ERSA has today welcomed the latest tranche of Government performance statistics for the Work Programme. These show that 331,000 people have now achieved long term work on the programme, a 10 percent increase on three months ago. 

ERSA job start statistics published earlier this week show that nearly 600,000 people have had at least one job whilst on the Work Programme.  This means that that number achieving long term work – and thus qualifying for inclusion in government statistics – is set to grow. 

Key figures from the release include:

• 1.6 million people have joined the Work Programme so far.  The figures highlight that the number of people coming into the scheme is decreasing and that recent intakes include a higher proportion of ESA customers.
• 331,000 people on the programme have been in work for six months (or three months for the hardest to help groups). This is roughly one in five of those with sufficient time on the programme.
• Those who reach a job outcome within the first year of the programme, spend on average 11 months of the next year in work.
• 1 in 5 of the most recent 18 to 24 year old JSA participants to complete a year had at last six months in work, 1 in 6 for  those aged 25 and over and other JSA groups.
• Just below 1 in 10 of the most recent ESA new claimants (excluding 12 month prognosis claimants) to complete a year on the scheme had at least 3 months in work.
• All contracts reached the minimum performance levels for each group

Commenting on the statistics release, ERSA chief executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:

‘The Work Programme is changing lives.  There is more to do, particularly in some parts of the country where the economy remains weaker. However, today’s statistics show that increasingly the long term unemployed are sharing the benefits of growth. ’