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Mandatory Programme Statistics August 2012

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released the latest statistics on participation in Mandatory Programmes. The data covers the period May 2011 to August 2012. 

Just over 90,000 JSA claimants have been referred to the Mandatory Work Activity provision in the above period. The peak of referrals was in January 2012 when over 10,000 claimants were referred.  The average monthly referral level during 2012 is 7,600.

Only 37 percent of those referred in the above period have gone on to start the provision.  The statistical release gives no data regarding what has happened to the 63 percent of those who failed to start.  In some cases claimants will have signed off JSA to avoid the programme, but there may be others who have remained on JSA and been sanctioned, and also those who remained on JSA but successfully challenged the potential sanction.  It is this latter information that would give a much rounder picture of the impact of the provision.  

The demographic breakdown of referral and start information is also interesting.  The 50+ age group, those declaring a disability, and females are more likely to start the programme than their peers – in the case of the 50+ age group, 47 percent of those referred started, compared to 34 percent of the 18-24 age range.  This raises potential questions about the attitudes of different groups, compliance and vulnerability.  If anyone is looking for a research project, this could be a very interesting subject matter.

Other data within this release covers Skills Conditionality.  This regime is aimed at ensuring JSA and ESA claimants take up careers advice or skills training.  The referral to start ratio reflects that of MWA with 39 percent of referrals actually starting the directed activity.  Careers advice is more likely to be attended than training, with a 44 percent take up compared to 36 percent take up.

To view other statistical releases please visit the DWP website.

14 November 2012

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