Acevo welcomes back-to-work payments

The Department for Work and Pensions will pay organisations according to the number of people they help into employment

Chief executives body Acevo has welcomed proposed changes by the Department for Work and Pensions that would see payments to organisations delivering back to work contracts rise the more people they help into employment.

The DWP announced in last week's white paper, Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future,that it proposed to introduce an accelerator payment scheme for organisations across all sectors that have contracts with the department to help people back into work.

The scheme is designed to prevent contractors ‘parking' the most difficult people to place in work, and ‘creaming' the easier. It was first mooted in the DWP's welfare reform green paper, published earlier this year.

Peter Kyle, deputy chief executive at Acevo, said: "A lot of work will need to go into getting the accelerator payment system right, but the commitment to it represents a fundamental step forward for third sector providers."

The white paper also upped the ante ahead of the publication next February of the Acevo/DWP Third Sector Taskforce report into sector involvement in delivering DWP services, he said.

"Clearly the success or failure of these reforms will depend to a large extent on the work of the third sector," said Kyle. "If the Government wants no one left behind, the ability to engage in effective partnership with the sector will be critical."

The accelerator payments programme, which will be piloted in five areas in 2011, would allow private and voluntary sector providers that invest in back-to-work programmes to be paid out of the resulting benefit savings.

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