The government has set great store by its £5bn plan to get people who have been unemployed for a long time back into work. David Cameron has called it “the biggest and boldest programme since the great depression”.
Expensive though the scheme sounds, it is actually much cheaper than its predecessor, Labour’s Future Jobs Fund. The problem is, it isn’t working.
Figures out today show the programme has improved since last year, when providers were way off hitting their minimum performance targets – but not enough.
The bald figures are these. The programme has helped 32 per cent of young people on Jobseeker’s Allowance back into sustained employment (six months for most, three months for those harder to help). It has helped 27 per cent of older people on JSA to do the same. But for those coming off Employment Support Allowance (what used to be incapacity benefit), it has fallen way short of expectations, finding work for only 5 per cent of people, compared with a minimum target of 16.5 per cent.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor