Pathways to Work

In 2008–09, £94m (38%) of Pathways to Work programme expenditure on employment support did not deliver additional jobs. Between 2005-10 the Pathways programme cost £793m but did not provide a net return to the Exchequer. “Although there has been a reduction of 125,000 claimants in receipt of incapacity benefits between February 2005 and August 2009, the Department accepted that Pathways will have contributed only modestly to this reduction, and cannot determine precisely its contribution” (House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, 2010).

“Contractors have universally failed by considerable margins to meet their contractual targets for helping claimants who are required to go through Pathways. They have performed worse than Jobcentre Plus areas, although recent improvements have narrowed the difference. Despite being paid £100 million in 2008–09, providers claim not to have made a profit from their contracts. The Department agreed to pay £24 million in service fees early in view of contractor cash flow problems, although we consider the need for this was questionable given the large size of some of the organisations involved. The Department had an objective to build a healthy market, but has failed to develop an adequate understanding of the supply chain. It has not monitored how well prime contractors are sharing rewards and risks with the more than 80 specialist sub-contractors involved…..” (ibid).