Work programme fails disabled people

What do you think: Is £1,200 enough to fund help for a disabled person to get back to work? Are other employment support initiatives out-performing the Work Programme in relation to disabled people? If only 15% of disabled people on the Work Programme achieve job outcomes, what happens to the rest?

In June, Inclusion analysed the performance of the Work Programme over the four years since it started:

  • a success for those who are more work ready and receiving JSA;
  • much less successful for those distant from work as, for ESA claimants, less than 15%, and in some cases less than 10%, have achieved a sustained job outcome within two years.
  • They say: “People with a disability and those aged 50 and over are the least successful in getting a job through the Work Programme.”

“Performance for ESA (and disabled people in general) remains low. However, DWP have now separated out the New ESA Claimants group into two parts – one for those who were originally expected to go on the programme, and a second one for the expanded group with a 12-month expectation before they would be fit for work.  The original group shows a strong and welcome increase in performance. The second group, with a longer period before being fit for work, continue to have low job outcomes.”

Work Programme outcomes are:

“Women (at 25.6%) have higher Job Outcome rates than men (at 24.1%).

People with a disability (at 15.1%) have low Job Outcome rates. Many people with a disability are in the JSA payment groups as well as in the ESA payment groups.

By ethnicity, BAME participants have slightly higher Job Outcome rates than white participants.

By age, young participants have the highest performance, and the over-50s have the lowest performance.”

“We estimate that DWP has paid providers an average of £1,094 for each participant referred.   The average spend so far is not the same as what the total average spend per participant will be once they have all finished the programme (as some participants are only part-way through their time with providers). We have modelled total spend per participant based on current performance and referrals, and estimate that it will be £1,187.”

Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

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