On Tuesday 12 February, the Work and Pensions Committee visited St Mungo’s, a charity providing help and support for homeless people, as part of its inquiry into the Work Programme.
The visit allowed the Committee to see first-hand how St Mungo’s supports homeless people in their journey back to work, and what lessons this may hold for the Work Programme. Evidence from the visit, together with written submissions and Westminster-based oral evidence sessions, will feed into and inform the Committee’s report.
Commenting on the visit, the Chair of the Committee, Dame Anne Begg MP, said:
"Surveys suggest as little as 6% of homeless people are in paid employment. Homeless people are, therefore, a key Work Programme user group, and it is vital the Programme works for them. How well it is working is something the Committee is assessing as part of our inquiry.
The visit to St Mungo’s allowed the Committee to hear first hand from homeless people who have, or potentially could, use the Work Programme. This will prove invaluable in assessing how the Programme is working for this particularly vulnerable group in our society.
St Mungo’s provides a variety of employment services for their clients, but currently not within the Work Programme. The visit therefore also enabled the Committee to hear the views of an experienced, expert employment scheme provider operating outside of the Government scheme.
The evidence gathered during this visit will supplement and enrich that gained from the Westminster evidence sessions. This will help ensure that any conclusions the Committee reaches are based on as wide an evidence base as possible and supported by firsthand experience."
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