The Employment Related Services Association, the representative body for the employment support sector, welcomes the statistics published today showing that the Work Programme has successfully supported 368,000 people into lasting employment.  These follow the release of ERSA statistics that show that nearly 640,000 long term unemployed jobseekers have started work whilst on the programme. 
These official Government figures show that the Work Programme is exceeding performance expectations for JSA jobseekers. This reflects a recent NAO report which found that the Work Programme is supporting people into employment at the same rate as previous programmes. The report also predicted that performance of the programme is expected to continue to rise.
ERSA’s Work Programme Job Start statistics show that:

Both the most recent official DWP statistics, released today, and ERSA’s own Job Start statistics illustrate the significant impact the Work Programme is having on reducing unemployment in the UK. The most recent Labour Market Statistics reflects this with employment now at 30.8 million people in work.
Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, said:

“The falling unemployment figures are a testament to the hard work and dedication of jobseekers and the range of organisations that support them. The Work Programme has now supported nearly 640,000 jobseekers into work and 368,000 to sustain that employment.  This can be life changing for people and their families.”


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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 nearly 180 members, including all prime contractors of the Work Programme. The majority of its members are not for profit.
2. The Work Programme is the 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. The ERSA Job Start statistics provide the most up to date snapshot of Work Programme performance available in the public domain. They are designed to be read alongside official DWP figures which show the number of jobseekers who have achieved sustained employment, usually meaning they have spent at least six months in a job.  A full copy of ERSA’s Work Programme Performance Report can be found here.
4. The Government’s official statistics on sustained Job Outcomes, jobseekers who have been in work for (in most cases) six months are available here.
5. Europe Economics report, The Economic Impact of the Work Programme can be downloaded here
6. 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.