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UK welfare-to-work scheme criticised by spending watchdog

UK welfare-to-work scheme criticised by spending watchdog

A government programme to get jobless Britons into employment has failed to meet its targets, according to the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee.

Pathways to Work is a national back-to-work plan available to anybody claiming the Employment and Support Allowance and incapacity benefits.

It was launched in 2008, with 60 per cent of the operation being carried out by private enterprises and the remainder by Jobcentre Plus.

However, some £760 million has been spent on the programme - including its piloting - which has yielded a reduction in incapacity benefit claimants of 125,000.

The coalition state now plans to hand over 100 per cent of the operation to private firms, with the aim of getting 2.6 million people back in to work, but the Public Accounts Committee has stated contractors have so far "universally failed by considerable margins to meet their contractual targets".

It added private providers "cherry pick" the easiest clients, but still have only managed to achieve one-third of their goals.

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