The Government’s Work Programme is not effective for people with disabilities, with only 1,000 people finding work for more than 6 months through it, disability charity Scope has claimed.

Figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions on the  Work Programme show that out of 79,000 employment and support allowance claimants referred to the programme, only 1,000 – 1.3% - have been in work for six months. Overall, 4,769 (6%) job starts were achieved, according to Employment Related Services Association (ERSA).

Overall, only 3.53% of people on the Work Programme found a job for six months or more – way short of the Government’s 5.5% target. However, it appears that the results are even worse for people with disabilities.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, said the figures show that the system “is not working for disabled people” and called for the Government to re-think its approach to disability employment.

“We have known for some time now that the Government's fitness to work test is deeply flawed and is wrongly pushing many disabled people onto the Work Programme.

“Today we learn that only 1.3% of disabled people claiming employment and support allowance have actually found a job through the Work Programme.

“These shocking figures indicate a system that is not working for disabled people.

“Disabled people want to work but face multiple barriers such as a lack of skills and experience, confidence and even negative attitudes from some employers.

“They need tailored and targeted support to find a job and the Work Programme just doesn't offer them this.

“We desperately need the Government to re-think its approach if we want to see more disabled people in work in the future.”