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People with health conditions still poorly-served by the Work Programme

Angelo Evangelou

20 March 2014

Commenting on today's Work Programme statistics, Kathryn Ray, senior researcher at The Work Foundation, said:

“The latest figures from the Work Programme paint a familiar picture of very low success rates among those claiming ESA, especially for those with a mental health condition. We have increasing concern that the most disadvantaged groups are being ‘parked’ without receiving the specialist support that they need to aid their return to work.

The DWP returned £248m to the Treasury in 2012/13 and, given the significant long-term savings associated with assisting disadvantaged jobseekers into employment, the government should consider using this money to better support this group. This could be invested in specialist services running parallel to the Work Programme – for example, by expanding IAPT services and linking them better to employment support. The Department should also consider altering the payment structure to better account for those with additional barriers to work. This could include more up-front funding or payments for achieving intermediate steps towards employment.”


Notes to editors

1.    Kathryn Ray, senior researcher and Jenny Gulliford, policy and research officer are available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2.    The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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