By Marcus Leach

As the Government Work Programme launches today (Friday), Carmen Watson, the Managing Director of recruitment firm Pertemps, says a long term view is necessary for success.

The Government is committing £5 billion to a radical scheme that aims to transform the lives of millions of people on long term benefits. It plans to break the cycle of unemployment by incentivising companies to take on staff and reintegrating them into the working life.

In its first two years, it will help two million people, making it the largest ever scheme of its kind. Carmen Watson says that the programme needs the adequate infrastructure to ensure workers are matched with sustainable employment.

“Despite widespread optimism, there are still currently 2.6 million people out of work, many of whom are long term unemployed so this is a huge task. The Work Programme will need to engage and educate employers to a greater extent if it wants to enable sustainable employment and create a competitive market," Watson said.

“All key stakeholders need to collaborate to minimise any potential risk and chances of failure — this will include cooperation of between a myriad of professionals including education providers, government, employers and recruitment companies. Only when workers are placed in jobs they can keep in the long term will they become consumers on a wider basis and enable the scheme to pay for itself.”

A number of private sector and voluntary organisations have been appointed as contractors and sub contractors to enable the rollout of the scheme over the next seven years. They will have the freedom to design their own plans that are fit for purpose and will be paid for their results.

Carmen continues, “A vital part of the success of the programme will be the use of expert recruitment companies to support the process. Once the adequate training has taken place, firms such as Pertemps can ensure the candidates are matched with suitable companies and those employers who have invested in creating jobs will be rewarded with the right people.”

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