Shaw Trust wins major share of Work Choice employment programme for disabled people

Charity named as preferred bidder in 16 out of 28 geographical areas for Department for Work and Pensions scheme

The Shaw Trust has been chosen to deliver more than half of the Government's new Work Choice programme.

The Department for Work and Pensions selected the Wiltshire-based organisation as its preferred bidder in 16 of the 28 geographical areas for the programme, which aims to get disabled people into work.

The trust, which is the largest voluntary sector provider of services to disabled people, was selected in preference to other voluntary and private organisations.

Work Choice, which succeeds specialist disability employment programmes Workstep, Work Preparation and the Job Introduction Scheme, pays providers to get disabled people into work. It is due to start in October.

Sally Burton, chief executive at the trust, said she was delighted.

"This has increased our overall footprint and enables the organisation to further use its knowledge and expertise in assisting disabled and disadvantaged people on their journey to employment and greater independence," she said.

"As the UK's most successful provider of Workstep – Shaw Trust has a 56 per cent progression rate of getting people into work, compared with the national average of only 9 per cent – we believe we are in an excellent position to deliver the new Work Choice provision."

Among the other winners, the DWP named social enterprise Pluss as its preferred bidder in two areas and Leonard Cheshire Disability in one area.

The list of preferred bidders is available here.

The shortlist of bidders is available here.

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