Archive for March, 2011

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S.W.A.T Press Release


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– S.W.A.T


Strategic Welfare2Work Assistance Team

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Benefit sanctions for jobseekers who refuse to train – DWP

JSA and ESA claimants will lose their benefit provisions if they refuse training opportunities, Chris Grayling MP the Employment Minister has confirmed today.

Mr. Grayling said:

“People who are looking for work but are put at a disadvantage by their lack of skills will be given the training they need to improve their prospects of getting a job.

“This is part of our new contract with jobseekers – we will give you the right help and support to get you into work and off benefits, but we expect you to play your part.”

John Hayes MP, the Skills Minister concurred:

“Having the right skills can make the crucial difference in helping people to get a job and keep it.  Skills providers offer a wide range of high-quality training that can give jobseekers the boost they need. We want to see more people completing their training and taking the first steps on a path to a fulfilling career.”

When the Welfare Reform Bill was published in February 2011, non-compliance of the following would lead to sanctions if claimants:

  • Fail for no good reason to comply with a requirement to undertake a work placement of a prescribed description;
  • Fail for no good reason to comply with a requirement to apply for a particular vacancy for paid work;
  • Fail for no good reason to comply with a work availability requirement by not taking up an offer of paid work;
  • By reason of misconduct, or voluntarily and for no good reason, ceases paid work or loses pay.

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

Website:  DWP



Published on 29th March 2011

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As rigorous due diligence forms are hastily completed across the nation by prime and subcontractors, the coalition-government’s “welfare tsar”, Frank Field MP, has called for even more robust IT facilities to be implemented to ensure the DWP’s welfare reforms are workable.  In an interview with the Guardian published today, the former Welfare minister said:

“I am sure Iain (Duncan Smith) realises this, but it is not just a stumbling block, if this IT does not work, or only works as well as we’ve had in other projects like the Child Support Agency, the reform is finished. It is going to be chaos.”


The DWP may have pre-empted Mr. Field’s warning.  On March 11th the DWP announced it would be cancelling its contract with Fujitsu in favour of HP’s IT services.  This represents another government U-turn, for last year Fujitsu had been elected to replace HP as part of an overhaul of technological services.  Instead, HP will continue to supply desktop management to the DWP.  Fujitsu has stated:


“Fujitsu can confirm that it has received notification from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that they wish to bring the desktop contract, awarded in February 2010, to an end. We are not able to provide any further comment at this stage.”


Despite the loss of the £300, 000 contract, Simon Carter, director of government marketing has confirmed that Fujitsu will continue to support the government’s StartUp Britain strategy:


“Fujitsu is delighted to be supporting David Cameron’s initiative. For any small business starting out the capital expenditure required to kick off can be enormous and quite worrying. The beauty of a ‘cloud’ model is that it becomes a day-to-day operating expense, rather than a capital one, making it easier to flex and manage financially as the business changes and grows. There is no locked-in long term contract and once on our system, a business can literally have everything up and running within 30 minutes.


“What is so exciting about this new wave of technology is that IT becomes an enabler for businesses of all shapes and sizes, old or new, to compete on a fair and equitable level. StartUp Britain is a way of bringing the “Big Society” ethos to a business environment – something that Fujitsu supports wholeheartedly and we are proud to be part of.”

Indeed, the Big Society is at the heart of Mr. Field’s ethos for effectual IT development:


“In Birkenhead I hope we are going to solve this through a consortium of our schools, primary and secondary. If it all works out we are going to bid for our SureStarts, in conjunction with the consortia that the doctors have set up.


“We thought we would get around the problem about sharing data by having the same people running the foundation year services, so we all have a vested interest in making it work.”


Mr Field remains unconvinced that small IT adjustments at the DWP is all that is required to effectively establish the Universal credit.  Recalling the relatively minor reforms to housing benefit brought in by Mrs. Thatcher’s government Mr. Field said:


“And of course she said ‘Nobody told me there were going to be these problems’. But there is going to be nothing like it if something goes wrong with the universal credit, because it is not just one benefit, it is going to be a whole clutch of them.”


Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer


Read More:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/government-computing-network/2011/mar/29/frank-field-universal-credit-it-warning



Website:  The Guardian, Computerweekly.com, Fujitsu










Published on 29th March, 2011

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This one-day conference (31st March 2011)  is ‘essential’ for all those organisations looking to be involved in Big Society activities. It builds on the success of our workshops – ‘Introduction to the Big Society’ by introducing plenary speakers who are key players in the practical development of Big Society delivery and sets of practical workshops covering themes, funding, priorities and needs.

The conference will be chaired by Pauline Dye, the Chief Executive of the Princess Royal Trust Coventry Carers Centre

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Serco’s delivery networks illustrate our approach in each of our bid areas for the Work Programme. They also present our network of quality providers from the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Here are our delivery networks for each contract package area:

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Serco unveils its Work Programme Executive Summary and interactive delivery model


Serco Welfare to Work recently submitted bids to deliver the Work Programme in 11 areas across England and Wales. We are now pleased to share with you our Work Programme Executive Summary.


To accompany the summary, and in keeping with our transparent approach, we are also proud to publish our delivery networks for each contract package area. These illustrate our bespoke solution within each area and set out our networks of quality providers from across the private, public and voluntary sectors.


To allow you to further explore our distinct three-phased customer journey we have produced an online interactive delivery model. This not only provides additional information about each stage of the journey, but also shows how our Engage, Enable and Empower Phases might work for four very different individuals.


Last, but by no means least, read in full our new Customer Charter, which sets out Serco’s commitment to our Work Programme customers. Should we be successful, all customers on Serco’s Work Programme will have access to a copy. It will be displayed in every delivery site, available in accessible formats and online. We make a promise to our customers about the quality of service they will receive, and want to ensure that they can hold us to account for delivering on these commitments. In this way, jobseekers will be empowered to be active participants in the Work Programme and to co-own their individual journey into sustained employment.


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