Acevo is launching a review of the Work Programme, which came under heavy criticism yesterday for failing to get sufficient people into long-term employment.
Just 3.5 per cent of the 878,000 people who took part in the scheme until July 2012 had found work for six months or more. The government’s target for the scheme was 5.5 per cent.
In response, Acevo is launching a review of the Work Programme. It will publish recommendations for how to make improvements to the Work Programme and for what should come after it once the Work Programme comes to an end.
Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said: “It is no good the government playing smoke and mirrors by telling Work Programme providers to 'get their act together', or focusing on how many benefit claimants aren't 'playing by the rules'.
"The truth is that the Work Programme is the government's big answer to long-term unemployment, and if we are to make it work, there are serious questions to answer."
Responding to the Work Programme figures, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO called for data to be published on supply chains, while Joe Irvin, chief executive of Navca, called for an independent inspector of the Work Programme.
Irvin said: “We should not accept this failure. I have been saying for months that we need to accept that the Work Programme is not working as it should. The worst reaction would be to say that we just need more time and carry on with the scheme without any changes.
“It is time for action to sort out the Work Programmer. And I am not saying this because charities are being badly treated. I am saying this because the Work Programme is letting down unemployed people who deserve better.”