Restart Scheme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 15 April 2024.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much his Department plans to spend on the Restart Scheme in the next three financial years; and if he will make an estimate of the number of people who will be supported through that scheme in the same period.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Referrals to the current Restart Scheme will be made up to June 2024, offering participants up to a year of support. As of the end of February 2024, around 150,000 people were receiving support and the majority will continue participating into 2024/25; in addition, around a further 50,000 are expected to start before June 2024. Spend over the next three financial years relating to supporting these people is expected to be around £400m, with the scheme operating on Payment by Result contracts.

In the Autumn Statement 2023, funding was approved to extend the Restart Scheme, taking referrals between July 2024 and June 2026. It is estimated that the extension will support around a further 500,000 people from two years of referrals. Funding of around £1bn has been agreed for the extension, with some of this expenditure expected to fall beyond the 2026/27 financial year due to the fact the scheme operates Payment by Results.

Please note

  • The number of people starting on the current Restart Scheme and associated costs are estimates for planning purposes, underpinned by assumptions about future unemployment forecasts, which could change, and do not meet the standards required to be included in the Official Statistics. Therefore, these values need to be treated as guide figures rather than actual figures.
  • Payment by Results means that fees are paid to providers based on the number of people reaching sustained employment. This takes time to achieve, following a support period of up to 12 months. For example, this means that people starting in 24/25 financial year will contribute to the estimated costs in the 25/26 and 26/27 financial years.

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