Work Programme

The single programme offered (from June 2011) by Jobcentre Plus to support people receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) to get back into work.  Incapacity Benefit and Income Support claimants can volunteer to join it.


The programme will be delivered by regional contactors who may choose to sub-contract to local specialist services.  People’s support is determined by the programme provider and is based on individual need rather than defined by the benefit they claim.  The support will be available for at least two years and, as providers will be rewarded for helping people into sustainable employment, there is incentive for help to be targeted and effective.  Jobcentre Plus advisors will meet regularly with people on the Work Programme and offer a menu of additional activities (e.g. work experience, volunteering, self-employment guidance, careers advice) to help support their return to work. Plans are still being made about what will follow the Work Programme if individuals are still unemployed after two years.


There is no online information yet for applicants about the Work Programme; enquire at your local Jobcentre Plus office.  Find information and contact details for local offices via http://ww.direct.gov.uk  >employment > right hand box ‘useful contacts’ > Jobcentre Plus > scroll down to Jobcentre Plus offices.


  • It is mandatory for people who have recently moved from Incapacity Benefit to JSA to be referred to the Work Programme within 3 months.  People claiming income related ESA who are placed in the ‘work related activity group’ are required to join the programme within 3 months of being fit for work.  People claiming ESA, IS and IB can choose to be referred at any time.


Information correct as of 01-May-2011

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