Recruiters can help make Work Programme work
Recruiters can help make Work Programme work, says Chair of REC Diversity & Inclusion Forum
The Government recently announced preferred bidders for 40 Work Programme contracts for the delivery of back-to-work support services. The REC is currently in dialogue with some of these welfare providers to explore possible opportunities for recruiters.
The Work Programme is part of the Governments welfare reform plans and replaces previous schemes such as the Flexible New Deal. Prime Contractors will be responsible for delivering a comprehensive support programme for job-seekers and developing a network of suppliers. One of the features of the programme is that funding can only be drawn down once employment has been secured.
Underlining the possible opportunities for recruiters, Sarah Gordon, Associate Director of the Sammons Group and Chair of the REC Diversity & Inclusion Forum says:
If there is one thing that recruiters can do it is to secure job outcomes. Organisations with responsibility for delivering the Work Programme are interested in the expertise and contacts that agencies can provide. Our priority is to take stock of how this could work in practice and to engage with these organisations.
Agencies are already working constructively with Jobcentre Plus and have previously demonstrated the value they can bring to Government-funded employment initiatives. There may be opportunities for recruiters to form part of the local-level delivery process on the Governments Work Programme and we will explore this further over the coming weeks.
The next meeting of the RECs Diversity & Inclusion Forum on April 19 will include a specific focus on the Work Programme with external participants from welfare providers and from ERSA (the Employment Related Services Association). The Forum meeting will also cover implementation of the Equality Act, promotion of the REC/Jobcentre Plus Diversity Pledge and latest client perspectives on equality and diversity issues.