Voluntary sector bodies in line for Pathways work

Voluntary sector organisations could land five contracts in the second phase of a government scheme to help people on incapacity benefits get back to work.

The Department for Work and Pensions identified the Shaw Trust as preferred bidder for contracts in three of the 16 regions in the Pathways to Work scheme, and Royal British Legion Industries for two. The charities will now hold exclusive talks with the DWP about running the services.

The Shaw Trust was the only voluntary organisation to win business in the first round of Pathways to Work contracts, sparking complaints that the procurement process was unfair to charities (Third Sector Online, 25 September).

Catherine A'Bear, chief officer, corporate affairs at the Shaw Trust, said the news had left the sector in a "better position". Advance UK confirmed it had missed out. Scout Enterprises (Western) and YMCA Training are not believed to have made the final cut.

A DWP spokesman said the list of winners would be announced in December.

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