Government work scheme hailed success

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ALMOST a thousand long-term unemployed people living in South Yorkshire have been helped into jobs through the Government’s Work Programme.

Ministers say the scheme is ‘succeeding in getting people off benefits and into work.’

For the three months from April to July, 380 people in Sheffield, 200 in Doncaster and Rotherham, and 170 people in Barnsley were helped into work.

Steven Clarke, 23, from Barnsley, has been among the success stories, and found a job as a care worker at Citizenship First Sheffield – a support service for people with learning disabilities.

He said: “I am really happy with all the support I have received.”

Nathan Allen, 21, of Bentley, Doncaster, has secured a 12-month contract as an administration apprentice.

He said: “I am gaining more and more experience and skills.”

The Government said 19 per cent of participants have spent at least six consecutive months in work.

But the Unite trade union said it was a ‘dismal failure’ that only 3.3 per cent of participants had kept their jobs beyond six months.