The Work Programme has replaced a number of Government-funded schemes designed to help long-term unemployed people get into work and come off benefits, consolidating support into a single programme which aims to help a wide range of unemployed people. It is delivered through a prime contractor model in which large, often private sector, companies deliver services through supply chains including private, public and voluntary sector specialist organisations.
Providers are paid on a payment-by-results basis, with larger payments available for finding sustainable employment for people who are considered harder to help. Providers are free to decide how best to help Work Programme participants, without prescription from the Government—the so-called “black box” approach.
The inquiry will consider how well this model is working for different categories of unemployed people.