Chart of the day: In work (programmes)

New Statesman

Rafael Behr has written about how the DWP is burying bad news about the Work Programme, its flagship scheme to get unemployed people back into jobs. In the first twelve months of the programme (that is, June to May - not June to July, which is the period the department looks at in an apparent attempt to massage the figures), just 2.5 per cent of participants found lasting, unsubsidised work. This compares to five per cent in the matched sample of non-participants, and suggests that the Work Programme is actually worse than doing nothing.

But the bad news about the Work Programme isn't the only thing the government tried to bury yesterday. It also hid its study about the efficacy of the Future Jobs Fund (pdf), New Labour's flagship unemployment which was scrapped by the coalition. The short version of that study: the future jobs fund is really very effective.

Jonathan Portes, the director of NIESR, summarises the findings of the report:

The bottom line is that the impact of the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) on the chances of participants being employed and/or off benefit was substantial, significant and positive. Two years after starting the progamme (so long after the programme itself had ended, so the participants were back in the open labour market), participants were 11 percentage points more likely to be in unsubsidised employment.  

This is a very large impact for an active labour market programme (considerably larger than that found for New Deal for Young People, for example) suggesting that the programme had a large and lasting impact on participants' attachment to and ability to succeed in the labour market. 

The Future Jobs Fund was scrapped specifically to be replaced by the Work Programme. Its replacement failed to even meet the government's targets, let alone do better than the initiative it was brought it to replace.