I AGREE with your leader about the UK Government's Work Programme ("The programme that isn't working", The Herald November 28) when you say that "the current set-up is a bad deal for clients and taxpayers".

With figures showing that barely 3.5% of people on the programme have found sustainable employment; what more proof do we need that it isn't working? The UK Government can't afford to keep investing in these punitive schemes.

The third sector in Scotland has proved that it can help young unemployed people find jobs through schemes like Community Jobs Scotland (CJS). An independent evaluation of the CJS initiative found 40% of young people entered full-time employment after completing their CJS contract and a further 11% went into training or education, or took up volunteering opportunities. These results speak for themselves. The UK Government needs to stop trying to sweep this poor performance under the carpet and focus on finding a way to replicate schemes like CJS across the country.

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John Downie,

Director of public affairs,

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, 15 Mansfield Place , Edinburgh.