Bromford Support quits Work Programme amid concerns it is failing vulnerable people

18 August 2014

Bromford Support, a housing association that has been a vocal backer of the government’s flagship Work Programme, is to quit the £5bn scheme amid concerns it is failing vulnerable people.

The housing provider, which is part of the Bromford Group, confirmed it will wind down its Work Programme activity by April 2015, as it is not viable under the payments by results funding structure.

Prime contractors have been accused of creaming off the referrals who are most likely to get employed, leaving subcontractors such as Bromford Support with the more challenging cases.

Bromford Support had managed a caseload of more than 350 people, but many of them were too far from work to secure full-time employment, meaning Bromford lost money

John Wade, managing director of Bromford Support said barriers such as homelessness, addiction and mental health problems meant many of those referred to his organisation were in no position to work.

He said: ‘We have learned lessons from the programme, but it hasn’t worked out as we hoped it would. We were not getting the prime referrals. Instead, they were people who were furthest from employment.’

He added the scheme’s payment-by-results system was too tightly focused on employment outcomes to fund the resources required for some harder referrals. ‘In theory, you could work with a customer for two years and the only guaranteed income from that would be £200.’.

Read the full story on Inside Housing.