A new Cabinet sub-committee wants to create 25,000 jobs in the third sector by 2011 by removing barriers to not-for-profit organisations winning central government contracts.
Ministers from eight Whitehall departments, including the Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government, are expected to attend the first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the Third Sector on 1 December.
The committee, which was announced in the summer, will look at barriers to third sector organisations delivering public service contracts and suggest ways of removing them. It will be coordinated by the Office of the Third Sector.
It is the first time a Cabinet committee has focused exclusively on the voluntary sector.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said no data existed on the number of third sector employees involved in delivering public service contracts.
But he said the OTS would be collecting this data and combining it with figures on the number of staff working in the sector to give a clear indication of employment levels.
"The focus is always on improving public services, but to do that we want to involve the third sector more," he added.
The project is being delivered by a new 11-person team called the OTS 'contracting unit'. It will be led by Hilary Norman, a deputy director at the OTS.