ERSA welcomes the government’s response to the second Work and Pensions Select Committee report on welfare-to-work. Please see the below statement. This can be attributed to Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive:

“ERSA supports the government’s commitment to build on learning from previous programme including Work Programme and Work Choice when looking at future programme design. This will help to ensure that the best service, performance and value for money is achieved.

“We are particularly pleased to see that the Government has taken into account ERSA’s calls to consider changes to the assessment of jobseekers, since the current segmentation method based on benefit type is crude and inadequate. A holistic needs-based assessment would ensure that a truly personalised service can be delivered.

“However, ERSA is disappointed that the Government has not taken on board the Committee’s recommendation for much earlier referral to relevant contracted support for claimants who need it most. In fact, the Government’s current proposals for the Work and Health Programme serve to double the waiting time for more intensive support from one to two years for those individuals without a diagnosed health condition or disability.

“ERSA and the sector will continue to work with the Department to support the design and future delivery of contracted provision that best meets the needs of jobseekers, helping them to move into sustainable work and towards financial independence.”


Press enquiries should be directed to Anna Robin 07912 569 449 /

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 over 200 members, including all prime contractors of the Work Programme. The majority of its members are not for profit.
2. ERSA is able to set up interviews with jobseekers who have found work and providers of employment support services. Case studies are available on ERSA’s website. Interviews with ERSA’s Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh are available on request.