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Welsh Affairs Committee - Work Programme Report

The Welsh Affairs Committee has published a report into the Work Programme as part of their inquiry into the impact of welfare reform in Wales.

Following evidence from Citizens Advice Cymru, ERSA, Rehab Jobfits, DWP, Remploy, Working Links and other organisations, the Committee has concluded:

  • The DWP should review whether there are means better to incentivise providers to support jobseekers with the most severe barriers to employment, including Employment and Support Allowance claimants.
  • Prime providers must ensure that both they and their subcontractors have specific measures in place to support lone parents, who the Committee is concerned are particularly struggling to find sustained employment through the Work Programme in Wales compared to other parts of Great Britain.
  • Work Programme participants in Wales cannot access European Social Fund training and skills courses1: this is hampering the performance of the Work Programme in Wales and ultimately the opportunities available to the long-term unemployed. The DWP and Welsh government must resolve this by February 2014.
  • Similarly, DWP must enable participants to exit the Work Programme if required in order to access Jobs Growth Wales.

This report comes as the Work Programme performance in Wales is falling behind the rest of the UK.

Read the full report here.

5 November 2013

Note 1: The Welsh Government’s Welsh European Funding Office determined that Work Programme participants would not be allowed to access other courses funded by European Social Funds (ESF) because it constituted double-funding under EU rules. The Scottish Government has taken a similar decision in Scotland. This is not the case in England, where customers are able to access Skills Funding Agency programmes which are part funded by ESF.


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