Date lodged: 7 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is considering in relation to its employability programmes to avoid the so-called parking of participants with high support needs.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 1 August 2016
Evidence from the Work Programme, and to a lesser extent Work Choice, shows that those further from the labour market have not been adequately supported to help enter work. A National Audit Office report on The Work Programme published in July 2014 (https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/The-work-programme.pdf) highlighted that average DWP spend on those who were harder to help was less than on those who were deemed closer to the labour market.
Evaluation of the Work Programme has indicated that the payment model – which rewarded providers only for sustained job outcomes - skewed provider behaviour and resulted in parking of clients who needed additional support. The Scottish Government is clear that addressing this is a priority for the new services.
We are considering a range of options to ensure that those who need the support and can benefit from it will be able to access the new devolved employment services. We recognise the challenges and will monitor this aspect of delivery carefully from the outset.