Today, ERSA has released figures showing that over three quarters of a million people have now started work with support from the Work Programme.

In total, 753,000 individual jobseekers have now entered employment via the Work Programme from its start in June 2011 to end September 2015. This includes over 183,000 young people and 45,253 jobseekers on Employment and Support Allowance.

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 government figures which show the number of jobseekers who have achieved sustained employment, usually meaning they have spent at least six months in a job.  The Government will release the next official statistics on Work Programme performance on Thursday 17 December. 

Andre Ferguson from Meaka Bears is one of that number who were supported into work

When Andre Ferguson’s daughter Azara lost her hearing at the age of one, he naturally wanted the best for her but he was shocked by the lack of support available to parents of deaf children. 

With support from the Work Programme and provider PeoplePlus, Andre launched Meaka Bears, an independent community-based charity which hosts group activities for deaf children, and provides vital advocacy services for their parents.

Andre said: “Thanks to Jacqueline and the help I found on the Work Programme, I have moved closer to creating the kind of company that is needed for deaf children and their families in south London.”

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, said:

“The Work Programme has helped over three quarters of a million people into work. This is a phenomenal achievement and is testament to the hard work and dedication of jobseekers, employers and providers.

“Andre is just one of those 753,000 people, but his experience shows the positive impact that the Work Programme can have in real life terms both with individuals, families and their communities. It is this type of intervention from the employment support sector which is making such a huge difference across the UK.”


Press enquiries should be directed to Sam Windett 07720677477 /

Notes to Editors

1. The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the representative 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 over 200 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 Government announced as part of its Spending Review the creation of a new Work and Health Programme, which will focus on providing support for claimants with health conditions or disabilities, as well as those who are long-term unemployed. 
4. 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.
5. The Government’s official statistics on sustained Job Outcomes, jobseekers who have been in work for (in most cases) six months are available here. The latest version of this report, will be released on December 17. 
6. Europe Economics report, The Economic Impact of the Work Programme can be downloaded here
7. Case studies of former jobseekers, frontline providers and employers are available on ERSA’s website. Interviews with ERSA’s Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh are available on request.