ERSA has today published statistics which show that over 813,000 people have now started a job with help from the Work Programme since its inception in June 2011 to September 2016. This figure includes nearly 200,000 young people who have been supported into a job by employment support providers.

The ERSA statistics  show the number of people who have achieved sustained work with support from the programme, called a job outcome. Today’s report demonstrates that the Work Programme has been successful in tackling youth unemployment, with 3,000 young long-term unemployed jobseekers gaining work between June and September 2016. This takes the total number of young people supported by the Work Programme to 196,597.

Today’s figures follow the publication of the government’s quarterly job start figures last week, which showed a slight dip in the labour market, with employment falling by 6,000. This should signify a note of caution as the Work Programme comes to an end in April 2017, with its replacement initiative, the Work and Health Programme, set to receive a much smaller financial envelope. ERSA’s report with WPI Economics, More than words, expands on this, demonstrating that there will be an 80% reduction in Government spending on national employment support programmes from next year.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, said:

“Today’s ERSA statistics show that the Work Programme has now helped a remarkable 813,000 jobseekers overall to move into work, helping to change lives, communities and businesses across the UK.

“Today’s figures also underline the importance of timely employment support for young jobseekers, with nearly 200,000 people gaining employment as a result.  It is however concerning that far fewer jobseekers will be able to access the successor to the Work Programme, the Work and Health Programme, from next year. This is especially the case given increasing labour market uncertainty as we enter 2017.”