The Work Programme has broken new ground after figures revealed that the number of people who have found lasting work has topped half a million. Many of them were either long-term unemployed or were at risk of becoming so.
From the 1.8 million people who have been referred to the programme, a total of 503,000 jobseekers have so far found work lasting 3 months or longer.
Furthermore, the overwhelming majority – nearly 493,000 people – have gone on to extend their new found vocation well beyond their initial period of between 3 to 6 months.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said:
“This government is on the side of hard-working people, and it’s fantastic to see so many people move into regular, meaningful work through the Work Programme.
“The Work Programme has supported half-a-million people into work – people who have learned new skills and are now enjoying the benefit of a regular paycheque and the security it is bringing to them and their family.
“This one nation government is delivering on its commitment to extend opportunity to all corners of the country so that everyone has the chance to get on in life and fulfil their potential.”
The Work Programme provides tailored back-to-work support to some of the hardest to reach claimants for up to two years. The latest news comes hot on the heels of new labour market figures, which showed that the number of people in work has continued to beat all previous records with a new high of 31.42 million.
Long-term unemployment has fallen to 480,000 – its lowest level since early 2009. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits also fell by more than 100,000 over the past year, down to 716,700, its lowest level since 1975.
The government will now build on this success through the new Work and Health Programme, which will target support at people with health conditions and disabilities, and those who are long-term unemployed.
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