Rehab JobFit today welcomed the announcement of the initial outcomes of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Work Programme, and in particular in relation to its contract package areas (CPAs) in Wales and the South West of England.
Today ERSA has revealed that over 200,000 jobseekers have been supported into employment since the start of the programme, with more than 20,000 people finding jobs each month, with this figure improving month on month.
Rehab JobFit is a third-sector led partnership of Rehab Group and Interserve PLC, which commenced delivery of the Work Programme on 13 June 2011. Rehab JobFit’s unique model embraces the skill sets of 18 different organisations within its supply chain, comprising 41% third sector, 49% private sector and 10% local authorities, with specialist providers providing expertise as required. Each brings to the table diverse and valuable experience coupled with local knowledge for the benefit of people who are long-term unemployed and seeking to progress into the workforce.
The official statistics published on November 27 report on outcome and sustainment payments made from November 2011 up to the end of July 2012. The information relates to people who have been in sustained work, which for the vast majority of JobFit customers is a minimum of six months employment.
The Work Programme is the largest welfare-to-work programme the UK has ever seen; it’s a programme that works with the hardest to help and is focused on long-term job sustainability, with a greater emphasis on post job-start support.
In relation to the official statistics it is important to note that this information relates to a period of time when the programme was getting up and running and beginning to receive referrals for the first time. The majority of people being supported have been out of work for long periods of time and have faced multiple barriers in gaining employment; therefore the Rehab JobFit supply chain provides intensive and close support and intervention to support the customer’s individual needs to meet their goals.
Rehab JobFit has excellent relations with local employers who see the important business benefits to them in working with the pool of talent which Rehab JobFit has available for their vacancies. In particular, key areas in which customers have gained jobs include retail, hospitality, transport and self-employment. Equally, Rehab JobFit is keen to recognise the commitment and determination of its many programme customers who are ambitious for the future and who are keen to make a new beginning in the workplace.
Job start levels are a good indicator of likely future sustainment figures and Rehab JobFit’s current improved outcome performance in year two is the result of job starts from the latter six months in the previous contract year. These continue to rise month on month.
Rehab JobFit places considerable emphasis on continuous improvement and supporting the growth and improvement of all of its supply chain partners, with effectiveness measured and monitored. The organisation has a clear strategic commitment to the enhancement of its supply chain and remains focused on delivering results for customers and value for money for funders.
It is evident that Rehab JobFit’s supply chains in both CPAs are making demonstrable progress, and current indications suggest the organisation can be confident that as its delivery continues to get stronger this will be reflected in year two job outcome data. Overall, Rehab JobFit commends the hard work of its diverse supply chain and their commitment to partnership working.
Demonstrating the impact in practice
Wendy Harris, Company Manager with Tydfil Training Consortium, one of Rehab JobFit’s supply chain partners, comments,
“We have an outstanding working relationship with Rehab JobFit that means that local innovations are not stifled in bureaucracy but are developed and nurtured, with support being given where necessary to make things work. Working with Rehab JobFit, a voluntary sector led organisation itself, means that we have a mutual understanding and respect in our partnership, leading to a better service for our customers.”
Sally Fry, from Swindon, attended TBG Learning, another of Rehab JobFit’s supply chain partners. She notes,
“Before coming to TBG Learning on the Work Programme, I had been looking for jobs with little success. To be honest, I really started to feel unemployable. TBG Learning was different and not like other provider centres I had attended. The learning environment was the best I had been in; it was a happy one with happy people. I think it’s because they treat you like an adult. I learnt so much. I attended a computer skills course, which was a great help because I was a bit of an IT novice. I also completed a CV-writing and interview workshop.
“Before my interview at the Jury’s Inn I had never been invited to a formal interview. TBG Learning staff advised me on the questions I might be asked, what research I should complete and what to wear. Everything I learnt helped me to prepare for my interview; it was such an achievement to know that the skills I had learnt had resulted in a new job as part of the hotel’s service team. TBG Learning has really given me confidence and so many more opportunities have opened up.”