Today, the Department for Work and Pensions is publishing the next set of official statistics on mandatory work activity, accompanied by an impact assessment, which forms the first part of the evaluation of the policy. Later today I will place a copy of the impact assessment in the House Library.
I am also pleased to announce the Government have decided to expand the mandatory work activity scheme.
The expansion will enable Jobcentre Plus to make between 60,000 and 70,000 referrals to mandatory work activity each year, based on the current experience of the scheme, at a cost of an additional £5 million per annum. This decision has been taken as the result of careful consideration of the positive impacts demonstrated within the impact assessment.
The extra places will help ensure Department for Work and Pensions advisers can provide those jobseekers that require it the opportunities to gain experience of work and help focus their minds on their search for work.
In addition, the Department is currently evaluating the impact of a trial scheme carried out in London, Wales and the west midlands where most jobseekers who incurred a second sanction were specifically considered for a referral to mandatory work activity.
We will make a further announcement about this trial and our future plans later in the year.