Archive for April, 2011

New Strategic Welfare2Work Assistance Team.

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Pertemps wins MoJ Contract

Pertemps People Development Group has been awarded a four-year contract from Ministry of Justice to help offenders across the West Midlands.

Group Chief Executive, Steve King was delighted to have won the contract commenting:

The expertise we have built up working with disadvantaged jobseekers in the West Midlands region will now be applied to support ex-offenders in the region, many of whom possess a desire not to end up back inside, are motivated and need structured help to secure sustainable employment.

They receive training in prison and want to work once released rather than returning to crime, so there is a distinct advantage for employers which can even be enhanced through our own bespoke packages.”

PPDG have previously been contracted to work with the Ministry of Justice and HM prisons via the Nation Offender Management Service.

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

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Trade Skills Academy Group helps Minister buck the unemployment trend

Minister for Employment, Chris Grayling MP, visited the Training Skills Academy Group to find out more about how they are helping unemployed people back into work and to stay on in work to realise their full potential.  Minister Chris Grayling was accompanied by local MP, Angela Watkinson, on his fact-finding mission to the Training Skills Academy offices in Romford.

With youth unemployment remaining a challenge for the UK, the Training Skills Academy Group has hit on a winning solution for getting people back into work and then stay on in work to complete Apprenticeships and perhaps higher level qualifications, including degrees.

Since it started up in 2009 as the Trade Skills Academy, the Training Skills Academy Group has helped nearly 1300 people get off Jobseekers Allowance and back into the world of work.  It has achieved this through offering two weeks’ fully-funded intensive training in either construction or sales-related trades as well as teaching learners key employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques.  This training, combined with one-to-one mentoring support, motivates and inspires people to find and stay in work.  In achieving this, the Training Skills Academy Group has developed a number of close links with local, regional and national employers who are more than willing to offer its ‘Academy Graduates’ full and part time positions.  Once in work, the Training Skills Academy Group offers further training to its ‘Graduates’ thus increasing the likelihood of remaining in employment.

In 2010, the Trade Skills Academy joined forces with Exemplas to form the Training Skills Academy Group.  Exemplas, part of the University of Hertfordshire Group of Companies, is expert in helping individuals, businesses and communities realise their potential.  Director, Chris Robb says, “Our partnership with Exemplas has opened up a world of opportunity for us.  Exemplas has given us organisational infrastructure, quality systems, back office and financial support to enable us to grow.  But more than that, for our Academy ‘Graduates’, it means that we can now offer them a seamless route from unemployment all the way through to Apprenticeships and even the possibility of higher level qualifications such as degrees.”

During his visit, the Minister for Employment spoke to leading employers and their employees about the service they received from the Training Skills Academy Group.

Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said: “Projects like the Trade Skills Academy are a great example of providing young people with both the skills and the push to get into work.”

“Meeting the team and local employers was a great opportunity to see how the Government and business can work together to help young people develop practical skills and find sustainable long-term jobs.”

Employers present on the day included Breyer Group and Pioneer Windows from the world of construction alongside Marshall Group and Big Cars, both leading lights in the retail motor trade.  He also had a chance to sample a telesales training session supported by Calder Training and see the latest groups of trainees on their plastering and plumbing trades courses.

Academy ‘Graduate’, Catherine Parr, waxed lyrical about her experience with the Training Skills Academy Group, “The training was completely different from the lessons at school; where the teachers didn’t push me and I became bored.  Our trainer was excellent.  Being taught by an industry expert, who could answer all my questions made all the difference.  As a result I managed to gain the mark of 94 out of 100, which was the highest in the class!”

Director, Chris Robb, concludes, “Being unemployed can really drain your confidence and your motivation to find work.  We not only get people back into work; we help them to stay there through offering Apprenticeships and higher level qualifications.  This also provides businesses with a motivated and cost-effective workforce which is invaluable in these times of economic austerity.  Through 2011 and 2012 we hope to further support the Government in driving economic growth through increasing the range of courses we deliver, moving into the recruitment, financial services and care sectors and getting more people back into work.”

If you are unemployed and looking to find work or work for a business that is wanting to take on new staff, please call us on 0845 641 9881.


–      END –

Notes for Editors:

  1. The Training Skills Academy Group (TSAG) is an exciting new venture; bringing together the knowledge and proven track record of the Trade Skills Academy with the expertise, resources and experience of Exemplas (which is part of the University of Hertfordshire Group of Companies – one of the most progressive education, learning and development groups in the UK).

The aim of the Training Skills Academy Group is to unlock potential in people and enterprises through the provision of inspirational pre-employment and vocational training.   Through this, we achieve sustainable job outcomes with the option of ongoing skills development.  In addition, the Training Skills Academy Group provides access to academic qualifications across a wide spectrum of industry sectors – a unique proposition which escalates skills from basic literacy and numeracy through to degree level and higher.

The Training Skills Academy Group also offers recruitment and one-to-one consultancy services to ensure that the specific needs of business are met through in-house programmes or attendance on our range of sector-specific open training courses.

2.    Exemplas helps organisations to change, grow and prosper by delivering advice, support, information and training solutions to employers and individuals. Exemplas offers advice and support in Enterprise and Innovation; Leadership and Management; Diversity and Social Responsibility and Skills.

The Exemplas Group also has an extensive record of successful public sector contract management.  We work in partnership with our public sector clients to maximise the impact of funding and deliver robust accountable value for money at strategic and tactical levels.

