27 November 2012
Association of Colleges' skills policy manager, Teresa Frith, said: "Today's Work Programme statistics show that it's difficult to move people from long-term unemployment into sustainable work. The Department of Work and Pensions decided in 2010 to run the Work Programme with large national contracts, some of which were given to big companies with a limited track record. It may be time for a rethink.
"These figures now give a good benchmark for how employment programmes can be measured, and show that previous figures released by Ofsted on college’s employment outcomes outstrip the Work Programme by some margin. Colleges have, therefore, been outperforming other programmes for some time and AoC’s figures show that each college provides, on average, more than 1,000 unemployed people with training every year, that's 220,000 across our member colleges.
"Ultimately we need to look at how we can work together and discover the best way to get people into employment. There are a lot of disparate stakeholders working in the same space and if we want to be successful in finding people work then the best approach is to work together.
"It is hard to speculate because there are so many factors in play. However, this is the time to appraise the best methods and break away from the current trend of silo thinking. At this stage people are being let down and that must come to an end."