Improving Employment Outcomes: Empowering the Social Sector Through Social Investment

This paper has been developed by the major social investors and social finance intermediaries in order to aid thinking by Government about the design and commissioning of future employment support programmes. 

Our collective belief is that social sector organisations, whether charities or social enterprises, have potential to support a greater number of jobseekers enter and sustain work.  This belief is backed by the recent State of the Sector Survey by the Employment Related Services Association, which found that many social sector organisations see themselves as having strong organisational ability, relationships and reputation often honed through learning from strongly performance based contracts, and that there is an appetite amongst many to grow their services in the employment related services market. Additionally, in its election manifesto, the Conservative Party highlighted the role of charities in successfully delivering aspects of the Work Programme and committed to building on this type of innovative approach in the future.

We believe that social investors and social finance intermediaries could play a bigger role in helping to unlock more of this social sector potential.  This paper therefore proposes key market design principles and procurement practices that, if implemented, would support social sector involvement in the future provision of services and deliver better outcomes for jobseekers with the most complex needs, underpinned by the social investor and social finance community.