The government’s employment service, Jobcentre Plus, should be privatised to increase competition in the Welfare to Work sector, according to the Association of Learning Providers (ALP).
Graham Hoyle, ALP’s chief executive, called on the government to go further in its welfare reforms as the association revealed around 72% of its members received contracts today for the new Work Programme.
“We applaud the radical approach that the government has taken on reforms to welfare-to-work framework and the confidence which it has placed in the provider network todeliver sustainable results when unemployment is on the increase,” said Mr Hoyle.
“In keeping with the overall reform of public services, the next logical step is to privatise Jobcentre Plus and to allow it to compete with other providers in assisting people who have been out of work for a short or longer period.”
Under the government’s new Work Programme, providers will be referred clients from the Jobcentre Plus after one year of unemployment.
However, the ALP is also calling for jobseekers to be referred to providers earlier, arguing that the unemployed should not have to wait so long to receive specialist support.