Exemplas is part of the £250M University of Hertfordshire Group of Companies – one of the most progressive education, learning and development groups in the UK.


For general media enquiries, please contact:

Ruth Oakey – Tactical Marketing Executive, Training Skills Academy Group

Tel: 07825 189261, Email: ruth@salesskillsacademy.com, Web: http://www.tsagltd.com

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Mandatory Work Activity preferred bidders announced

CPA CPA Name Preferred Bidder
CPA1 South East JHP Group
CPA2 South West Rehab Group
CPA3 London Seetec
CPA4 East of England Seetec
CPA5 East Midlands Ingeus
CPA6 West Midlands ESG
CPA7 North West JHP Group
CPA8 Yorkshire and Humber BEST
CPA9 North East Ingeus
CPA10 Scotland JHP Group
CPA11 Wales Rehab Group

……

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

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– SFA Contracting arrangements

TBG is interested in hearing from providers who even at this late stage have not finalised contracting arrangements for 2011/12 and would be interested in working with us.

We would like to hear from you if you are a provider with a direct 2010/11 Skills Funding Agency  contract for Apprenticeships that is under the Minimum Contract Level of £500K for 2011/12 .


Contact us at  mcv@tbglearning.com

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National employment rate rises to 29.23 million

Employment levels in the UK have fallen by 0.1% over the last quarter, according to a report published today by Office of National Statistics.  The decrease equates to 143,000 more people over the age of 16 who have not been able to find employment between December 2010 to February 2011.  There has been an increase in the number of people in full-time employment as 140, 000 more people have gained full-time positions on the quarter. During the last six months self-employment reached a record high of 4.03 million.


The Employment Minister, Chris Grayling MP said:

“These figures are another step in the right direct direction, it’s good news to see a rise in the number of full time jobs in the private sector and the fall in unemployment is welcome. It is also reassuring to see a fall in the number of young people not in full time education who are unemployed.

“However, there are challenges ahead and our priority is to continue to support the economy, by reducing the deficit and putting in place measures to encourage growth in the private sector.”


However, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has increased by 700 between February and March, with 1.45 million Britons applying for support.  The number of women claiming benefit continues its nine-month rise as there was an increase of 5,100 women claiming JSA, whereas the number of male claimants fell by 4,400.


Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer


Published on 13th April 2011

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Ministers brace themselves for Wise inquiry

Scottish newspaper the Daily Herald is drumming up support for an inquiry into the DWP’s decision to exclude the Scottish social enterprise the Wise Group from delivering Work Programme contracts in Scotland.  Private companies, Ingeus and London-based Working Links, were awarded the contracts to cover Scotland.  The Wise Group looks set to lose £150 million and 200 jobs as a direct result of the DWP ruling.

Ingeus chief executive, Dean James, an ex-senior civil servant at the DWP was delighted at being awarded seven contracts across the UK, the maximum number available to a single prime contractor:

Ingeus is committed to successful delivery of this critical programme, to help transform people’s lives through lasting employment and to make a positive impact on society and the economy.”

However, the Herald alleges that the Wise Group’s application to tender for the contract scored the same number of points as one of their rivals from the private sector.   The shadow Scottish Secretary, Ann McKechin MP, has raised concerns over the soundness of the DWP’s decision:

I am extremely concerned to note the radical reduction in the voluntary sector’s involvement in delivering the Government’s new Work Programme in Scotland, given how pivotal the voluntary sector was in delivering previously under the Future Jobs Fund. The voluntary sector understands how to get those who have been unemployed for a long period or need additional support to get back into work.”

The DWP had decreed that at least 30% of any Work Programme contract should be delivered by the voluntary sector, however, successful bidders have recently stated that only 8% and 6% of their contracts will be delivered by their third sector subcontractors.   This has led to former Labour MSP Des McNulty, who sits on the Wise Group board of Directors, to question the legality of the DWP’s decision.  Writing in the Herald, Mr McNulty said:

“It surely cannot be legal to award a contract to an organisation that doesn’t meet the published tender.

“It is absolutely clear the scoring system was biased against bidders, like the Wise Group, who had a high voluntary sector provision in their bids as required by the tender document. It is also clear that discussions took place with some bidders but not all bidders during the week that scores were being finalised prior to the formal announcement of the outcome of the tendering process. I believe the inconsistencies are sufficiently serious to require a rerun of the tender submissions in Scotland.”

Chris Grayling MP, Minister for Employment, and Michael Moore MP, the Scottish Secretary will have to brace themselves for more questioning by the UK’s auditors.  Former SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie, has written to both Audit Scotland and the National Audit Office about the apparent discrepancy in the tendering process.  Ms McKelvie said:

“The DWP rules were absolutely clear – at least 30% of each contract was to be delivered by the voluntary sector. But in Scotland, the two private firms who have been awarded the contracts between them plan to give a grand total of 13% of the work to the voluntary sector.

“That’s not just an insult to a Scottish voluntary sector which has shown itself to be very successful at helping people into work, it’s a straightforward breach of the DWP’s own criteria for awarding the contracts.

“The handling of this contract by the DWP is unacceptable.”

As the pressure mounts, the DWP has remained unfazed, with a spokeswoman from the DWP stating last week:

“We are working with the Wise Group to see where they could be involved.”

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

Website:  Herald Scotland,


Wise Group at risk

Legal challenge


Published on 13th April 2011

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