Nothing we didn't know, if you read their 2008 report. However, it's nice to have fresh confirmation.
Thousands of jobseekers have been referred to a mandatory work scheme that has done nothing for their employment chances, has made them more likely to claim benefits in the long run, and may have had adverse consequences on their physical and mental health, government research has found.http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/ ... f-comments
Published late on Tuesday evening, the Department for Work and Pensions' own assessment of its mandatory work activity (MWA) programme was filed at the House of Commons library just three hours after the employment minister, Chris Grayling, announced that he would be pumping in millions of pounds of extra funding to expand the scheme so it could take up to 70,000 referrals a year.
The government also announced that it would toughen up the sanctions regime making it even harder for those to temporarily sign off benefits to avoid being forced into unpaid work for up to four weeks.
The government's peer-reviewed study concluded that being referred by Jobcentre managers to mandatory unpaid work for 30 hours a week was good at pushing people off jobseeker's allowance in the short term.
However, over a five-month period people were more likely to return to all sorts of out-of-work benefits when compared with those who had never been referred in the first place.
DWP researchers said this return to benefits included a 3% increase in those claiming employment support allowance, a benefit given to those with serious health problems.
In the study, which compared the outcomes between more than 3,000 MWA referrals with 125,00 non-referred jobseekers, they also concluded that the scheme had zero effect in helping people get a job.
"The results show that … a MWA referral had no impact on the likelihood of being employed compared to non-referrals," the 62-page report said.