Employment and Skills

Serco: the first Welfare to Work provider to achieve Merlin Standard

Serco: the first Welfare to Work provider to achieve Merlin Standard

Serco Welfare to Work is the first Work Programme prime provider to have been accredited with the Merlin Standard a new accreditation service which sets a standard of behaviour designed to encourage excellence in supply chain management.

The Work Programme is a UK Government initiative, which provides a coordinated package of support to long-term unemployed individuals, with the aim of supporting them back into sustainable work that is right for them. There are 18 prime contractors delivering the programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Serco delivers the Work Programme inCoventryand Warwickshire, Staffordshire and The Marches, and South Yorkshire through a diverse network of 33 expert local organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Gareth Matthews, Business Director , Serco Welfare to Work said,

“Serco is delighted to be the first Prime Contractor to be awarded the Merlin Standard. It recognises our commitment to working in partnership with the very best local providers to deliver a high-level of service excellence to meet the diverse needs of our customers”.

DWP spokesperson said,

“We were pleased with Serco’s demonstration of the Merlin Principles and the support the organisation offers its supply chain partners. The Merlin Standard is designed to encourage excellence in supply chain management by prime providers ensuring fair treatment of subcontractors and development of healthy high performing supply chains.”

The Merlin assessment, which will take place every two years, focuses on four key principles: Supply Chain Design, Commitment, Conduct and Review – against which prime providers are assessed to achieve the accreditation.

Serco provided the assessors with an overview of the activities underpinning these key Principles. The assessors then interviewed a random selection of subcontractors to validate these activities, providing an indication of how Serco’s supply chain management is received by the subcontractors.

Serco achieved level 4 (where 1=Insufficient and 5= Excellent) with an overall marking of 74%; a good score. Feedback from the assessment was extremely positive and assessors received complimentary reports of Serco’s supportive and challenging approach.

Achieving Merlin accreditation could also be a requirement for new business opportunities and increased market share as is the case with Work Programme providers.

There is growing interest in achieving Merlin accreditation by organisations within welfare to work as well as other sectors.

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