Nov 27 2012
More than half of people who joined the Government's flagship scheme for helping the long-term unemployed have come off benefits, ministers have said.
Around one in five of the earliest participants in the Work Programme spent at least six months off benefits.
Critics of the scheme say it is failing to find enough jobs for those out of work for at least a year.
But Employment Minister Mark Hoban said the programme is succeeding in getting people off benefits and into work.
"It's still early days, but already thousands of lives are being transformed," he said.
"One in four people have been in work, more than half of the early starters have been off benefit and performance is improving.
"Previous schemes paid out too much up front regardless of success but, by only paying providers for delivering results, the Work Programme is actually offering the taxpayer real value for money.
"Clearly these figures only give a snapshot picture as we're one year in, and the Work Programme offers support to claimants for two years, but these results are encouraging and something providers can look to build on," said the minister.