Is the Work Programme working?
10 October 2012
Following on from previous research and work over the last year with their Special Interest Group, NCVO are building a detailed picture of what it’s like to be a Work Programme subcontractor.
They have found that, in many areas, not much progress has been made since they asked similar questions in late 2011 about how well the programme was functioning.
The main issues from the latest research are that:
- There are real concerns about the sustainability of contracts with around 70% of organisations fearing that their contract will not be viable for its full term
- Money in the Work Programme is tight, and this, amongst other factors, is leading to almost half of those surveyed having to subsidise delivery out of their own reserves
- The number of referrals to subcontractors remain significantly lower than expected
- The majority of respondents replied that prime contractors are not sharing performance data with their subcontractors.
Some members are saying that concerns about the programme are overstated. NCVO agree that the picture isn’t all bad – there’s lots of good practice out there that they’re very keen to hear about and share. Their concern is that without specialist providers included, and of course many of those will be in the sector, that the programme won’t succeed and that some of the most vulnerable jobseekers will lose out.
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