From education to employment

Six companies to deliver phase one of the Pathways to Work programme from December

Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary of State, will today announce the six training and employment companies who have been awarded contracts to deliver the next stage of the Government’s Pathways to Work programme.

The first six training providers who will deliver the Pathways to Work programme to those on incapacity benefits are Action for Employment Ltd (A4E); Seetec Ltd; Shaw Trust; TNG Ltd; Triage Central Ltd; and WorkDirections Ltd.

The successful contractors will deliver the programme in 15 Jobcentre Plus districts throughout the country from this December. A second phase of contracts will be announced later this year ensuring that anyone on Incapacity Benefits will have access to a local Pathways service by April next year.

Speaking at the Institute for Public Policy Research Conference, Peter Hain told delegates that he was striving for a “whole customer approach”, where people will receive the individual help and support they need in order to get into work, strengthening the role of Jobcentre Plus”, particularly early on in a benefit claim, and enhancing the role of the private and voluntary sector.

Peter Hain said: “It is a fact that Government does not have all the answers to meet every challenge. And so the private ““ and voluntary ““ sector must have an enhanced role to give individualised attention and support and to lever in new finance.”

“We will work with large providers. They can bring scale and integration. Smaller providers already have great records in delivering very specialised, innovative and targeted help that is essential to overcome deep seated problems. And we will continue to work with the voluntary sector which has produced extraordinary results with some of the hardest to reach people.”

The Pathways contracts will help prepare a key group of people for the work available through the new initiative of Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs) where leading employers will work with government to provide opportunities specifically for those individuals who have had difficulties in getting into work.

Commenting on their new contract, Mark Lovell, A4e Executive Chairman said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in Phase 1 of the Pathways roll out. The opportunity to work at the cutting edge of welfare reform at such an exciting time is great for A4e and the extensive supplier base we will be working with. Most importantly, in putting the customer at the heart of our approach, we can move thousands of individuals into sustainable employment, joining up with our extensive skills portfolio to provide a truly joined up example of how the UK’s skills, welfare and employment market can work in tandem to improve the lives ““ and livelihoods ““ of people on benefit who need a strong support mechanism to assist them into work and up-skill, support and re-skill them once in employment.”

Ian Charlesworth, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust who will deliver the programme in Manchester and Norfolk said: “As a national Charity, whose entire mission is about supporting people into sustainable employment, we bring a unique, innovative and client-centered approach to the delivery of public services. We are therefore especially delighted that Pathways will allow us to further extend the Trusts support to an even greater number of clients.

“Shaw Trust believes that everyone has the right to work. We have always worked hard to help people move from benefits and into work, whether through lobbying the government and inputting into the design of programmes or through the successful delivery of services. We look forward to helping ensure that Pathways to Work is a real success in reducing the number of people on benefits.”

Kate Carnegie, Managing Director, Triage Central Limited, said of their contract: “Having successfully worked closely with Jobcentre Plus, for over 10 years, as a private sector provider in the delivery of various Government Welfare to Work programmes, we are delighted to have been awarded the Pathways to Work contract for Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside. This is a tremendous vote of confidence by the Secretary of State in our methods, performance track record and quality of the staff here at Triage.”

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