Turning Point responds to new Work Programme report

News item posted: 04 April 2014

In response to the Work and Pensions Committee report, 'Can the Work programme work for all user groups?', John Mallalieu, Turning Point's Director of Employment services said;

"This report raises serious concerns about the work programme not reaching those who are most disadvantaged, with the hardest to help jobseekers being 'parked 'by  some providers to focus, instead, on those closer to the job market. Our experience and the experience of many sub contractors is that this is happening and making the programme untenable for some providers.

Many people we support are being seen as part of the Work Programme when they should be accessing Work Choice, or being placed on a higher tariff through the work programme, to guarantee they get the support they need. In light of this we hope consideration is given to the Committee's recommendation to use the unspent work programme budget to extend alternative provision for disadvantaged jobseekers and welcome the 'Recovery Works' Work Programme Pilots being rolled out for those with substance misuse issues seeking employment who require additional support.

We fully support the Committee's call for a more individualised assessment of an individual's needs and a clear assessment of the obstacles that they face.  Last year a working group of prime contractors and specialist providers, chaired by me and assembled by Lord Freud, developed a toolkit to help employment advisers identify and help jobseekers to better wellbeing through work, whatever their health or circumstances.  We need to insure that individuals are accessing the right services for their needs, without this, we are unlikely to see the programme succeed."