ERSA has today welcomed the announcement of a new Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions and is looking forward to working with him and his team to put into practice existing commitments around halving the disability employment gap and full employment. 

However, it warns that the increased level of economic uncertainty is likely to have a negative impact on the labour market and thus both the capacity and the specialism of the employment support market must be maintained at a greater level than is currently planned.

ERSA is calling for the new Secretary of State to focus on the following three items.

Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of the Employment Related Services Association, said:

‘The new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and his team have a substantial challenge on their hands, not just to meet existing commitments around halving the disability employment gap, but also in relation to increased economic uncertainty and potential impacts on the labour market.

In the immediate term, we need ministers to prioritise the letting of delayed ESF contracts and rethinking the shape and size of the Work and Health Programme.  In the longer term, we must help them safeguard spending on vital employment and skills programmes, post ESF.’