Press release

Work Programme helps drive long-term unemployment to 5 year low

The biggest employment programme Britain has ever seen has helped push long-term unemployment to its lowest level in more than 5 years.

Around 433,000 long-term unemployed people have entered work through the Work Programme, with official figures showing the scheme has helped more people than any previous employment scheme.

Long-term unemployment has fallen by 214,000 since 2010, and the proportion of the workforce claiming unemployment benefits is now at its lowest level since 1975.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

Everyone – whatever their background or situation – should have the opportunity to get on in life and support themselves and their families, and our reforms are doing just that.

Behind these figures are countless stories of hard work and determination. These are individuals who, until the Work Programme, were locked out of the system through illness or time spent caring for their families.

Because of this scheme, they now have the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job and security of a pay cheque.

Since 2011, the Work Programme has overhauled how claimants, with the most significant barriers to getting a job, are supported off benefits and into work.

The scheme is also delivering better value for taxpayers with providers being paid by the results they achieve, including being paid more for harder to help claimants.

Under the scheme, people claiming benefits because they are unemployed for up to 1 year receive 2 years of dedicated and tailored help that addresses things such as skills and confidence. Unlike previous schemes it focuses on helping people to stay in work, rather than just getting a job.

This week’s employment statistics revealed that:

  • long-term unemployment has fallen by 55,000 in the last quarter
  • overall long-term unemployment has also fallen to its lowest level in more than 5 years

In June last year the National Audit Office said that the government will save £450 million on benefits compared with any previous scheme.

In addition to the Work Programme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a range of support across the country to get people off benefits and into jobs through a network of over 700 Jobcentres. These include work experience, employer-led training, work placements, skills training, and help for budding entrepreneurs through the New Enterprise Allowance.

Read the latest Work Programme Statistics

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5118

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street

London
SW1H 9NA

Follow DWP on: