The Work Programme in Dundee : a big failure

18 April 2013

Councillor Kevin Keenan , Labour group leader on Dundee City Council, described the performance of the UK Government's Work Programme on Dundee as " a big failure."

He was commenting on Government figures showing that Dundee's level of success in the programme of 1.4 per cent was the lowest in mainland Scotland.

He said,

“The Work Programme was set up two years ago with an estimated cost of between £3 to £5 billion over 5 years in the UK.

“It was intended to help the long-term unemployed move off benefits and into back into the workplace.

“The Department of Work and Pensions has expected that about 12 per cent of claimants on the Work Programme would succeed in doing this, but the figure for Dundee shows how completely wrong these expectations have been.

“In its first period of operation up to July of last year, there were 3,470 referrals to the programme in Dundee of which there were only 50 “Job Outcomes”.

“This represented a rate of success of 1.4 per cent, by far the worst in mainland Scotland ,  and less than half of the very poor Scottish rate of just 3.6 per cent.

“It means that less than 2 people in every 100 on the Work Programme in Dundee were getting get back into work .

“The real shock of the complete lack of effectiveness of the Work Programme though is that the Department of Work and Pensions itself estimated that if the Work Programme had not been created, 5 in every 100 unemployed people would be gaining employment.

“In other words , it would have been better for the unemployed in Dundee if the Work Programme had not been started in the first place.

“There was a programme that was scrapped by the Tory-Lib Dem  Government which was successful and that was the Future Jobs Fund, created by the previous Labour Government.

“This created 10,000 jobs in Scotland .

“It would be far better to restore that successful programme than continue with this proven failure that the Work Programme has been.”

Councillor Keenan's comments come as the latest official figures show that Dundee continues to have the highest rate of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance of the 4 main Scottish cities.

Last month the number claiming JSA in the city was 5,667.

This represents 5.9 per cent of the working age population.

The corresponding rates for the other 3 main cities are :

Glasgow 5.7 per cent

Aberdeen 2.0 per cent

 Edinburgh 3.3 per cent




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