Archive for June, 2010

A mix  of the responses that we have received;


  • “Having now read both the Framework and the Delivery Pipeline I am deeply disappointed that the Survey (Delivery Pipeline report) concentrated on awareness of procurement rounds and excluded some of the key issues facing the industry”


  • “The report seemed skewed and appeared to be mainly a pitch by umbrella organisations for future work from DWP rather than addressing the needs of providers particularly SME and 3rd sector who are the real frontline delivery engine for the sustainability of the sector”


  • The Work Programme may be used by the DWP as match for its ESF Co-financing arrangements and where this applies Work Programme providers will be required to meet a range of ESF requirements”. …..ESF funding is an absolutre nightmare to manage.. the paperwork is so pedantic and the match funding element well! BRACE YOURSELVES!!


  • “I would suggest that we need to develop a survey of all providers but mainly the third tier providers and prepare a report to submit to DWP to at least enable them to get our views .”


  • “Given that there is no visible voice it might be worthwhile forming an association of third tier providers as the current umbrella organisations do not appear to represent our views and have been infiltrated by the PRIMES or soon to be SUBPRIMES.


These are some of the responses that we have received.


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The Not-For-Profit Ixion Holdings Ltd Group, led by Ixion CG Ltd, is implementing cutting-edge academic and field based research across its companies to inform its effective delivery of welfare to work provision. New motivational psychometrics and coaching & questioning techniques are being implemented to prevent inter-generational worklessness ahead of the implementation of the DWP’s new Work Programme.

As part of Anglia Ruskin University, Ixion CG has direct access to International Quality research, with Anglia Ruskin University being rated as “the UK’s top-rated psychology department in a new university for the quality of their research.”[1]

Controlled trials across the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and Europe have compared the value and experience of “Individual Placement and Support” (IPS) participants with more traditional “train & place” methods which provided vocational training and job preparation before looking for competitive placement.

Whilst Individual Placement and Support has traditionally been implemented with chronic mental health and behavioural issues, the key tenets – and results – can deliver considerable results across most demographics. Whilst this commonality will be essential under the single Work Programme, it is particularly pertinent for the 500,000+ beneficiaries[1] with less chronic mental health issues (such as depression) on Incapacity Benefit. This group will surely be a target of Ian Duncan-Smith, Chris Grayling and David Freud’s drive to “encourage” specific groups back to work through support and a reduced ‘benefits cushion’.

“Our revised approach incorporates motivational psychometrics and coaching techniques to re-invigorate beneficiaries and address two of the key barriers to employment: a lack of confidence and a perceived lack of support.” Vice President of Ixion CG Ltd, Darren Coppin said.

For the Full Press release and for further details Contact Amanda Planting, Group Head of Communications

07887 832 832; amanda.planting@computergym.co.uk

[1] Of the 2,500,000 Incapacity Benefit Claimants in early 2010, 40% (1m) were due to Mental & Behavioural Issues (ONS 2006). The Sainsbury Centre estimate that 1-2% of the UK working population endure chronic/severe mental health issues (ca 450,000), thus over ½ million less severe sufferers on IB.

[1] 80% of Anglia Ruskin University’s research was rated as being of “International Quality”, with 45% of research activity judged to be either “World Leading” or “Internationally Excellent” in terms of originality, significance and rigour. The Research Assessment Exercise was conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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Questions are coming through thick and fast…  if you wish to raise a question, or a point of note (In Confidence) simply log in or email us directly!!

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The Framework is OUT!!

The Framework


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We understand that the Value for Money test will be one of the 4 key elements of the new Framework assessment.

just to recap; the assessments will -or is likely to – broadly cover;
  1. Financial capability/capacity
  2. Physical management and capacity to deliver
  3. Experience
  4. Value for Money test
Lets look at the Value for Money Test.
The starting position is that “value for money” tests are by definition problematic because it is difficult to factor in the cost of things going wrong over the life of the project. Any such test or assessment is hypothetical and so its credibility is difficult to test.
My analysis of the Value for money test
The higher the level of risk that can be transfered away from the public body will ultimately result in stronger incentives to innovate, better project evaluation and it will ultimately result in reducing costs.

However these advantages must be balanced against;

  • Huge contract negotiation costs,
  • Inflexibilities of a long-term contract
  • Reduced competitive pressures on performance after the contract has been entered into (in contrast with a situation where the contract is re-tendered periodically.
and …
  • the awareness that the offsetting of risk narrows the pool of participants and potentially increases dependency on PRIMES or “SUPER-PRIMES”
The key questions that the department is srtuggling with include;
  • Is it able to specify outcomes in ways that leave scope for provider/s to innovate, optimise and scale up their delivery. FND1 and FND 2 presented real challenges to providers, unit costs were low, DWP’s performace request was higher than what had historically been achieved on the New Deal and Employment Zones (Employment Zones performed the best).
PEP was a very different ball game and providers felt cornered into working within a wholly unrealitic unit costs, for a provision which was twice as long and with an almost unfathomable but definately unworkable accelerator funding model.

Incidentally; I think the axcellerator model is here to stay

  • To what extent are the desired outcomes likely to be sustainable, given the length of the contract and the economic environment? how will this be reflected in relation to funding and unit costs for 13, 26 or 52 week sustainable outcomes?

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The Coalition government has announced steps to cut welfare payments, a cap on housing benefit and tougher health (more…)

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Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk kicked off an initiative to spend a week working with small businesses to gain better insight into the experiences of companies on the ground.

Mr Prisk is spending the day with Bethnal Green-based DIY Kyoto, which makes wireless electricity meters to help consumers save energy,

Mr Prisk said:

“This initiative is very important to me. It is a great opportunity to gain real-life experience and understand the issues small businesses and entrepreneurs face.



I am being unfair… Mark Prisk knows quite a lot about small business. see his website… http://www.markprisk.com/text.aspx?id=60

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