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Employment Schemes

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when all prime contractors for the new Work Choice contracts will be informed of the outcome of their bid; what recent progress has been made in negotiations with potential Work Choice subcontractors; and if she will make a statement. (320178)

[holding answer 3 March 2010]: Following the completion of the invitation to tender stage of the procurement exercise for this programme, the intention is to notify all those organisations designated as preferred bidders by 5 March. Unsuccessful bidders will be notified during week commencing 15 March.

The sourcing team responsible for the procurement of Work Choice will be taking forward post tender discussions with the designated preferred bidders with the intention of agreeing and awarding contracts by 30 April 2010.

Although we evaluate the subcontractor supply chains, we do not directly get involved in subcontractor negotiations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether she has set a target time in which participants in the Work Choice programme move into unsupported employment; whether an individual target direction is determined for each programme participant; and in what ways a participant's individual circumstances are taken into account in Work Choice programme timetables. (320179)

[holding answer 3 March 2010]: There are no individual time constraints in which Work Choice participants are expected to move into unsupported employment. We will expect providers to focus on helping customers progress into sustainable open employment, wherever possible.

Support provided by Work Choice will be tailored to the individual needs of the customer. We want customers who need supported employment to get more consistent, quality support that helps them progress at work and ultimately into unsupported employment, where appropriate.

Work Choice providers and employers will work with the customer and agree an individual development plan, which is at the heart of their relationship. It is a living document, which will be reviewed regularly and adapted to the changing needs of the customer over what may be a long-term relationship, in order to help them progress in their career and stay in work.