Third Sector Experiences of Work Programme Delivery



Egdell V, Dutton M & McQuaid R (2016) Third Sector Experiences of Work Programme Delivery. Journal of Social Policy, 45 (4), pp. 729-746.

This paper explores third sector organisational experiences of governmental policy change and implementation. Using a four-year longitudinal study of 13 third sector organisations (TSOs), it provides evidence based on the experiences of, and effects on, third sector organisations involved in the UK’s Work Programme in Scotland. The paper explores third sector experiences of the Work Programme during the preparation and introductory phase, as well as the effects of subsequent Work Programme implementation. By gathering evidence contemporaneously and longitudinally a unique in-depth analysis is provided of the introduction and implementation of a major new policy. The resource cost and the challenges to third sector ways of working, for the organisations in the Work Programme supply chain, as well as those not in the supply chain, are considered. The paper considers some of the responses adopted by the third sector to manage the opportunities and challenges presented to them through the implementation of the Work Programme. The paper also reflects on the broader context of the employability services landscape and raises questions as to whether, as a result of the manner in which the Work Programme was contracted, there is evidence of a move towards service homogenisation, challenging perceived TSO characteristics of service innovation and personalisation.

third sector; public policy; Work Programme; personalisation; employability

Journal of Social Policy: Volume 45, Issue 4

Publication date31/10/2016
Publication date online02/05/2016
Date accepted by journal18/02/2016
PublisherCambridge University Press