THE BLOG

Have Your Say on Government's Welfare-to-Work Programmes

05/08/2013 10:18 BST | Updated 02/10/2013 10:12 BST

The government has launched a consultation on its welfare-to-work programmes, and UnemployedNet is responding on behalf of workless people.

We want your opinions to help us tell the government why and how their schemes, including the Work Programme, Work Choice, work experience schemes and others, need changing.

The failure of the Work Programme to hit its targets, the increased sanctioning that comes with it, the lack of the right kind of support provided to unemployed people, and forced work experience that doesn't help get paid work, shows how important it is to put jobless people's opinions and experience at the heart of government to improve these schemes.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is running this consultation and sets out guiding principles, usually fairly technical in nature, but nowhere is there a mention of the people most affected by these schemes, the unemployed themselves.

It understands the importance of social value - the need for governments to look for social as well as economic benefits when buying services - but doesn't extend this to meeting the real needs of the jobless.

DWP wants more involvement from charities but apparently not from workless people, so UnemployedNet will step in to hold the organisation to account.

We want to take the fight to the government, to tell them how difficult its schemes have made life for the unemployed, and this is the ideal place to do it.

The government has to listen to anyone who responds to its consultations, and we will report back to let you know how it has done this.

Please tell us your experiences, particularly:

1) How the Work Programme, Work Choice and other government welfare-to-work programmes are working for you, and how being on them makes you feel

2) What they are doing well and badly

3) Whether you believe the way they work is helpful to your search for work, or whether you think it is holding you back

4) Whether you support all DWP schemes to be made voluntary for workless people

We want as many people as possible to respond to try to get over to the government how the way they deliver employment programmes has affected people's lives.

Please let us know what you think by commenting below and we will take the issue up with the government.

Read the full DWP document here