The papers this week have been crammed packed full of stories about the government’s flagship welfare-to-work programme failing to hit its main target. With Official figures being released that only 3.53% of people found a job for six months or more, many fear that the scheme is a total failure.
With the main target of 5.5% being missed in its first 13 months many believe that the coalition just can’t handle the huge volume of unemployed. Out of the 878,000 people who joined the programme, only 31,000 people found a job for more than six months. Yes this is low but it’s only the first year. When faced with over two million unemployed, can we really expect dramatic changes in just 13 months? Expectations of the programme are incredibly high and the government may have set themselves targets that were unrealistic.
Ministers have defended their programme claiming it is still “early days” and 31,000 lives have still been changed for the better.
With 2.4 million looking for work, it’s clear that the Government has a steep mountain to climb. Organisations which have been performing poorly have been given until April to clean up their act, so let’s hope that over the next five years the scheme takes off. Employment Minister, Mark Hoban has made it clear he is not disheartened by the recent results as the snapshot picture just one year in is “encouraging and something providers can look to build on”.
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