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You have more power than you realise, Grayling tells sector

4 February 2011
Chris Grayling

‘If the big guys stuff the little guys than we’ll stuff the big guys.'

 

Chris Grayling, employment minister

The ‘big guys’ lining up to deliver the government’s new Work Programme will need to partner with the voluntary sector or go ‘straight to the back of the queue’, employment minister Chris Grayling warned last night.

Grayling said civil society organisations should be driving hard negotiations with the prime contractors.

‘Your hand is pretty strong,’ said Grayling. ‘We expect them to bring a coalition of organisations with them and that means using the best of the private, voluntary and public sector and if they don’t bring that group with them than they’re straight to the back of the queue.’

Grayling also said the government would move against prime contractors that didn’t fulfil their side of the bargain.

‘If the big guys stuff the little guys than we’ll stuff the big guys.

‘If a prime contractor wins the bid with a sexy list of sub contractors then dumps them the day after, then we will dump them in return,’ said Grayling.

Grayling made the comments after presenting the first of a series of lectures called Powerful Ideas jointly hosted at the British Museum by London Funders, the membership organisation of funders and investors in London’s voluntary and community sector, and CCLA, the investment manager for charities, churches and local authorities.

Grayling argued that the payment by results structure behind the Work Programme was a powerful idea that would revolutionise the way government works.

He said that getting rid of prescriptive government service contracts would unleash creativity and create perpetual benefits.

‘It’s a challenge and a lot more difficult to do then the previous programme where money was pretty much guaranteed to flow in [to providers].

‘It means the Work Programme has no limits,’ said Grayling. ‘The more people who get back into work the more the state saves and the more money the state then has to pay for the programmes to get more people into work.

‘We’ve been very careful to ensure there is no simple way to make shed loads of money cruising along, under performing but I will be delighted if people doing the Work Programme are very successful financially by getting people back into work.

‘I think this is the pathfinder for how government will do business,’ said Grayling.

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