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Inside Prospects: Work Programme (London)

20 March 2013

What is the Work Programme and what is Prospects' involvement?

The Work Programme is the coalition government's 'flagship' welfare to work initiative. It provides tailored support for claimants who need help to undertake active and effective jobseeking, to overcome barriers preventing them finding and staying in work. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contracts with Prime Contractors (of which Prospects is one, in the South West) who have been given complete autonomy to decide how best to support customers while meeting minimum service delivery standards.

Launched in England, Wales and Scotland in June 2011, the Work Programme is the successor to previous programmes such as the New Deals (including Flexible New Deal) and Employment Zones. Contractors are paid almost entirely for results — defined as sustained job outcomes for participants. The longer a customer stays in work, the more the contractor is paid.

Prospects holds a major sub-contract with Seetec, one of three Prime Contractors in East London, for the London Work Programme. This is worth £12.5m over five years.

How is Prospects tackling unemployment in London?

The team uses a variety of methods, including employment skills training, workshops, individual customer interventions and group activities, to meet their targets. Prospects London WP works with several third sector organisations and specialist providers to give customers every opportunity to develop their employability skills.
We recently collaborated with Headliners, a charity which inspires and encourages personal development of young people through journalism, to create a publication called 'Working Times'. Working in three reporting teams, 19 young unemployed people produced the 12-page magazine, giving them valuable experience in the creative industries. To read 'Working Times', click here.

Who is in the London Work Programme team? Where is it based?

A total of 45 staff operates across six London boroughs: Hackney, Greenwich, Southwark, Lambeth, Sutton and Merton. They are overseen by Jonathan Starling-Cross, Deputy Operations Director.

For more information about the London Work Programme, please contact Jonathan Starling-Cross, jonathan.starling-cross@prospects.co.uk


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