Following the Select Committee’s recent inquiry into the Work Programme, Dame Anne led a debate in Westminster Hall highlighting that, while the programme might be delivering sustained job outcomes for some people, it was not effective in helping those who have major barriers to work, in particular, those who have a disability or health problem.
In fact, where previous specialist welfare-to-work programmes for people with disabilities achieved job outcomes between 10% and 30%, recent statistics show that the Work Programme has achieved a success rating of only 5.8%.
Dame Anne said: “The Work Programme is failing those furthest from the labour market.
“Major changes to the way in which the contracts are delivered, and to how the differential pricing structure works, need to be made if the Work Programme is to begin properly delivering job outcomes for those with the highest barriers to work.”
The new Minister for Employment, Esther McVey MP admitted that the Work Programme was “not perfect”.
A full transcript of the debate can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131010/halltext/131010h0001.htm#131010h0001.htm_spnew22