Employment services providers are passionate about helping to improve the employability of every jobseeker referred to welfare to work schemes.

ERSA very much encourages jobseekers to take advantage of the specialist employment support the Government makes available via schemes such as Work Choice and the Work Programme.

High-quality services for jobseekers on the Work Programme

Providers are incentivised to deliver high-quality employment services given that they are only paid if they succeed in getting a jobseeker into work and keeping them there. Every jobseeker referred to the Work Programme will be informed about the minimum level of service they should expect from their provider.

If a jobseeker has a complaint then this can usually be resolved via a provider’s internal complaints procedure. If not, then the complaint can be taken to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) which can impose a £5,000 financial penalty on providers. This procedure helps to ensure that every jobseeker, whether they volunteer or are mandated, can expect a high level of intensive employment support from the Work Programme.

ERSA’s stance

ERSA is committed to driving up standards in the sector and wishes to see a high-quality service delivered to every jobseeker. We believe that whilst the current protections for jobseekers are good, they could be improved upon. In the commissioning of future schemes, we believe that DWP, the industry and groups representing jobseekers, should work together to develop a national standard that can be used with greater consistency across all providers.