Government’s ‘worse than useless’ Work Programme fails Hackney residents

Jenny Jones

Critical of the Government's Work Programme: Green party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones

Less than three in a hundred of those Hackney residents referred to the Government’s Work Programme in the last year have found work, official figures have revealed.

Of the 6,010 people in the borough referred to the Work Programme between June 2011 and July 2012, only 170 have secured jobs.

Jenny Jones, a Green London Assembly Member, said: “Thousands of people struggling to find work in Hackney are being forced through a programme that is worse than useless.”

“I’ve heard from people across London that they have been forced to do pointless tasks that do nothing to boost their CV or help them find a job. The Mayor of London dropped safeguards that could have prevented this, and has refused my requests to bring them back,” she said.

The Work Programme was introduced by the Government in 2011 to help people on welfare find employment.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said that their statistics consider ‘success’ as being when a participant is in work for at least six months, because the programme is intended to help people find sustainable work.

They said that the downside to this is that many people who have found work are not counted.

They cited figures by the Employment Related Services Association, a trade body for the ‘welfare to work’ sector, which said that over 200,000 people in London have started jobs up to September 2012, as a positive indication for the programme.