Commenting on the latest figures published by the Department for Work & Pensions, which revealed an increase in the number of people finding jobs through the Government’s ‘back-to-work’ programme, KPMG’s head of public sector argues that the programme is beginning to deliver positive results. He does, however, also urge the Government to review the process for ill or disabled jobseekers.
Alan Downey says: “The latest figures represent a big improvement on the statistics unveiled this time last year which showed that only 3.5 percent of those referred to the scheme had found long-term employment. With the figure rising to 13.4 percent – and proving to be especially beneficial to younger workers – the suggestion is that the Government’s flagship employment programme is at last starting to deliver substantial benefits.
“Critics argue that results ought to be better, but they are overlooking the fact that this is a payment-by-results scheme. If providers don’t succeed in placing people in lasting jobs, they will not receive the performance-related payment. It’s an initiative which means the taxpayer wins, either way.
However, Alan Downey notes that the programme still has room for improvement.
He says: “Unfortunately relatively few of those on Employment & Support Allowance have found sustained employment. These are the jobseekers suffering from long-term illness or with disabilities and who may need additional help.
“Perhaps the data on progress for this group will spur the Government to review the terms of the Work Programme and inform debate about whether the success fee for this important group of jobseekers has been set too low to cover the increased cost of helping them back into employment? After all, it is possible that payments to providers could be recalibrated to improve the fortunes of the ‘harder to help’ groups without increasing the overall cost of the programme.
“It will be interesting to see how different providers have performed when the detailed figures are available. We are likely to find that some have been significantly more successful than others, which will raise one important question: should work be taken away from the under-performers and given to those who have proven that they can deliver better results?”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.