Jim McGovern raises Dundee Work Programme concerns
9 January 2013
Jim McGovern, MP for Dundee West, today raised Dundee’s poor performance in the government’s Work Programme, which was designed to help the unemployed back to work, during questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Government statistics released in November revealed that the Work Programme in Dundee got the fewest number of unemployed people back to work in the United Kingdom.
A mere 1.4% of participants went on to find work as a result of the programme.
This compares poorly to the Scottish average of 3.8%.
On December 5th 2012 Mr McGovern raised the issue with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, during a Westminster Hall debate about unemployment in Scotland.
The minister told the assembled MPs that he had asked for a report into why Dundee performed so badly.
After contacting the Scotland Office on a number of occasions Mr McGovern was assured by officials in the department on December 19th that he would receive a letter explaining whether or not this report would in fact be produced and published.
Asking about this letter, which has yet to be received, and the prospect of a report indeed being produced, Mr McGovern called on the Scotland Office ministers today (Wednesday 9th January) in the Commons to clarify the situation.
Though no direct answer was given by the Secretary of State Michael Moore in the Chamber, a meeting was subsequently offered by David Mundell’s private office between the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Mr McGovern to discuss the matter early next week.
Jim McGovern said;
“It is appalling that Dundee has been ranked as the worst place in the country to find a job via the government’s flagship back to work programme.
“The people of Dundee have been badly let down by this Tory-led government.
“As unemployment continues to rise we cannot afford for the government to continue getting it wrong.”
“It is disappointing that it took so long to secure a meeting with the minister, but I hope when the meeting does go ahead we can make progress in getting to the bottom of what has gone wrong in Dundee.”
Mr McGovern concluded,
“I will impress upon the minister and other officials during the meeting of the importance of finding out why Dundee was the worst performing area in the country for the Work Programme, and I hope we see from any investigation a way forwards that ensures the situation dramatically improves.”