Archive for February 1st, 2012

Media Release

1 February 2012

Immediate release

Two charities announce feasibility review into working more closely together


Two of the UK’s leading employment support charities, Shaw Trust and Careers Development Group (CDG) have today announced the commission of an independent feasibility review to explore working more closely together, which could lead to a merger of the two organisations.

The aim of the review is to explore if and how the two charities could together serve more workless people, including those with disabilities and those at disadvantage within society, to help them overcome the barriers they face in finding and staying in work. Working together would build on the individual strengths and experience the organisations both have.

John Briffitt, Chairman of Shaw Trust, said: “For the last thirty years, Shaw Trust has worked at the heart of the community; helping thousands of disabled or disadvantaged people to build confidence, motivation and the skills to find and sustain work. That mission continues but we also fully recognise the ever-growing challenge of delivering vital services to our clients with the realities of a more commercially driven Welfare State.

“We think that a blending of Shaw Trust and CDG may potentially better meet this challenge.  With shared values and a common purpose, it may bring about a stronger voice, more innovative services and most importantly, significant benefits for our clients across the UK.  We now want to confirm this and await the results of the feasibility review.”

Raoul Pinnell, Chairman of Careers Development Group, said: “The two charities have a similar ethos of care and support for those out of work, but with a slightly different focus in terms of their core customer group. CDG serves people who have been out of work for some time, while Shaw Trust works with people at disadvantage or with disabilities. This means the main programmes each delivers are complementary.

“The Department for Work and Pensions, which commissions us to support people to find and stay in work, rightly continues to demand high levels of performance and efficiency.

“The independent review will help us to conclude whether we can become part of a new force in the sector through the sharing of our experience and skills across a larger footprint. This will benefit more people and allow them to participate fully in society through gaining meaningful work.”

Notes to editors:


About Shaw Trust and Careers Development Group

Both Shaw Trust and Careers Development Group (CDG) believe that everyone has the right to employment, inclusion and independence, and a society in which employment is available to all.

Shaw Trust (www.shaw-trust.org.uk) started in the village of Shaw in Wiltshire. It was set up originally by five local people to help a small group of individuals achieve their employment aims. All were disabled, but each one had valuable skills and abilities. It became a registered charity in 1982.

Careers Development Group (www.cdguk.org) started in Wandsworth, London. The organisation was founded by several members of Wandsworth Council to specifically work with those who had been unemployed for a significant period of time.It became a registered charity in 1982.
Shaw Trust is now a national charity which last year supported 69,000 disabled and disadvantaged people to prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently. It is the UK’s largest third sector provider and one of the Government’s lead partners in the delivery of employment programmes for disabled and disadvantaged people.

CDG is a leading welfare to work charity with nearly 30 years’ experience of helping people find and stay in work. The charity supported 27,000 people in 2010/11 on their journey into work and has over 300 staff and operates from 22 centres.

Shaw Trust employs some 1,000 staff and works across the UK. It has a successful track record in delivering government programmes – from Pathways to Work, Flexible New Deal and New Deal for Disabled People to Work Choice and Work Programme – runs 47 retail outlets, owns and operates 14 enterprises that support disabled and disadvantaged people into employment, work placements or volunteering, and works with national and local employers to find the vacancies into which our clients can grow and flourish.  In addition to its work across the UK, Shaw Trust operates in partnership with Intergracja in Poland and Motivation in Romania and merged with Interwork in Australia in 2009.

CDG is one of only two third sector prime providers in the UK delivering the Work Programme (London East) – the government’s main back to work scheme. As a key part of a strategic alliance with MAXIMUS Employment & Training it also delivers the Work Programme in London West and the South East (Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight),as well as being a delivery partner for Avanta in Sussex. The charity is also Work Choice prime provider through its partnership with WISE Employment. It has an international presence through its partnership with BEST community development in Australia.


As part of its charitable and public benefit, CDG launched the Expert Volunteer Initiative in 2010 and CDG Volunteers in 2011, to help give further support to people wanting to find and stay in work by tapping into the expertise of people wanting to give something back. Shaw Trust also uses volunteers with its extensive social programmes related to assisting people into employment.


Further information:


Careers Development Group                                              Shaw Trust

For further information, contact                                              For further information, contact

Mark Brooks, Head of Communications                                Kate Groves, Head of PR:

(t)         0300 247 2014                                                            (t)         01225 716300

(m)      07766 197727                                                 (m)      07595 214649

(e)        mark.brooks@cdguk.org                                            (e)        kate.groves@shaw-trust.org.uk


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Volunteers prevented from volunteering

Charities are becoming increasingly concerned that they are losing volunteer at an alarming rate.

More and more volunteers are been placed onto the Work programme where providers seem to be disregarding the volunteering and valuable work experinece they are alredy getting.

Volunteers are being placed by providers onto work related activities which invariably is not as useful or indeed as relevant as the existing work that they were doing whilst volunteering.

Charites are asking the government and providers to review this and to arrive at a viable and commonse approach which dovetails neatly into the Big Society objective of encouraging volunteering whicls supporting job seeking and building up relevant experience.

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Likely concessions on welfare reform

The House of Lords defeated the Government on seven key elements of the Welfare Reform Bill; one of those elements include the proposal to cap out-of-work benefits at £26,000 per household.

In the Commons today, ministers aim to overturn the defeats and will table their own amendments to reinstate the original plans.


It is been reported that Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith is likely to offer “transitional arrangements” to help families who will be hit by the cap which may include a new fund to help pay the moving costs of any family that cannot afford to remain living in a large home once the £26,000-a-year limit is introduced…. the size of the home is really irrelevant; large or small, the cost of living and indeed accommodation is higher in certain parts of the country than in others..

IDS may also offer a “grace period” so that benefit claimants who have lost their jobs after years of contributing National Insurance payments through work will not immediately fall under the cap. but will be allowed to claim unlimited benefits for a period of time.

Naturally the Lib Dems are claiming that they are a stablising force reining in the excessess of the Conservative wing of the Coalition government.. Who Knows…

The Labour Party is planning to table its own proposals which is that the cap should be set a local level… consistent with the acknowledged regional variation in the cost of living and housing…. Even with this, Labour’s general position is far too unclear even confused

Labour will oppose the Government’s amendments and table its own rival proposals — for the cap to be set at a local level, reflecting the cost of housing in different parts of the country.

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