Posts Tagged ‘amp project’

New claims for ESA

The latest figures on new claims for Employment and Support Allowance, which replaced incapacity benefit in 2008, have been released.

Here are some of the main findings:

Outcomes of completed initial assessments for claims started from March to May 2011 show:

  •  48 per cent of claimants have an outcome i.e. decisions have been made on

their claims;

  • 38 per cent of claimants had their claim closed before having a face to face

assessment; and

  • 14 per cent of claimants were still undergoing assessment.

Claimants with an outcome for their claim can be broken down as follows:


  • 43 per cent of claimants were entitled to the benefit. Within this –
  • 21 per cent of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group

(WRAG), and

  • 22 per cent of claimants were placed in the Support Group (SG); and 57 per cent of claimants were assessed as Fit for Work (FFW) and are no longer eligible for ESA.

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Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support


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Chris Grayling “really disappointed” at NAO report

The National Audit Office (NAO) has released a less than glowing report on the achievements and future of the Work Programme. In particular, it states the government has overestimated the number of people to be helped return to employment.

The National Audit Office report said 26% of over-25s would get jobs, compared with the official estimate of 40%.

The report also described the possibility that some programme providers will “cut corners to stay in profit” by ignoring harder-to-reach people. Additionally, some of the programme providers could get into “serious financial difficulty” while trying to meet their ambitious targets.

Chris Grayling said payment by results was “a totally new approach” and its success could not “be assessed in the same old ways”.

“I’m really disappointed that the NAO is producing a report which is partially based on guesswork, when it’s private companies and not taxpayers who are carrying the risks.

“Unlike the last government’s welfare to work schemes, we only pay when companies succeed in getting the long-term unemployed into sustained employment.”

Read the full report “The Introduction of the Work Programme”

Click here to read the response of a DWP spokesperson

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Unemployment up by 118,000 but JSA claimant less than expected.

The Office for National Statistics has published the latest employment figures showing 2.69 million people were ILO unemployed in the September to November quarter, up by 118,000 on the June to August period


Inactivity fell by 61,000 on the quarter and the rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 23.1%. Meanwhile, the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 1,200 in December 2011 to 1.6 million. This is, however, less than the 10,000 expected.


Today’s figures show a fall in youth unemployment reflecting the numbers in full-time education. Full-time students now account for 30% of all those unemployed between the ages of 16 and 24. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who have left full-time education and are seeking work is 729,000. The number of full-time students looking for a job rose 44,000 to 313,000.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling has responded to these latest figures:

“The overall level of unemployment is, and will remain, a major concern for the Government. The latest figures reflect the current challenging economic climate but also show more women entering the workforce and more students looking to supplement their income through work. When you take into account our welfare reforms the number of Jobseeker Allowance claimants has actually fallen.

“Despite the exceptionally difficult economic circumstances, finding work for the unemployed will remain top of the Government’s agenda.”

Click here for the latest Labour Market Statistical Bulletin

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Care home residents to receive mobility payments

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, has announced that disabled people who live in residential care will continue to have their additional mobility needs met through Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

After months of consultation with disabled people and disability organisations, and the publication of the Low Review, the government has announced the decision.

An amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill will be brought forward to enable this payment to be carried out through PIP.

Maria Miller said:

“The reasoning behind the original decision was to ensure there were no overlaps in funding leading to double payments. We have spent the last few months gathering information and evidence and visiting disabled people in care homes to find out directly from them how their mobility needs are actually met in practice.

“We found a complex set of overlapping responsibilities have evolved which have allowed different local authorities to deal with the issue of funding of mobility in care homes in very different ways and some practices which have lead to overlaps in funding.

“However, I have always been clear that I would not make any change that would stop disabled people from getting out and about. Which is why after listening to the strong concerns of disabled people and their organisations, I have taken action and decided not to remove the payment.”

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Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Government CIO to retire in the Spring of 2012

Joe Harley, the Chief Information Officer has decided to retire from the Civil Service after a year in the role, and seven years as the CIO for the Department for Work and Pensions. His resignation follows on from the news that deputy CIO Bill McCluggage is to leave the government at the start of the New Year.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

“I would like to thank Joe for his significant and exceptional contribution to DWP and the Government – he has been instrumental in building reform and modernising our approach to technology.

“Joe leaves us with our highest regards having secured this Government well-placed to deliver major reform in the future.”

DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux said:

“I want to thank Joe for his enormous contribution to the Department’s performance. He has been pivotal in establishing commercial arrangements which give value for money, and in the delivery of major changes to IT underpinning services which are critical for millions of people every day. The IT for Universal Credit, in particular, is on track.  I wish him well in his retirement.”

The process for selecting his successor, as CIO for DWP, will begin immediately. The Cabinet Office will run a separate process for the next Government CIO along with the process that is already underway to replace his deputy.


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Mark Prisk announced new investment for 10,000 volunteer business mentors

New grant funding of £1.2m will support a mentoring scheme to recruit 10,000 business volunteers from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This will add to the number of business mentors available through mentorsme.co.uk to bring the total number of business mentors to around 26,000.

The new mentoring portal, mentorsme.co.uk, was launched in the summer to give entrepreneurs access to mentoring from the experienced business people whose advice they most value. It provides a single point of access for those seeking mentoring throughout the UK and is operated by the British Bankers Association (BBA).

Mark Prisk, said:

“Businesses tell us they want to get advice from other experienced business people and we know that those seeking support are more likely to succeed.

“Mentoring can deliver significant economic benefits from just a small commitment of time and resources. Building a relationship with a mentor can have a positive effect on your business, whether you are just starting up or are already established.”

Click here to listen to a webchat about the announcement which Mark Prisk took part in.

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Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Chris Grayling comments on new unemployment figures

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released the latest Labour Market Statistics which show that UK unemployment has jumped in the third quarter to 2.62 million and that unemployment among young people has reached above 1 million for the first time since 1992.  This makes the jobless rate in the 16-24 age group a record high of 21.9 per cent.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said that the figures are a reflection of the impact the economic problems in the Eurozone and slower growth in the wider global economy are having on the UK.

“These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the Eurozone. Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilise the position.

Today at a meeting with business leaders, Chris Grayling discussed the current unemployment challenge and explored possible ways to open up the jobs market to young people.

Last month the Government announced that Sector-Based Work Academies are now up and running across the country and will offer a programme combining real training, work experience and a guaranteed interview which will give young people another platform to get into a job. In total there will be around 150,000 work experience or sector-based work academy places over the next two years to help young people.

The Work Programme is up and running and provides jobseekers with help to get back into sustained employment. Private and voluntary sector organisations are investing £581m upfront in the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen to provide tailored support built around the needs of individuals. Organisations will be paid by results and allowed to develop support that really addresses the needs of jobseekers.

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Click here for links to the ONS Labour Market publications


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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