The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) release figures to show improvements in the Work Programme, but Labour still say it is “worse than doing nothing”.
According to the DWP, official figures show an increase in people finding work through the work programme.
However, they have been heavily criticised as it is still only finding work for 5% of the hardest to help people and the figures show that the scheme has missed all of it's own targets.
Crisis, a homelessness charity, have branded the programme a 'miserable failure' after the figures were released.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive, said:
The government’s own statistics, our research, charities and thinktanks are unanimous: Homeless people and others who need more support have been left parked without meaningful help, lives on hold.
Work Programme providers must start by improving the quality of their service, how they treat people and the support they provide to really address the needs of those disadvantaged in the jobs market.
But the government must reform the Work Programme so it does the job it was set up to do – help those furthest away from work back into jobs and better lives.
The Labour party have also criticised the government's results as only 5.3% of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have been found sustained jobs, which is less than a third of the government's target of 16.5%.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne, said:
Three years into the Parliament, and nearly nine out of 10 people on this flagship programme have been failed.
Worst of all, the government missed every single one of its minimum targets, and in nearly half the country, the Work Programme is literally worse than doing nothing.
No wonder the benefits bill is £21bn higher than planned.
We desperately need a change of course starting with a compulsory jobs guarantee that would make sure everyone out of work long term would have to take a job after two years.
However, the government insist that the figures demonstrate growing success:
Employment minister Mark Hoban said:
The improvement in performance over the past year has been profound and the scheme is getting better and better. And because providers are rewarded for success, the WP is designed to give taxpayers a far better deal than previous schemes.
The Trades Union Congree was also dubious about the DWP's claims.
General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:
Ministers should know better than to try and spin the Work Programme as a huge success.
Nearly two years on only one in ten people has found proper work through the scheme – a number that drops to just three in every hundred for disabled people.