Measures which aim to improve the Work Programme for voluntary sector subcontractors have been agreed by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Recommendations it has accepted from a sector review group include longer tendering times, best-practice masterclasses to help charities tender, and a toolkit to help charities to understand the necessary financial modelling and to work through the tendering process.
Read more at Civil Society News, http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/18787/dwp_promises_measures_to_improve_charities_experience_of_the_work_programme
Two Third Force News articles on Scottish devolution issues (out of several more):
The delay of devolving the Work Programme due to an extension of contracts is unwelcome.
The chief executive of Faith in Community Scotland discusses the aftermath of the referendum and Smith Commission, and where Scottish civil society must go from here, http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-blogs/social-justice-and-poverty/ten-weeks.
Research has discovered that volunteer labour is worth, on average, 36 per cent of the total cost of managing Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s protected sites. Researchers were surprised to find that there appears to be no link between social deprivation in an area and numbers of volunteers. http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=1414.
New on Voluntary Action History Society website, an article gathering together government-led volunteering initiatives for the unemployed, in ‘Unemployed and working for free – history repeating?’ » Continue reading news item ... “Volunteering in conservation and unemployment”
Research into the Work Programme undertaken by the Third Sector Research Centre “casts further doubt on the quality of services being delivered, particularly to those furthest from the labour market”.
TSRC news release, or ‘Does sector matter? Understanding the experiences of providers in the Work Programme’ working and briefing papers (pdf, 741lkb/136KB).
Charity chief executives body ACEVO along with Shaw Trust and Careers Development Group has launched an inquiry to examine and address the challenges that third sector Work Programme providers of all sizes and specialisms are likely to face over the next few years.
See announcement at http://www.acevo.org.uk/acevo/cdg-work-programme-review.