The Work Programme In Wales
HC 264, Third Report of Session 2013-14 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Welsh Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'The Work Programme In Wales (HC 264)' examines the latest Government-contracted employment programme, which aims to support long-term jobseekers into work and off unemployment benefits.
Launched in June 2011 the Work Programme replaced a number of previous welfare-to-work programmes and consolidates employment support for a very wide range of jobseekers into a single mainstream programme. Providers, who are predominantly commercial companies, give support to participants and receive payments for finding participants sustained employment.
In Wales one in nine people who joined the Work Programme in its first two years found sustained employment (defined as 13 or 26 weeks work). This is the lowest rate in Great Britain, though not much lower than the average.
The Committee's conclusions include:
Working Links Wales and Rehab Jobfit, the two providers operating in Wales, must ensure that both they and their subcontractors have specific measures in place to support lone parents; and
Work Programme participants in Wales, unlike those in England, cannot access European Social Fund training and skills courses which is hampering the performance of the Programme and the opportunities available to the long-term unemployed.
The key issue identified is a lack of flexibility in and between the various programmes set up to get people into work, and it is this lack which appears to be more marked in Wales.
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