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Help to Work Scheme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd December 2015.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the Government has ended the (a) Mandatory Work Activity scheme and (b) Community Work Placements element of the Help to Work scheme.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

The economy and labour market have improved since the introduction of our employment programmes. Long-term unemployment has fallen by 35% since 2010 to 509,000, the lowest level in six years. The support we provide to claimants needs to reflect recent labour market changes and the needs of claimants. That is why there will be an increase in funding and new contracted provision to help people with disability and health conditions and the very long-term unemployed return to and remain in work.

The Mandatory Work Activity and Community Work Placement contracts come to an end in March 2016. We always intended to review the contracts at this time. We will provide support to the long-term unemployed through a strengthened JobCentre Plus offer for those out of work for 12-24 months, and for anyone still unemployed after 2 years we will refer them to contracted provision for further support.

This approach builds on our best evidence of what works to support claimants back into work, and gets a good deal for the taxpayer.

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