The leader of Bradford Council has slammed a Government employment scheme that helped only 3.1 per cent of those taking part in the city find a sustainable job.
Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that 10,850 Bradford people had started the Work Programme since it was launched last year, but only 340 stayed in a job for six months.
Iain Duncan Smith’s £5 billion scheme is aimed at getting people back into long-term employment.
Councillor David Green (Lab, Wibsey), leader of the Council, said: “The figures are incredibly disappointing, particularly for those unemployed people in Bradford who are relying on the scheme to gain employment.
“I think that a three per cent success rate is lower than any other Government scheme brought in during the 20 years I have been on the council.”
Nationally, 31,240 people out of 877,880 – 3.5 per cent – ended up in a long-term job as a result of the Coalition’s scheme.
Coun Green, who said the Council’s Get Bradford Working programme was more successful than the Government scheme, said: “It is my belief that some of the support schemes for getting people into employment that were abolished by the Coalition Government did prove, and continue to prove, much more successful than the one introduced by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.”
Coun Glen Miller (Con, Worth Valley), said he had not seen the figures. When told them by the Telegraph & Argus, Coun Miller, the Council’s Conservative group leader, said: “I have not read the report so I cannot comment on it.”
Employment minister Mark Hoban said that improvement notices had been sent to a number of organisations involved in the programme. He said that 56 per cent of people who joined the scheme had come off benefits, with one in five of the earliest participants spending at least six months off benefits.
Nationally, the scheme had a target of 5.5 per cent set for finding jobs.