Work Programme statistics

Work Programme official statistics on referrals, attachments, job outcome payments and sustainment payments.


  1. Documents

Work Programme

The Work Programme was launched throughout Great Britain in June 2011 and is part of a number of welfare to work reforms aimed at getting unemployed people into sustained work.

The Work Programme uses private and public companies, called providers, to find work for claimants transferred to them from Jobcentre Plus at specified points in their claim. The providers are primarily paid for defined outcomes related to sustained employment.

The Employment programme support official statistics page includes more information about the Work Programme and Pre-Work Programme, how they fit together and details of future release dates for official statistics.

Work Programme official statistics

Releases of Work Programme official statistics are aligned to financial years, with publications in September, December, March and June, published within 3 months of the reporting period. The most recent official statistics on Work Programme released on 20 March 2014 include figures to the end of December 2013.

The latest Work Programme statistical summary to December 2013 gives a structured overview of Work Programme official Statistics.

Please note that the statistical summary was re-issued on 2nd April to correct table 1.4 which had not been updated since the previous release.

Alongside the statistical summary there are a large number of tables and animated charts which enable you get more detail on Work Programme referrals, attachments, job outcome payments and sustainment payments. These are provided via:

  • The DWP Tabulation Tool – an interactive tool to produce bespoke breakdowns from thousands of possible tabulations
  • Data visualisation tool – uses Google Public Data Explorer and Google Charts to visualise the figures, includes tracking of monthly cohort of referrals over time via animated charts

A background information note provides supplementary context and information on the processes involved in developing and releasing the official statistics including information on the quality, revisions and known issues.

Main points from the latest release

By monthly intakes of referrals

10.7% of December 2012 intake attained a job outcome payment after 12 months on the programme. This is above levels for earliest programme intakes; June 2011 intake was 8.4%.

The December 2012 level is below previous highs of 13% to 14% for February to July 2012 intakes. However since September 2012 intakes have on average 3 times the proportion of individuals with more barriers to sustained employment.

Of the December 2012 Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) intake, around 15% attained a job outcome payment at the 12 month stage. This is 3 times higher than those for new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants for whom levels have consistently been around 1 in 20 for each intake.

The earliest intakes continue to attain job outcome payments with more time on the Programme. For each intake to reach the 24 month stage around 22% achieved a job outcome by this point.

By all referrals from 1 June 2011 to 31 December 2013

Approaching 1.5 million individuals have been referred to the Work Programme. Almost 19% of those with sufficient time on the programme to do so, achieved a job outcome payment, with just over a quarter of a million payments overall.

Around two thirds of those were still in employment at the end of December 2013.

1.85 million sustainment payments were made to providers for 230,000 individual participants. To date almost 48,000 claimants have stayed in sustained employment long enough and attained the maximum number of sustainment payments possible on the scheme.

To date 352,000 claimants returned to Jobcentre Plus after completing 104 weeks on the scheme, with 24,000 of these finding sustained employment for 3 or 6 months during the 104 weeks.

Additional statistics

Work Programme job outcome payment figures reflect the final job outcome payments made to providers following validation procedures. For further details on job outcome validation procedures see the background information note. Data about job outcomes payments before validation is published in the Work Programme: unvalidated job outcome payments to December 2013 table.

Data regarding the proportion of referrals with sufficient time on the Programme to have qualified for a Job Outcome payment that did so is published in the Percentage achieving Job Outcome payment table.

There are links to other related DWP research reports and statistical analyses on the Employment programme support official statistics page.

Older versions of the statistical summary from previous releases of Work Programme official statistics are available below.

Work Programme official statistics consultation

The consultation on the content and presentation of Work Programme official statistics after June 2013 has now closed. We are analysing your feedback and will publish a response in the coming months.

Tell us what you think

We want to make sure interested users are aware of future consultations to help us improve our statistics and ensure value for money. Complete our Work Programme statistics questionnaire to tell us what you think about our statistics.

You can also join the ‘Welfare and benefits’ community at We’ll post announcements and background information in this forum. You can also use the forum to discuss statistical issues with other users.

If you have any further feedback on the tabulation tool and data visualisation tool email

Adam Pearce
Information, Governance and Security Directorate
Department for Work and Pensions
Room BP5201
Benton Park Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1YX

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