The Government’s ‘Help to Work’ scheme is introduced today. It will require people who’ve been unemployed for two years to sign on, to go on a six-month community programme, or to get intensive support.
The evaluation of the pilot scheme was published in December 2012. It seems to show that the scheme does nothing to get people back to work, but it does claim that the pilots shifted some people off benefits. The statistics are in a different report published a year later; the DWP apparently needed the time to find a way of presenting the numbers so that it would look like something positive had happened. These stats are the source of Esther McVey’s claim that the programme speeded up re-employment by 9 days, not much of a return for a £300m programme. The details are capably summarised, as ever, by Jonathan Portes for the NIESR.