PwC targets social enterprises in Work Programme bid
PricewaterhouseCoopers have launched a bid for the government's new Work Programme, based on collaborative work with social entreprise partners including the Social Enterprise Coalition, Tomorrow's People and others...
via Chrisanthi Giotis, socialenterpriselive.com
Financial services powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers has launched a bid to dramatically improve welfare to work provision by working with social enterprises.
The global giant is partnering with the Social Enterprise Coalition (SEC), the social enterprise Tomorrow's People and the global technology company Wipro in an attempt to secure the contract for the south west of England in the government's upcoming Work Programme.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) government and public sector director Daniel Burke told Social Enterprise Magazine there could be a 'step change in performance', partly through encouraging smaller social enterprises into the welfare to work market.
Burke said: 'We started this process from the perspective, not that working with social enterprises is a box tick, but that you don't get better outcomes unless you involve social enterprises in the delivery- hopefully the government will agree with us and give us the contract.'
The partnership is called Working Together and should also include 30-40 specialist providers as sub-contractors.
To help small social enterprises enter the welfare to work arena, PwC will be providing business mentoring to organisations in its supply chain- using resources from its existing corporate social responsibility budget.
Burke said: 'As part of trying to encourage new smaller social enterprises into the market we will provide a package of support that could include business mentoring, support for business planning or help with raising finance, so that people who work with us will get benefits as a whole business not just as sub-contractors.'
However, Burke warned that in return for the package of supportm there would be thorough due diligence carried out and high expectations of performance.
SEC is looking to hear from any social enterprises interested in getting involved in the Work Programme, particularly as employers.
SEC head of policy Ceri Jones said: 'We want to build a broad, diverse and flexible supply chain that recognises that while social enterprises and voluntary organisations often have real expertise, they are not necessarily large scale businesses.'
Burke said that he had also been talking to Social Enterprise London and was looking to learn lessons from the way social enterprises worked in the former goverment's £1bn Future Jobs Fund.
Tomorrow's People welfare to work director Steve Swann said he believed this consortia would help achieve the 'high level of sustained employment for participants' which was important to his organisation.
Swann said: 'We believe that the combination of PwC's commercial and financial capability, Wipro's IT expertise and Tomorrow's People's strong record of helping people from disadvantaged communities to find sustained employment, brings together the best of private and charitable sectors.'
PwC is also involved in Work Programme bids in London and the south east of England. However, in these regions the lead organisation in the bids is Skills Training UK.
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