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Does sector matter? – understanding the experiences of providers in the work programme

Rees, James and Taylor, Rebecca and Damm, Chris (2013) Does sector matter? – understanding the experiences of providers in the work programme. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.


URL of Published Version: http://tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=oJrkSIkyQyg%3d&tabid=500


Employment services, in the UK as elsewhere, are increasingly delivered outside of the traditional public sector, by organisations from the third, private and even by other constituent parts of the public sector. The Work Programme was launched in a policy environment in which the role of the third sector was particularly promoted by ministers, yet at the same time concerns about the sector’s role and its perceived marginalisation in large scale high-risk contracts have dogged the Programme. There remains a lack of evidence about what, if anything, is genuinely distinctive about the experiences of third sector organisations compared to providers from other sectors. This paper seeks to explore the experiences of different providers and begins by outlining how the third sector’s role in welfare to work has evolved from 1997 and highlights the emergence of particular issues associated with the third sector organisations (TSOs) delivering employment services. It then draws on interviews with key informants and subcontractors from all sectors in the Work Programme to explore issues around the squeezing out of TSOs, low flows of clients to subcontractors and the ‘creaming and parking’ of hard to help customers. Ultimately it concludes that sector is not the most important factor in accounting for providers’ experiences of the Work Programme, and that it is intersected by providers’ size, the types of services they provide and crucially, the tier in which they sit in the supply chain.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Third Sector Research Centre

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Date:01 January 2013
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Employment services, welfare to work, supply chain, third sector, public sector, private sector, the Work Programme.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre
ID Code:1789

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