Managing the Work Programme
The Work Programme provides personalised support for claimants who need more help looking for and staying in work. Service providers have freedom to decide how best to support Work Programme participants while meeting minimum standards for delivering the service.
This is a major change in the way we help people move from welfare to work in this country. We are creating a structure that treats people as individuals and allowing providers greater freedom to tailor the right support to the individual needs of each claimant.
The Work Programme also gives value for money for the taxpayer by basing payments to providers largely on results they achieve.
The Work Programme is part funded by the European Social Fund.
The first year of the Work Programme
On 27 November 2012 we published a summary report on the first year of the Work Programme. It is supporting more people than any previous programme by helping people off benefit and into employment.
More than half of people who joined the Work Programme in the first few months have spent some time off benefit, and, up to November 2012, according to industry data, more than 200,000 jobs had been started by Work Programme participants.
We are continuously monitoring providers’ performance and some are performing much better than others. DWP will take action with those providers who are not delivering the Work Programme to the standards we expect.
Information for employers and providers
We have published guidance for employers and Work Programme providers that will be useful if you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in helping to deliver the Work Programme or you are an employer and want to find your local provider contact details.
Employment adviser guidance for people with mental health problems
In summer 2011 the Minister for Welfare Reform invited representatives from the Work Programme, specialist employment providers and mental health services to work together to help more people with mental health problems back into work and, through work, help them to improve their wellbeing.
The representatives met regularly and in November 2011 they made a public pledge to work together to improve work and wellbeing for unemployed people.
On 30 November 2012 we published guidance to help employment advisers spot when jobseekers with mental health needs could benefit from wellbeing support, developed by the representatives.
Employment support for prisoners
We have improved the employment support prisoners receive when they leave jail. Everyone leaving prison and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance will be immediately referred to the Work Programme, where they will receive specialist support to get them into employment as quickly as possible.
Real life stories
We have published a series of real life stories to show how people have benefitted from the Work Programme.
Work Programme Partnership Forum
Senior managers from Work Programme providers and DWP meet at the Work Programme National Partnership Forum. The purpose of the forum is to share experiences of implementing the Work Programme and discuss emerging policy that may have an impact on the programme.