[holding answer 12 January 2010]: The Department for Work and Pensions contracts with prime contractors. It is for them to manage the relationship with sub-contractors on the basis of their commercial judgement and their view of what best meets the needs of customers. As Provider-led Pathways to Work develops, we would expect to see some changes in sub-contracting arrangements in the light of experience and in response to changing market conditions.
No prime contractors have withdrawn from delivering Pathways to Work provision. There were 79 sub-contractors delivering Pathways to Work when contracts were let. Some of these organisations were sub-contracting to more than one prime contractor and some were delivering in more than one location.
Of the original 79 sub-contractors involved in delivering Pathways to Work, six (8 per cent) sub-contractors have withdrawn from delivery. Four of these sub-contractors were delivering in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex areas. The remaining two sub-contractors were delivering in Devon and Cornwall and the Black Country districts respectively.