Skip to main content

Pathways Contractors

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether he has plans to require private and voluntary sector Pathways contractors to reach targets in relation to certain disability groups; (110582)

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that private and voluntary sector Pathways contractors are rewarded for outcomes in the form of claimants moving into (a) part-time work, (b) voluntary work and (c) training.

Any successful bid for a Pathways to Work contract will need to address the needs of all customers, taking into account the range of different health conditions and disabilities, on a tailored and flexible basis. We have no plans to set Pathways to Work contractors targets for particular disability groups. The Pathways approach to employment support is designed to treat each customer as an individual rather than as a member of a particular group or sub-group. Targets based on condition would frustrate this approach and ignore the fact that customers often have multiple health problems and barriers to work.

Pathways contracts are heavily outcome focused and will pay providers for job entries and for sustained employment. A job entry payment will be paid when a customer enters employment of at least eight hours a week. A sustained payment will be paid if, at the 26 week point, the customer is in employment of at least 16 hours a week and has been off benefit for at least 13 of the preceding 26 weeks.

We accept that full-time employment may not be achievable in the short term for many of our customers, and that for some the move towards employment will be a long-term goal.