A mid-term review of third sector involvement in the Work Programme
Damm, Christopher (2014)


The Work Programme is the coalition government’s flagship employment programme. Since its conception, it has emerged as a critical case in debates concerning the third sector’s involvement in commissioned public services. After over two and a half years of delivery, this article reconsiders
the concerns raised by elements of the third sector prior to the programme’s launch. Drawing on a range of published research findings and documentary evidence, it considers three main areas of debate: whether third sector organisations have been squeezed out of provision, whether they have
been mistreated when working as subcontractors, and whether the programme has proved successful for their client base. It concludes by reflecting on the third sector’s role in the Work Programme, and government-funded quasi-markets more generally.


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