40% of payments to Work Programme providers have nothing to do with results

The DWP published this ad-hoc release last week. It very briefly details how much money has been paid to Work Programme providers from when it began up to 31st March this year. Providers are the (mainly) private sector organisations contracted by the DWP to help the long-term unemployed find work. In the DWP release it says:

“The Work Programme is predominantly a ‘Payment by Results’ model”

The Government have been keen to trumpet this feature, claiming that providers only get paid if they are successful. In fact though, since the Work Programme began, 39% of the money paid to providers has come from the ‘attachment’ fee. That’s a payment paid when an unemployed person starts the Work Programme with a provider. For the first year of the programme, the attachment fee was £400, the second year it was £300 and for the year just gone, £200. From July, the attachment fee will no longer be paid. To date then, on this “paid by results progamme”, the Government has paid providers £538m (out of a total of £1.372bn) just for taking people on their books and before they have helped a single person into work.

With this payment for doing nothing now ended, will we see Work Programme providers start to walk away?

On this 2nd DWP release, it says that over the same period, there have been 296,000 job outcomes. The DWP defines a job outcome as a job that is sustained for at least 6 months (or three months for certain groups). Doing a quick calculation based on the attachment fees paid, it looks as though around 1.72 million people have been attached to the Work Programme since it began, so that means only about 17% (1 in 7) have found work lasting at least 6 months. Not a great return for a spend of £1.4bn, particularly when you think that a lot of these people would have found work anyway.



12 thoughts on “40% of payments to Work Programme providers have nothing to do with results

  1. Oh how they love to waste taxpayers money – and so it goes on. I hope the work providers (great greedy b*stards) collapse in droves!

  2. and certain providers have staff who show no empathy with their clients, and are quite happy to lie on their reports to their paymasters to get a person sanctioned as happened to me..

  3. This is completely incorrect. If you took the time to understand how it run you will know that. No company will leave the contract as a result of the attachment fee drop off. Its been modelled at the bid stage. These contracts don’t work if only the attachment fee is relied upon and you would have seen lots leave before now if you take your flawed reasoning.
    Headlines and misinformation like this do nothing to help people back into work. In fact it does the oposite. Be critical, but be factual, and if you can’t do that then shut up.

    1. Time will tell! I don’t don’t think they modelled for such dismal performance at the bid stage, so how long some of these contracts will hold in their current form remains to be seen.

    2. The work programme and the whole approach by the government and DWP does not help people back into work. People are finding work despite the work programme not because of it. From my perspective I have seen a lot of changes at my WP provider, cutting the numbers of staff and moving some to other offices.

  4. Im on the work programme, a total waste of time and money, Ive never been offered a job or help looking for one, and last week we cut out pictures from a magazine and stuck them on sheets of paper to make a poster !!

  5. I have had to deal with the Work Programme, they are a complete waste of space, if you have half a brain or a little common sense.
    If you suffer with low confidence or you are socially poor then I can see how they can help.
    The worst part about the programme is they use a ” one method works for everyone approach’ Which has resulted in me arranging several interviews, going into to see the WP and coming out feeling depressed and dignity stripped, when someone talks to you like you are 12 years old and questions your desire to work again on a weekly basis it does nothing to motivate your jobsearch or morale, lately they have started issuing threats of new rules and mandates to free labour. The WP are actually making it harder for me to find work, they distract me from my goal and leave me in a pissed off state for the following hours after seeing them.
    (Note on my block to work – Poor credit and a criminal record)

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