Charities to be given role in welfare

The government is looking into how to expand the role of voluntary organisations in getting people back into work.

James Purnell, work and pensions secretary, wants the third sector to play a greater role in ‘welfare-to-work’ reform and has launched a task force on the subject together with the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

But political analysts are questioning the timing of the announcement, coming less than a week after the Tories released a green paper with similar proposals.

The taskforce will investigate ways in which the third sector can contribute to welfare provision and employment.

Tony Hawkhead, chair of the taskforce said: “Organisations within the third sector work with some of the most excluded members of society and can play a pivotal role in helping people move off welfare and into work.”