From education to employment

Work Programme report calls for closer ties with charities

The Work Programme is failing people with multiple and complex needs and must work closer with charities to gain their expertise, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Its report, Stepping Stones, calls for immediate assessment of jobseekers so that they can be categorised by the nature of their needs and not just by the benefits they claim.

The recommendation was welcomed by the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), which also backed a call for more consultation with providers to tap into their experience in delivering effective employment support services.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA’s chief executive, said: “We need to treat every jobseeker as an individual. Getting this right at the commissioning stage means making sure funding and outcomes reflect the distance each jobseeker has to travel in order to secure employment.

“Employment providers play a central role in shaping these services and we look forward to working with the Department for Work and Pensions over the coming months to design a holistic model that integrates a range of employment-related services and meets all the needs of the most complex jobseekers.”

Natalie Thornhill

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