Work programme failed to help people with vulnerabilities into employment

  • A parliamentary report has found that the work programme has failed to help benefit claimants who have disabilities and mental health problems into employment. Money Notes 2

    These findings confirm complaints from social landlords that ‘harder-to-help' claimants have been forgotten by contractors, reports Inside Housing.

    The report also found that almost 90% of people claiming employment and support allowance have not moved onto jobs.

    Margaret Hodge, the committee's chair, said: "Evidence shows that differential payments have not stopped contractors from focusing on easier-to-help individuals and parking harder-to-help claimants, often those with a range of disabilities including mental health challenges. Data from work programme providers shows that they are, on average, spending less than half what they originally promised on these harder to help groups."

    In the report, the committee said the department for work and pensions, should do more to ‘encourage providers to work with harder-to-reach groups' and ‘collect and publish information on how much they are spending on different payment groups'.

    The report also voiced concern over the department's sanction regime, adding that it was not ‘clear' whether the current system encouraged people into work.

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    Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/386434

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