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Today ERSA welcomes the publication of the DWP Commissioning Strategy and is pleased to see a large number of its recommendations incorporated into the design principles for future employment services.

In particular, ERSA welcomes the Department’s recognition that future programmes should have a stronger service fee element in relation to harder to help jobseekers and that the sector should be supported to mature and grow.

ERSA also welcomes the commitment by DWP to integrate services further through joint commissioning. This has long been called for by the provider community and ERSA looks forward to supporting the department in delivering holistic services that make better use of existing local health and skills services.

Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of ERSA, said:

“Evidently the Department recognises the expertise and knowledge that sits within the employment support sector. We are encouraged to see so many of our recommendations adopted by the commissioning strategy and look forward to working with the department on the next phase of implementation. 

“In order to ensure the most effective services are being delivered by the best providers, we must continue to work together and build on valuable past experience. The focus going forward should be on supporting the most complex of the long term unemployed jobseekers. “