages. In the future, we would like to see voluntary organisations involved in the design process from the very beginning, to prevent the waste and inefficiencies that have blighted the Work Programme so far.’

Responding to the report, a Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: 'The Work Programme has transformed how long-term unemployed people are helped into work. Charities and voluntary sector organisations play a vital part in its success by using their expert knowledge to tailor services for some of the very hardest to help people.

'The Work Programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme and we have already helped 300,000 people to find lasting work, which has contributed to the largest fall in long-term unemployment for 16 years.'

The NCVO report sets out recommendations for the Department for Work and Pensions to work more closely with charities and umbrella groups for future contracts. Final referrals for the Work Programme take place in March 2016.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Targeted Youth Advisor

Essex County Council
£25500 - £30000 per annum
Targeted Youth Advisor Fixed Term, Full Time £25,500 - £30,000 Per Annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Targeted Youth Adviser

Essex County Council
£25500 - £30000 per annum
Targeted Youth Adviser Fixed Term, Full Time £25,500 to £30,000 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Training Specialist / SEND Support - Travel Trainer

Essex County Council
£21454 - £22454 per annum
Training Specialist / SEND Support - Travel Trainer Permanent, Full Time Up to £22,454 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Adult Occupational Therapists - Chelmsford

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Adult Occupational Therapists - ChelmsfordPermanent, Full Time£32,065 - £43,839 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Supported Learning Tutor

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
Supported Learning TutorPermanent, Full TimeUp to £26,801 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue