Latest Work Choice Statistics Published

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The government has published the latest Work Choice statistics showing that the specialist programme continues to support people with moderate to severe disabilities, health problems and impairments towards and into work. The statistics cover the period up to and including December 2013.

Kirsty McHugh Chief executive of ERSA commented on the statistics:

“ERSA is delighted that the latest government statistics show the continued success of this specialist programme which has helped thousands of people with disabilities and health conditions to find and stay in work

“ERSA is mindful of the fact that Work Choice offers a unique opportunity for many to gain the right skills and opportunities to get on in life and calls on the government to continue to support this important service”

Work Choice statistics show increase in people with disabilities getting into work

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Today saw the release of the latest tranche of Work Choice statistics. The Work Choice programme is a specialist disability programme designed to support people with moderate to severe disabilities, health problems and impairments towards and into work. The statistics cover the period up to and including September 2013.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, commented on today’s statistics:

“ERSA is delighted to see that the Work Choice programme is performing well, supporting a growing number of disabled people into employment, with 43 per cent of those who started the programme between October 2012 and March 2013 getting into work by September 2013.

“ERSA also welcomes the improvement by providers in data collection of primary disability indicators and the role this improvement will play in in better understanding those on the Work Choice programme

“However we have continued concerns that there remains a significant gap of 27 per cent, for the latest cohort, between the number of people referred to the programme, and those starting it. ERSA believes government should work further with industry to facilitate better handovers, enabling even more people with disabilities to benefit from the support offered by the scheme”

Latest Work Choice statistics show signs of improvement

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DWP has today published the latest statistics for Work Choice, the specialist disability employment programme for people with moderate to severe disabilities, health problems and impairments. The statistics cover the period up to and including March 2013.

The statistics show a continuing improvement in performance with 33.9% of those who started the programme in Quarter 2 of 2012 getting into work compared to 22.7% of those who started in Quarter 4 of 2010 when the programme began.

The statistics positively show that more people with disabilities are entering work. Some of the key observations from ERSA are:

  • Too many of those referred to Work Choice are not actually starting it. For the period from April 2012 to March 2013, 21,780 people were referred to the scheme but only 15,750 actually started. Once more, fewer referrals are actually starting each quarter indicating this as a growing issue.
  • Data on the primary disability is unavailable for some people. The primary disability is only known for 61% of individuals referred to the scheme. This makes it more difficult to understand how effective the scheme is for people with different types of disability.
  • 15% of referrals are on disability benefits (ESA, IB or SDA). This contrasts to 54% of referrals who are on JSA. Whilst benefit type is not an accurate proxy for need, it might be expected that more of those on disability benefits would be on a specialist disability employment programme.

Matthew Lester, Chair of the ERSA Disability Employment Forum, said:

“The latest statistics show a positive trend with the performance of the programme building over time. However, we need to understand more about the people being referred to the scheme so we can ensure it is being targeted at those who need it most. The high number of referrals not starting the scheme underlines a need for government to work with providers to ensure there is a smoother handover process.”

A government evaluation of the Work Choice programme is expected in the summer.

May 2013 – Work Choice: Official Statistics