Archive for February, 2011

Extend Small Business Internship Scheme, argues FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking that the Government extend a graduate internship scheme focused on small businesses which is due to come to an end in March. The FSB claim that the scheme run since 2009 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has been “highly successful” with one in four interns receiving the offer of a permanent position. Furthermore the FSB claim that the scheme would generate a £2 million return on the Government’s investment as well as offering a much needed opportunity for new graduates.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill (BIS) said that the scheme had been a “recession measure” and would be closed down as planned. The scheme was intended to provide subsidised internships in small businesses in “priority sectors” for 8,500 recent graduates.

The FSB have calculated that putting a further 5,000 graduates into the scheme would save the government £4.87 million in benefits and generate a further £5.4 million in income tax revenues from those given permanent jobs, thereby earning more than the £8 million the FSB calculate the extension of the scheme would cost.

John Walker, the FSB’s national chairman said

“The UK’s young people are the future of the economy, yet we are seeing youth unemployment approaching one million. It’s time the Government invested in this vital sector so that we don’t see a generation of youngsters consigned to the dole queue.”


George Grayson

Research and Policy Officer


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Data Protection Training Workshop

Tuesday 22nd March 2011



81-103 Euston Street



Data Protection compliance is an essential legal requirement for all organisations.

The Information Commissioner has not been slow in using the enhanced powers to penalise organisations which fall foul of data protection legislation. Hertfordshire County Council became the first organisation to be fined £100,000 for sending a fax meant for a barrister’s chambers to a member of the public and another fax containing details of the care proceedings of 3 children to the wrong barristers’ chambers. As such training on data protection requirements and compliance is essential for all those engaged in or supporting the handling of personal data in the organisation.

yesMinister’s accredited Data Protection Training Workshop will teach you and your colleagues the in and outs of the DPA.

Early Bird Rate £235 (Excl VAT)

Delegate Rate £280 (Excl VAT)

Email Kuki@yesminister.org.uk or call 020 7993 2505 for more details

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accredited – Ref: DRB/YEMI (6 CPD Hours)


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Activity Agreements (AA) have been piloted in eight areas of England between April 2006 and are due to end by March 2011. They were designed to help re-engage young people (aged 16 or 17) not in employment, education or training (NEET).

The research consisted of two elements:

Implementation studies, which provided a detailed, longitudinal and qualitative account of the perspectives of different stakeholders involved in the delivery of AA, and…

Case studies built on the strategic overview provided by the implementation studies.


There has been a variety of support on offer, ranging from a weekly allowance (£30 paid on completion of activities), support to strive for qualifications, accreditation’s and certificates with constant individual, group and tailored support, especially for those with learning disabilities and difficulties. The maximum time for AA support is 20 weeks. The AA weekly payment acts as a powerful engagement tool. It is made to the young person once they have successfully completed their activities. There is also a Discretionary Fund (DF), managed by pilot managers and advisers, to purchase provision, equipment and transport costs, dependent upon individual needs.


The report called for:

  • A clear definition of vulnerable groups (including long-term inactive young people) within the NEET population.
  • More intensive personalised programmes
  • Awareness of the costs of assessing literacy, numeracy and learning difficulties and disabilities .
  • Higher level of competence among operational staff is needed.
  • Greater consideration to be given to the growing volume of 18-year-olds who increasingly fall into the NEET category.

The report acknowledged that;

  • The more individualised the support becomes the more assessments are needed prior to engagement in the programme.
  • Local Support Agency links in the pilot areas had strengthened but the partnership working between AA staff and specific support agencies have been heavily dependent upon local collaborative working arrangements.
  • The needs of young people who drop out of education, employment or training warrant attention, as they may comprise a significant proportion of the RPA population who will require on-going monitoring and support.

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Jason McGee-Abe

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Wednesday’s Guardian ran an interesting piece on Atos and their administration of  the Work Capability assessment…

Is Atos being treated unfairly I wonder…..?

Read the very very long article….. HERE

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Following the publication of the latest NEETs (not in employment, education or training) figures for Quarter 4 2010, a Government spokesman said:

“The number of young people who are NEET is still too high. That is why we are committed to supporting all 16- and 17-year-olds to participate in education or training, and to raising the participation age to 18 by 2015.

“Government departments are working closely together to widen the opportunities available to young people aged 16-24 and to ensure that they are provided with the  support they need. We will fund 75,000 more adult apprenticeship places than under the previous Government’s plans. From this summer our new Work Programme will provide personalised support and training to help unemployed young people into work”

It is young people who bear the brunt in any recession or downturn, which is why we are so focused on tackling the deficit and promoting growth.”

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Quarter 4 2010 NEETs figures

Age 16 5.50% 5.0% (32,000) -0.5% pts (-2,000)
Age 17 7.40% 6.6% (40,000) -0.9% pts (-9,000)
Age 18 14.90% 13.8% (90,000) -1.0% pts (-4,000)
Age 16-18 9.30% 8.5% (162,000) -0.7% pts (-15,000)
Age 18-24 17.10% 18.1% (866,000) +1.1% pts (+54,000)
Age 19-24 17.40% 18.8% (777,000) +1.4% pts (+59,000)
Age 16-24 14.80% 15.6% (938,000) +0.8% pts (+43,000)

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This week DWP released the invitation to tender for the Mandatory Work Activity. As a successful bidder on the Framework, this contract is potentially worth £32million.


Yes Minister  is well placed to support you in bidding for this and other contracts. With extensive experience as practitioners in the welfare to work sector we provide bid writing support to clients bidding for public sector contracts, most recently writing bids for the Work Programme. yesMinister brochure


We have capacity and can draw on the expertise of our bid writing team to support you in bidding for the Mandatory Work Activity contract.

For a speedy turnaround and to discuss this further, please get in touch for an initial conversation.

George Grayson


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Newsletter- Welfare reform, the Work Programme and disabled jobseekers

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