The work programme


The work programme was introduced in 2011 and replaced most existing welfare-to-work schemes. The government considered the work programme to be one of its flagship “welfare reforms”. The DWP pays a wide range of outsourced work programme companies to prepare people for and place them in work.


The work programme has been extremely controversial and has delivered poor results for people looking for work. It has been widely criticised for its failure to place people in work – especially in long-term, properly paid jobs. 

A recent Guardian story reported that “just 48,000 people had found long-term jobs under the government's flagship work programme during its near three-year life ... the 48,000 figure – revealed in data published by the Department for Work and Pensions – refers to the number of people who have found jobs through the scheme and stayed in them long enough to merit the maximum bonus paid to contractors for their remaining in employment.” 

Earlier reports demonstrated that attendance on the work programme actually achieved worse results than doing nothing at all

There are also concerns about the work programme’s failure to help sick and disabled people into jobs.


Welfare-to-work scheme ‘is failing’
A multi-billion-pound scheme to help long-term unemployed people into work has been branded extremely poor by MPs – BBC.

Government's £5bn Work Programme ‘still failing and failing badly’
Independent article on figures which reveal that only one in 20 sick and disabled people on the government's £5bn Work Programme have been found lasting jobs.

Work programme creates just 48,000 long-term jobs in three years
Guardian report on how the flagship jobs scheme the government insisted would help millions back into work is called into question by figures.

Work programme: bonuses to be paid even to worst performing providers
National Audit Office discovers DWP is obliged to pay bonuses even to badly performing providers – Guardian.