Archive for July 14th, 2010

Newsletter 14th July 2010. Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, ALP calls for Single Procurement Agency, RDA’s Give way to LEP


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The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission has begun using tough new powers to halt or reverse the sale and transfer of assets by parents attempting to dodge financial responsibility for their children.

In the first case of its kind, a father in the northwest of England has been prevented from selling a house he was advertising on a popular property website. The man, owes over £78,000 in unpaid maintenance. He has paid nothing to his former partner for almost twelve years while failing to respond to letters or phone calls from the Child Support Agency – now part of the Commission.

The Commission applied for a ‘freezing order’ after the man put his house on the market, raising fears he would try to put the proceeds beyond the Agency’s reach.

In the first case to be brought under powers introduced by the latest child maintenance legislation, the High Court has now imposed an order preventing the sale. The reforms also allow the courts to reverse the sale or transfer of property by parents who have unpaid maintenance arrears. These ‘setting aside’ orders are designed to stop parents putting valuable assets in the names of new partners and relatives in order to evade both the CSA and their duty to provide for their children.




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Is it still the rule that public sector contracts must not account for more than 50% of a providers income ?

The average contract is likely to be between £20m £25m. How many providers can leverage £20 or £30 million contracts in single or multiple lots?

It is difficult to square the massive Geographic areas with the financials. If –as the framework agreement suggests – there are 3 primes each holding sizeable contracts in a lot how deep can the supply chain really be?

Greater Manchester with the  largest FND contract, with its larger areas is possibly the closest model.  SERCO may well have the most pragmatic knowledge of how and whether the 11 Lots can work.

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On 8th July 2010 the House of Commons Library published this information. It identifies the level of public sector employment as a % of total employment across the regions of theUK.

Click on the image for a clearer view……  

To access the

Full summary

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Single employment and skills policy essential to satisfy government’s ‘more for less’ efficiency agenda, say training providers

Britain’s training providers are urging ministers from different government departments to formulate a single unified policy to respond more effectively to growing unemployment and the NEET issue.

Before offering the new government a series of suggestions on how to improve skills delivery to the unemployed and employed at today’s annual conference of the Association of Learning Providers (ALP), the association’s chairman Martin Dunford congratulated ministers on not only retaining the previous government’s commitment to apprenticeships at the core of their skills policy but immediately strengthening it by allocating an additional £150m of precious funding.

Mr Dunford urged the government to maintain the centrality of work based learning, not only for young apprentices, but for adult workers who still needed basic skills and other skills development support.  He also called for the development of a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship programme.

The ALP chairman said that the coalition government’s reforms of its welfare-to-work programmes and the refocusing of training programmes offered a real opportunity to generate better outcomes when further spending cuts were in the pipeline.

He added, however, that a much more substantial impact on employment could be made if the DWP, BIS and DfE agreed a joint policy and channelled funding through a single procurement agency which could commission integrated employment and skills (IES) provision for both young people and adults.

ALP has noted that the recent BIS grant letter to the Skills Funding Agency prioritised skills training for the unemployed in 2010-11 while DWP ministers have previously identified training as a key component of the new Work Programme, due to start next summer.  With the prospect of a very tough autumn statement, training organisations believe that the twin objectives of BIS and DWP could be met more efficiently by adopting the single commissioning point approach that has also been recommended by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

ALP would also like to see the DfE, which funds provision for 16-18 year old NEETs, involved in a new cross-government approach to tackling unemployment.

The ALP conference is expecting to hear skills minister John Hayes and employment minister Lord Freud respond to the call for more IES provision when they address delegates at the London event.  UKCES chief executive Chris Humphries CBE will also be speaking on the first morning (14 July).

In response to a request from Mr Hayes, ALP has just submitted a paper to the skills minister, setting out proposals on how costs can be saved in the FE and skills system while delivering more effective training for employers and individual learners.  The 6-point plan advocates:

  1. i.            further progress towards a demand-led open market with a single FE budget open to all providers from the public, private and third sectors
  1. ii.            a preferred supplier register which would help drive up the quality of delivery
  1. iii.            providers rewarded for successful outcomes rather than payments based on time spent learning
  1. iv.            a greatly simplified quality assurance system but still supported by independent Ofsted inspections
  1. v.            increased use of modern IT solutions, such as electronic signatures, to reduce frontline delivery costs
  1. vi.            a single, professional procurement agency for government-funded vocational education, skills training and employment placement.

Martin Dunford argued that implementation of these proposals would assist in achieving the BIS target of an extra 50,000 apprenticeship places which John Hayes announced in May.

ALP also believes that the proposals will realise greater value from the continued £757m investment that the coalition government is making in work placed learning and will help justify this vital investment when upskilling the adult workforce is so important to a sustained economic recovery.

ALP chairman Martin Dunford OBE said: “The new government has got off to a good start with its prioritising of apprenticeships as the flagship skills programme.  Equally the decision to streamline welfare-to-work provision into a single Work Programme has obvious advantages.  However we need ministers to be even bolder if we want to avoid a lost generation of young people and a raft of employers complaining that they don’t have the skilled recruits available to take advantage of any upturn.  This requires greater cooperation between government departments to enable central and local funding mechanisms to commission more integrated employment and skills provision.”

The ALP annual conference 2010 is being held on 14-15 July 2010 at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel on Albert Embankment, London – a five-minute walk from Vauxhall underground station.  Full details on the conference programme are available at:


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Whist we wait for further news on the Framework and the Work programme lets look at public sector employment across the regions of the United Kingdom.

For those providers and entrepreneurs considering options and avenues for innovative new ventures TAKE CAREFUL note of these regions……..

See also


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Now that RDAs will be abolished, the government has invited groups of local councils and business to form Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). LEP partnerships will set local economic priorities for their area, and they will be able to bid for part of the new £1bn Regional Growth Fund. Sadly LEPs will have less funding than RDAs. RDAs have £1.5bn between them and LEPs will be able to bid for part of the £1bn Regional Growth Fund.

This is what Eric Pickles MP said;

We anticipate that local enterprise partnerships will wish to provide the strategic leadership in their areas to set out local economic priorities.
Partnerships will therefore want to create the right environment for business and growth in their areas, by tackling issues such as planning and housing, local transport and infrastructure priorities, employment and enterprise and the transition to the low carbon economy. Supporting small business start-ups will therefore be important. They will want to work closely with universities and further education colleges, in view of their importance to local economies, and with other relevant stakeholders.  In some areas, tourism will also be an important economic driver.  Further details will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper.

To be effective partnerships, business and civic leaders need to work together. We believe this would normally mean an equal representation on the boards of these partnerships and that a prominent business leader should chair the board. W

The governance structures will need to be sufficiently robust and clear to ensure proper accountability for delivery by partnerships.


To be sufficiently strategic, we would expect that partnerships would include groups of upper tier authorities. If it is clearly the wish of business and civic leaders to establish a local enterprise partnership for a functional economic area that matches existing regional boundaries, we will not object.

Going forward
We will publish a White Paper later in the summer, which will set out the Government’s approach to sub-national growth. Legislation to abolish RDAs and enable local enterprise partnerships was announced in the Queen’s speech and is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the autumn.

See the full text

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