What is the reality for charities delivering the government'​s welfare-to-work scheme? Kaye Wiggins finds out how one is coping with its contract and the jobseekers who come its way.

It is a dreary winter morning at the offices of a charity subcontracted to the government'​s flagship welfare-to-work scheme, the Work Programme. The charity is letting me spend the day watching how the programme is run, on the condition that it remains anonymous.

Third Sector has decided to approach a charity directly, without approval from theDepartment for Work and Pensions, in order to gain full access to the programme and a frank account from staff about the charity'​s experience of delivering it. All identities have been changed to protect the charity'​s identity.

Six unemployed people are due to arrive at 10am, but only two have turned up by half past so Charles, who runs the programme, begins. "​It'​s quite common that people don'​t turn up,"​ he says. "​We make at least three attempts to contact them over the following week by phone, post, email and text message. But if after that they don'​t arrive, we just give their name back to our prime contractor. They'​re not our responsibility after that."​

Most jobseekers are referred to the charity if they have not found work after taking part in a scheme run by it'​s prime contractor. That is the case for the two jobseekers here today

Mor on the Third Sector website


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