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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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Universal Credit… the warning

According to the Shadow Employment minister Stephen Timms, the current tax credit system was better at supporting people who wanted to escape unemployment by setting up their own business.

However, Labour has claimed that the Government’s Universal Credit could hit small business start-ups, .

During Work and Pensions Questions in the Commons Stephen Timms said:

“The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has said tax credits today support self-employment much better than the proposals for universal credit will in the future. This is because universal credit will assume people are earning at least the minimum wage which is completely unrealistic in the early years of self employment.

He asked the government to look again at this particular issue with universal credit, at least for the first year or two of self employment…

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

We will be monitoring very carefully how decisions we take around Universal Credit work.

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Employment Minister accepts Harrington’s recommendations to Work Capability Assessment

He promised it… now he’s delivering it!!!

Chris Grayling has announced that following an independent review, there will be changes to the Working Capability Assessments (WCA).

These changes aim to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the system have been outlined in a second independent review by Professor Malcolm Harrington.

 

Chris Grayling has pledged to accept Professor Harrington’s recommendations and to further consult on how best to support people with cancer.

The main recommendations of the Harrington Review include:

 

  • Introducing checks on benefit decisions to ensure fairness and consistency,
  •  Working with disability groups to help develop guidance for Atos healthcare professionals and Decision Makers,
  •  Improved support and communications for people who move onto Jobseeker’s Allowance to make sure they get the help they need
  •  Regularly publishing data on performance and quality to improve the transparency of the face-to-face assessment

Professor Harrington said:

“My first review found that the WCA is the right concept, but that each part of the process was not working as well as it could or should. Since my last review the process has started giving people a more tailored and personal service.

“This year I have worked alongside some key health and disability organisations to make further recommendations to improve the system, especially for people with mental health and fluctuating conditions.

“I am confident that the changes being implemented are already making a real difference to people and will continue to do so.”

Minister for Employment, Chris Grayling said:

“It is in everyone’s interest to get the system right. We want the assessment to be as fair and consistent as possible. This is the first step on a journey back to work for many people and we want it to be positive.

“The system is far better than it was two years ago but there are still improvements and refinements we can make.

“We are committed to helping thousands of people move from benefits and back into work. Those who are found fit for work will get the help and support they need to get a job. Those found too sick or disabled to work won’t be expected to and will continue to receive the help and support they need.”

Read the independent review

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.

Read more

Click here for links to the ONS Labour Market publications

 

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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New skills support to lift jobless out of unemployment 

Jobseekers will be able to get far more help identifying needs and learning new skills that will help them back to work. This announcement came out last week but we thought that we would pause for thought.

Jobseekers will be given greater and better co-ordinated access to careers advice, starting with a pilot programme that will significantly boost the number of careers advisers providing services in Jobcentres and help shape the new National Careers Service, which starts in April 2012.

The pilot programme will give Jobcentre Plus claimants;

  • full-time access to careers advice
  • better, more flexible support to help jobseekers gain the skills to get into work.
  • The pilot will take place in 22 Jobcentre Plus locations across the country.

This is part of a wider package of skills support for those looking for work which was launched in August and is designed to provide a more flexible and tailored approach to skills involving Jobcentre Plus, careers advice, colleges and employers.

John Hayes –riding to the rescue  said:

““We are building a system that will help people acquire the skills they need to get into work and get on with life. Reforming the way that Jobcentre Plus, careers advice, colleges and other training providers and employers interact at a local level is critical to our success.”

“Giving jobseekers full-time convenient access to a tailored and improved careers advice service will significantly improve their chances of getting into work.”

Chris Grayling said: “We want to make sure that we give those looking for work the right skills that mean when we put them in front of an employer they get the job. Too often in the past jobseekers were sent off to do long courses that taught them skills that local employers didn’t value. That’s all changing, we are getting people job ready to take advantage of the opportunities being created across the economy.”

Sources:  DWP

Yes Minister comment

Mmmm.. this sounds familiar…. but I suppose this proves the point that

… “there is nothing new under the sun”….

As Ronny Carson used to say when asked why he was so funny… “Its the way you tell em”

If this initiative is going to be successful it’ll be ” The way you deliver em”

 

Eyullahemaye Henry

Information

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The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on employment and worklessness shows that 3.9 million households in the UK have no working adults. This is an increase of 148,000 on last year and means that approximately 2 million children reside in workless households.

The north-east of England has the largest proportion of workless households, with 24.3 per cent of homes in the region. Whilst the south-east has the lowest percentage of homes where no one works, at 14.2 per cent.

Rt Hon Chris Grayling, the Minister for Employment, said that the figures were “a shocking reflection of the scale of worklessness across the UK. This is why we are pushing ahead with our Work Programme, which will give people who are out of work and need a job the right support at the right time so that they can get into employment”.

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