The public perception of a flagship programme to help the unemployed has been damaged due to long-term failings, Waltham Forest Council has admitted.

Despite a large investment over a number of years Worknet has repeatedly failed to meet targets, often helping only a fraction of the people it was supposed to.

But organisations contracted to deliver the scheme often blamed the council for failing to provide adequate support.

And it has now emerged that current contractor Reed has also failed to meet minimum requirements.

A report by council officer Sally Agass to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Sib Committee states that "the vast majority of clients could not be progressed" up until the end of 2012.

It also revealed the council's "main concern" is that Reed will not be able to perform adequately this year.

This is partly blamed on what is described as "poor quality caseload" from previous contractor Kennedy Scott.

Despite the problems, an audit of Worknet by Deloitte and Touche only found what is described as minor failings in contract management.

In conclusion, Ms Agass said: "As a result of historical issues that have occurred during the delivery of Worknet contracts, in particular early termination of contracts...that have caused a degree of inconsistent delivery, the public perception of Worknet as a brand has been somewhat damaged.

"We are currently considering whether or not to continue using the Worknet brand."

A committee of councillors has been established to investigate what went wrong with the programme.

Performance on Worknet contracts are reported to Hackney Council as the lead borough on Olympics-related employment schemes.

Police recently decided to drop a criminal investigation into charity O-Regen, which had close ties to Waltham Forest Council and was contracted to deliver jobs under Worknet.

The probe was launched after a complaint of fraud by Hackney Council, which is considering legal action over the issue.

Worknet's problems come as further embarrassment to Waltham Forest Council after historic failings relating to money earmarked to help the borough's most vulnerable people.

An independent review found widespread, long-term mismanagement of money intended to help poor areas resulting in little evidence that anyone was helped.

The council has never revealed whether anyone was disciplined or sacked due to the failings.