Big Society, THE GRAPEVINE! news, comment & a bit of gossip

– Work Programme leaves charities fearful of their future

Charities fearful about their future

The Guardian has reported today that when the employment minister Chris Grayling launched the government’s radical Work Programme in April, he promised that the “Big Society” would be at the heart of the nationwide scheme to get the long-term unemployed back into work

Yet four months on, many charities, including those with a long history in helping people back into employment, tell a very different story.

Outsourcing back-to-work policies isn’t new: Labour had begun to use a growing number of private and voluntary sector providers through the Flexible New Deal and the Pathways to Work programme, which tried to get long-term sickness benefit claimants back into the workforce.

Duncan Shrubsole Head of Policy (Crisis) concludes the Guardian article with ;

“What we fear will happen is, in two years’ time, people will wake up and say: ‘We have got this a bit wrong, we need to go and speak again to the voluntary organisations,’ and they’ll find that they’ve had to shut down their services and the expertise has been lost.”

Read the Guardian article here

Comment from yesMinister

These are indeed challenging and uncertain times. The article in the Guardian correctly sums up the mood and the fears.

However, there is an alternative view point which says that much more needs to be done to drive up performance and bring an outcomes focused approach to the Third Sector…. (note I said Third Sector not Charities).

Quite naturally the drive towards profit maximisation through increased performance on outcomes focused contracts needs to be balanced and have regard to supporting the Charitable sector to do what it has always wanted to do…. provide charitable services for the ‘Public Benefit’: we/the government must not lose sight of this irrespective of what ill winds blow across these shores

Eyullahemaye Henry

Operations & Information consultant

1 Comment

  1. Until recently I have worked within the public sector leading Welfare to Work delivery programmes and working extensively with private providers and the third sector.What many feared would happen has and the third sector may well be marginalised by private providers in their quest to maximise profit from their contracts. However there is significant potential for both sectors to work together to deliver better outcomes for unemployed people, which is after all what the Work Programme is about, but Work Programme Providers need to be much more inclusive in their to third sector involvement

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