The Independent has picked it up as "Chris Grayling hails employment programme". It says that the figures show that "around one in four of those who joined the Work Programme a year ago had stayed off benefits for at least three successive months. The signs were that the figure could have risen to 30%, which means the multi-billion pound scheme was 'on track' to deliver the help ministers had hoped for."
Look at the figures for yourself. We're told that "Of those who left benefits most quickly - in the first 10 weeks - 7 out of 10 were still off benefits 13 weeks later." No surprise there. They were the ones who would have got work anyway.
It's being spun as 25% getting long-term work. It doesn't mean that. Of the 26,800 sample size, people will have signed off for a variety of reasons, including death, emigration and marriage.
There is no breakdown by region or by provider. And how does this square with the leaked A4e performance figures which showed little more than a tenth of these figures?
PS: In answer to some of the comments below, I've been given the following information:
- The Office for National Statistics say that 46% moved into jobs of more than 16 hours a week. That suggests that there's rather more sharing of information going on than some people would like.
- The DWP says "categorically" that the numbers signing off do NOT include those who were sanctioned.