Work Programme chief Alan Cave joins contractor Serco

A man looks in the window of a job centre The government's Work Programme is aimed at the long-term unemployed

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A senior civil servant who was in charge of the government's welfare-to-work schemes has resigned - to join one of the companies he was overseeing.

Alan Cave was a director at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), overseeing the Work Programme.

He is quitting to join Serco, the main contractors on the Work Programme in Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

The move has been attacked by a senior Labour MP - but the DWP said civil service rules have been followed.

Paul Flynn, a member of the Commons Public Administration Committee, described Mr Cave's resignation as an "egregious example of the revolving door" between government and industry.

A DWP spokesman said: "Alan Cave has been offered a job with Serco. The civil service business appointment rules will be applied appropriately."

Mr Cave's move to Serco did not come before the government's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, as he was not senior enough, according to a committee spokeswoman.

In June, MPs called for the abolition of the committee, which vets civil servant's moves into the private sector for conflicts of interest, and its replaced with an independent ethic commissioner.

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