The Regions, Welfare to Work

– Grayling says use smaller voluntary sector providers

Organisations winning contracts under the New Work Programme will have to use smaller voluntary sector providers.

They will also face losing their contracts if they do not treat them reasonably, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed.

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  1. An interesting response from Steve Kerr at the LVSC – I was at the event he refers to and was struck by the representatives on the Primes all looked like failed contestants of The Apprentice!

    However – I have no such confidence in the Merlin standard – it really doesn’t make any sense that private companies are not going to make funding and provision preferences based on low risk and profitability! After all, like all private sector companies, [like ours for instance] the motive is bottom line and profitability before altruism!

    I remeber speaking to lord Freud about this several years ago when he was concerned that the prime model had been introduced in haste and that there needed to be a transition between direct contracting provision and prime contracting. Clearly, the need to downsize DWP overtook that need and there fore we should ask; DHas the need for expediancy replaced the goal for effectiveness?

  2. Speaking for London, the primes certainly seem willing to engage with the sector. We had a very fruitful meeting with the London primes a couple of weeks back through our third sector provider network –

    While the political and departmental rhetoric around protecting small specialist providers is encouraging, it remains to be seen how this will play out in practice – how will DWP enfore the Merlin standard? How much high quality specialist provision will be lost in the post-March 2011 funding drought before the Work Programme even gets underway? And most of all – will differential pricing etc in the WoPro ITT actually result in better outcomes for the most disadvantaged jobseekers?

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