Work Programme (work experience)
This Assembly notes that, of the 136,150 unemployed people in London referred to the Work Programme from June 2011 to July 2012, only 4,800 got sustained jobs. The Assembly is concerned that, on the basis of evidence commissioned or written by the Government, the Work Programme doesn’t appear to work on its own terms, that the benefit sanctions make little different to people taking up opportunities while increasing hardship, and that making work mandatory can backfire by making participants feel punished and resentful.
This Assembly notes that the Mayor had planned to establish an effective performance management framework to monitor how effective the Work Programme was, and, given the programme’s poor performance, regrets that the Mayor dropped these plans.
This Assembly notes with concern that the GLA is a partner in a new mandatory work experience pilot, but that the GLA won’t be applying the proposed performance management framework or the well established Employability Performance Rating system to this pilot. The Assembly is also concerned that the work experience will be mandatory, despite evidence suggesting that voluntary work experience is more effective.
This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor of London to:
- introduce these safeguards for his mandatory work experience pilot and for the wider Work Programme to protect Londoners
- make his work experience pilot voluntary and allow participants to chose work experience that will most benefit them.