The third sector delivering employment services: an evidence review

Document type
Literature review
Damm, Christopher
Third Sector Research Centre
Date of publication
3 January 2012
Working paper; 70
Social welfare
Material type

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The policy context surrounding the work of third sector organisations in employment services has undergone major changes since 1997. This review outlines the major developments in the field and collates the evidence pertaining to the third sector's experiences. It finds that the current situation can be seen as a major acceleration of the previous government’s policy model. This model is based upon a small number of large government contracts, greater flexibility for providers and payment contingent on results. The review explores the main areas of controversy arising from these developments. These include fears that the third sector is being squeezed out of employment services provision, reports of unfair relationships between third sector subcontractors and prime providers, and concern that the hardest to help individuals are not sufficiently provided for by current policy. The review concludes by highlighting areas of missing knowledge about third sector employment services that future research needs to address.

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