Work Programme statistics – our analysis

DWP published statistics just before Easter from the beginning of the Work Programme in June 2011 to the end of December 2017. In this data release, we report on the two-year job outcome performance i.e. whether or not an individual has secured a job outcome during the entire length of time on the programme.

Referrals to the Work Programme stopped in March 2017, but those referred before then will be on the Work Programme for up to two years of out of work support, plus a further period on in-work support up to another two years. At December 2017, 116,320 participants were still receiving out of work support, and a further 18,640 had completed the two years and were in work and  in-work support payments were being made by DWP to contractors.

For most groups, a job outcome is counted as three months in paid work, but for two groups of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, the measure is six months in paid work.

The headline results are:

  • The two-year Job Outcome performance is 27.8%. This figure is for the whole Work Programme from June 2011 to December 2017.
  • 1.95 million people have been referred to the Work programme since June 2011.
  • 612,700 people have had a ‘sustained’ job outcome through the Work Programme.
  • 15.1% of ESA new claimants (who are expected to be fit for work in less than a year) got a job outcome within two years.
  • 12.2% of ESA new claimants who are expected to be fit for work in 12-18 months got a sustained job outcome.
  • The equivalent figure for ex-IB ESA participants is 5.4%.
  • 36.4% of 18-24 long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance participants completed six months in paid work.
  • 31.7% of over-25 long-term JSA claimants completed six months in paid work
  • People with a disability and those aged 50 and over are the least successful in getting a job through the Work Programme.

Job outcome performance has increased. The chart shows the patterns of Work Programme participants getting job outcomes both over their two-year service period – going up to 31 months as Job Outcome payments can be claimed if the job started within the two year period – so an extra six months for two JSA groups and three months for everyone else, and how that has changed over time. For the most recent completers, job outcome rates are over 40% of those referred.

Animation showing Work Programme performance over the course of their time on the programme, for each monthly group of starters

Animation showing Work Programme performance over the course of their time on the programme, for each monthly group of starters

The improvement in performance is due both to providers learning how to run the programme effectively, and to the overall improvement in the economy, increasing the number of jobs available for participants to apply for.

Chart showing Work Programme performance rising from just over 20 per cent for 2011 starters to 40 per cent for 2015 starters

Overall Work Programme performance since 2011

Currently, Learning & Work estimates that DWP has, so far, paid £1,365 per participant referred to the Work Programme. This figure will rise, as non more people are being referred, but Job Outcomes are still being recorded and paid, and Sustainment Payments are being paid for those who have had a Job Outcome and are still in work. Learning & Work estimate that DWP is still paying over £10 million a month to Work Programme contractors, but this will reduce over time.