Lack of voluntary and community sector (VCS) involvement in the Work Programme has the potential to worsen rather than improve employment inequalities in the Capital, according to the London Voluntary Service Council (LVCS).
In a report launched earlier this month, the LVSC highlighted how only two of the 25 subcontracted VCS organisations had received job seeker referrals raising doubts that vulnerable groups such as lone parents and the disabled were getting the support they needed.
In addition, the providers reported that prime contractors were simply passing the high risk outcome-based pricing structure onto groups in their supply chain, regardless of size or capacity of the subcontractor. In particular, TUPE obligations were viewed as a financial hindrance.
All of this had contributed to very low confidence levels that the Work Programme will succeed in helping the unemployed back into work.
The LVCS is recommending that VCS subcontractors are given greater certainty around price and volumes so they can plan effectively, and that government should provide clear guidance about what a good prime-subcontractor relationship should look like, among other things.
"The success of the Work Programme will be instrumental in Mayoral employment equality targets being met in London," said Alison Blackwood, Head of Policy at LVSC.
To download a copy of the report visit http://www.lvsc.org.uk/campaigns/work-programme-in-london.aspx