The Work Programme is performing well for Scotland, with the latest statistics from DWP showing that 32,710 people in Scotland have now found lasting work (six months plus) with support from the programme since its inception in June 2011 until September 2014.

Figures from the Employment Related Services Association, the representative body for those delivering employment support, show that 58,221 people in Scotland (or 36% of those referred to the programme), who were on the Work Programme, have found employment over this time. Figures from Work Programme providers in Scotland show that, today, the programme has found its 15,000th young person employment.

Not only is the Work Programme performing better than previous programmes which supported long term unemployed people into employment, it is also costing the taxpayer less money (40% less according to a recent NAO report) and performance is expected to exceed expectations.

ERSA and its members fully support the devolution of employment support to the Scottish Government as a means of developing a Scotland-specific model, which better integrates employment with local skills and health support.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, said:

“The Work Programme has helped almost 60,000 long term unemployed people in Scotland into work and 32,000 into sustained employment. This provides a strong foundation for the Scottish Government to build upon in its design of future employment programmes”


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Notes to Editors

1. The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the sector body for those delivering or with an interest in employment support services.  ERSA’s membership spans the private, voluntary and public sectors and ranges from large multi-nationals through to small specialist charities.  It has 180 members, including all prime contractors of the Work Programme and a large number of subcontractors. The majority of its members are not for profit.
2. The Work Programme is the UK Government’s largest back to work scheme and caters for the most disadvantaged jobseekers in the labour market. Further information about how the programme operates, including the financial model, is available in this Policy Briefing on ERSA’s website.
3. ERSA’s Work Programme Performance Report is designed to provide statistical information on the performance of the Work Programme. It provides information on ‘Job Starts’, the number of participants starting a job on the programme. The full report can be found here.
4. The most recent NAO report on Work Programme performance can be found here
5. The UK Government’s official statistics on sustained Job Outcomes, jobseekers who have been in work for (in most cases) six months are available here.
6. Europe Economics report, The Economic Impact of the Work Programme can be downloaded here
7. ERSA’s submission to the Smith Commission can be found here
8. ERSA is able to set up interviews with jobseekers who have found work, Work Programme providers and employers who are recruiting form the scheme. Case studies are available on ERSA’s website. Interviews with ERSA’s Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh are available on request.