Department for Work and Pensions
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Massive boost for the Big Society as almost 300 voluntary sector organisations named as part of the Work Programme

Almost 300 voluntary sector organisations are to be part of a massive national programme to tackle long term benefit dependency in what will be a massive boost to the Big Society, announced Employment Minister Chris Grayling recently.

Voluntary sector groups such as Mencap, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Prince’s Trust and Action for Blind People are all going to be involved in delivering the Work Programme.

The Work Programme is the next step in the Government's radical welfare plans, and will provide a completely new approach to supporting people back to work.

The 18 private and voluntary sector organisations named as preferred bidders today will get the freedom to design support that actually works, rather than having to do what's prescribed by Whitehall. In return providers will be paid by results - with more for those who get the hardest to help off benefits and into work.

Launching the Work Programme at a visit to Action Acton, a West London charity named as one of the successful sub contractors, Chris Grayling said:

"This is a radical change to the way we deliver back to work support in this country. For the first time those charities and voluntary sector organisations across the country with the know how to help people with real difficulties in their communities get back to work are being given the chance to do just that.

"Millions of people on out of work benefits who have previously been shunted from dole queue to training room to dole queue again will finally be able to access support that's built around their needs."

The organisations named today will be paid through the benefit savings made from the people they help get back to work – the first time such an approach has been tried on such a large scale. Over the course of the seven years the contracts will run, the total value is likely to be between £3bn - £5bn.

In the first two years the Work Programme is expected to help around a million people, making it the largest single welfare to work programme this country has ever seen. However, the Programme is effectively uncapped which means if more people need the tailor made support the Programme offers – they will receive it.

The organisations named as preferred bidders will now go onto contract signing and the Programme will begin in June when the first customers are referred from Jobcentre Plus.

Notes to editors:

  1. The contracts have been arranged geographically across 18 regions, with at least two contracts per region, with a total of 40 contracts being awarded.
  2. In total there are 16 private sector and 2 voluntary sector organisations as prime contractors. Amongst the sub contractors there are 289 voluntary sector organisations.
  3. The final list of prime providers is:

Work Programme Preferred Bidders – April 2011

Scotland Ingeus UK Limited Working Links  
Wales Rehab JobFit * Working Links Wales  
North East Avanta Enterprise Limited (TNG) Ingeus UK Limited  
North East Yorkshire & Humber G4S Newcastle College Group**  
West Yorkshire Business Employment Services Training (BEST) Ltd Ingeus UK Ltd  
South Yorkshire A4E Ltd Serco Ltd  
North West(Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria and Lancashire) A4E Ltd Ingeus UK Ltd  
North West(Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington) Avanta Enterprise Limited (TNG) G4S Seetec
East Midlands A4E Ltd Ingeus UK Ltd  
West Midlands (Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country) FourstaR Employment & Skills Ltd Newcastle College Group** Pertemps
West Midlands (Coventry, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Marches) ESG Serco Ltd  
East of England Ingeus UK Ltd Seetec  
West London  Ingeus UK Ltd Maximus Employment UK LTD Reed in Partnership
East London A4E Ltd Careers Development Group (CDG) * Seetec
South East (Thames Valley, Hampshire and IOW) A4E Ltd Maximus Employment UK LTD  
South East (Surrey, Sussex and Kent) Avanta Enterprise Limited (TNG) G4S (Private Sector)  
South West (Gloucester, Wiltshire and West of England) JHP Group Limited Rehab JobFit *  
South West (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset) Prospects Services Ltd Working Links  

 * Voluntary sector organisation
** Public sector organisation

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