Figures released today by the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the representative body for the employment support sector, show that the Work Programme has now supported over 731,000 previously long term unemployed jobseekers into the workplace. These figures, for end June 2015, show an increase of 25,000 jobseekers from three months’ ago, with over 4,000 young people finding work on the scheme in the last quarter.

The ERSA Job Start statistics provide the most up to date snapshot of Work Programme performance available in the public domain. They are designed to be read alongside official government figures which show the number of jobseekers who have achieved sustained employment, usually meaning they have spent at least six months in a job.  The Government will release its official statistics on Work Programme performance on Thursday 17 September. 

Key findings from ERSA statistics include:

• 731,000 individual jobseekers have now entered employment via the Work Programme from its inception in June 2011 to end June 2015. 
• Over 178,000 young people have now found at least one job on the Work Programme, up from 174,000 three months before. 
• Overall, 42,345 jobseekers on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have now gained work though the programme.  Many of these jobseekers have complex barriers to work and will not have received intensive support before. 

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, said:

“Since the Work Programme began in 2011, over 731,000 jobseekers have been supported into work through the efforts of specialist frontline advisers operating across the country.

Thousands of young people continue to be successfully helped into jobs, which is vital in the efforts to tackle youth unemployment. This will not only benefit the lives of every one of the 4000 young people starting work in the last three months, but it will positively impact on their wider communities and will reap rewards to the taxpayer in the longer term.’’


Press enquiries should be directed to Sam Windett 07720677477 /

Notes to Editors

1.The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the representative 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.The Work Programme is the government’s largest back to work scheme and caters for the most disadvantaged jobseekers in the labour market. Further information about how the programme operates, including the financial model, is available in this Policy Briefing on ERSA’s website.
3.ERSA’s Work Programme Performance Report is designed to provide statistical information on the performance of the Work Programme. It provides information on ‘Job Starts’, the number of participants starting a job on the programme.  
4.The Government’s official statistics on sustained Job Outcomes, jobseekers who have been in work for (in most cases) six months are available here. The latest version of this report, will be released on 17 September.
5. Europe Economics report, The Economic Impact of the Work Programme can be downloaded here
6. Case studies of former jobseekers, frontline providers and employers are available on ERSA’s website. Interviews with ERSA’s Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh are available on request.