Archive for May, 2011

news update…



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Lone parents will lose 94p in every pound earned

The Prime Minister David Cameron rightly denounced the “injustice” of low-paid lone parents losing 96p in every extra pound earned.  However, a report published yesterday by lone-parent support charity, Gingerbread, brought to light that 94p will be lost by low-income earning single parents in 2013 when the government’s Universal Credit is launched.  Gingerbread commissioned the Resolution Foundation to conduct analysis of the impact Universal Credit will have on single-parent families, especially the changes that will come in regarding childcare support.

The report states;
  • a single parent with one child and earning the national minimum wage (£5.93 per hour) would be disinclined to work more than 24 hours per week as they would only keep 6p of every pound earned for every hour worked over this level.

This is due to tax credits on childcare being reduced as National Insurance and income tax rises the more hours worked.  i.e single parent would be only £7.50 better off if they worked two full days per week, instead of one.

Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, said:

Further increases in childcare costs risk driving parents – especially mothers – on low-to-middle incomes out of full time work. Doing more than part-time work just wouldn’t make you better off. Living standards are already severely squeezed and this would be a further hammer-blow to working families”

This follows on from the Department for Work and Pensions report of April 2011, Families and Work: Revisiting Barriers to Employment, which highlighted a lack of suitable childcare and depletion of In-Work credit act as further hurdles to lifting families out of unemployment.  In February this year, the Family Information Services in England, Scotland and Wales reported that childcare had increased by 4.8% over the last year.

Who else will be hit?

A second earner working for a living wage (£7.20) with two children would only keep 9p of every pound over a 20 hour working week, and would not be entitled to any more money from working over 30 hours.  In launching the Welfare Reform bill the government had explained:

“The majority of existing or potential second earners do not see their work incentives affected by the Universal Credit because their household is already earning too much to be eligible for income related support under UC”.

However, Fiona Weir, Chief Executive of Gingerbread, said:

Government plans for childcare are a ticking time-bomb for welfare reform. Prime Minister David Cameron’s high profile pledge to single parents to make work pay will be broken unless the Treasury can find extra funding for childcare”.

The DWP report also picked up on the notion between some parents that working simply does not pay.  Indeed during an interview with researchers, “Sharon”, a lone parent looking after a four year-old child, commented that in her experience there are few incentives to return to work

The Committee stage of the Welfare Reform Bill is due to be concluded this week.

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

Read more here

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last week Lord Heseltine was in Preston, Lancashire promoting the second round of the Regional Growth Fund and encouraging bidders to compete for a share of £950m.

The Regional Growth Fund has been designed to:

  • Provide support for projects that can drive sustainable economic growth and create new private sector jobs;


  • Help communities that are dependent on the public sector make the transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity.

Lord Heseltine is Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, which will consider all bids for funding and make recommendations to Ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, about which should be supported.

Lord Heseltine said:

“The Regional Growth Fund was exceptionally popular in the first round, and we received many bids that demonstrated strategic thinking on how to create jobs and contribute to local economies.

“I hope businesses and public-private partnerships are inspired to think about innovative and creative ways of making a difference to growth and shaping their economic future, and that we will see results of this thinking when we are assessing bids.

The second round of the Regional Growth Fund opened to bids on April 12 and will close at midday on July 1. It will aim to allocate around £950m – the bulk of the £1.4bn fund.

Ministers announced in April that there were 50 successful bidders from the first round of the Regional Growth Fund. These bidders will share £450m if they pass a process of due diligence.

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Chris Collins

Yes Minister Business Development Manager

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Extra push for jobseekers as mandatory work activity placements come on-stream for those who need more focus

From the 17th May 2011 Jobcentre Plus advisers will refer jobseekers that need additional support to get back to work onto mandatory work activity. Advisers have the power to refer job seekers to a four week placement if they believe a jobseeker will benefit from experiencing the habits and routines of working life, they

The scheme has already started in London, the East and Yorkshire & the Humber and will be delivered by a range of private, voluntary and third sector organisations. The scheme will be available throughout the country by the beginning of June 2011.

Every work placement will offer;

  • The opportunity to gain fundamental work disciplines
  • will be of benefit to the local community.

Participants will be expected to spend up to 30 hours a week, for 4 weeks on their Work Activity placement and will be required to continue to look for work.

Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:

… These placements are all about getting people into a working routine if they need an additional push to get into employment.

This is beneficial to some jobseekers as it will allow them to develop more of a ‘work orientated mindset’ … it also makes them a much more appealing prospect for an employer … We are determined to break the habit of worklessness and get those who can work into jobs.”

Customers who fail to complete a placement without good cause will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance for a minimum of 3 month.

Read more….

Chris Collins

Business Development Manager

Email: Chris@yesMinister.org.uk

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Association of Learning Providers
Press release – 12 May 2011

Subject: Downing Street announcement on youth employment

‘New pre-apprenticeship programme will make a difference for young people’

Vocational learning providers have today welcomed the government’s response to their call for new pre-apprenticeship training to get more young people in a position to start a full apprenticeship.

The Association of Learning Providers (ALP) has been a strong supporter of the coalition government’s substantial backing for apprenticeships as a driver behind efforts to improve the nation’s skills and to offer a meaningful career opportunity for young people in tough economic times.  However ALP has made it clear to ministers over the past twelve months that their efforts needed to be supported by a new skills programme to help school-leavers who aren’t eligible to start full apprenticeships.

Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister of a new Access to Apprenticeships pathway programme for 10,000 16 to 24 year olds is regarded by training leaders as another positive step forward since the Leitch Review in formulating a publicly funded skills system that is more dynamic and responsive to the needs of the economy.

ALP will be seeking assurances that the number of young people likely to benefit from the programme will increase while the NEET figures remain high, at the same time recognising that pressures on public expenditure are very tight, and that providers of the programme will be expected to have places on full apprenticeships ready for successful completers, which by law require a paid job with a local employer.

ALP believes that the now abandoned Programme Led Apprenticeships (PLAs) were damaging the apprenticeship brand by leaving too many young people with no employers to go to after finishing the course.  The Access to Apprenticeships pathway retains many of the positive elements of PLAs but the new name and programme will signal that young people are embarking on a progressive route to a gold-plated apprenticeship rather than on an apprenticeship itself.

The Access to Apprenticeships announcement follows the one in the Budget to fund 40,000 more apprenticeships for unemployed young people and ALP is pleased to see today’s latest measures being linked more closely to the new welfare-to-work initiatives being introduced by the government.

Paul Warner, ALP’s director of employment and skills, said:

Today’s announcements represent clear evidence that we are seeing more of a cross-governmental approach to avoiding a lost generation of young people.  Our biggest challenge now is finding enough employers who are willing and able to take on apprentices in the current economic climate, but training providers are working hard locally to persuade businesses of the obvious bottom-line benefits of investing in skills.”


Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 305182


Notes to editors:

1. About the Association of Learning Providers

The Association of Learning Providers (ALP) represents the interests of a range of organisations delivering state-funded vocational learning and employment placement. The majority of our 590+ member organisations are independent providers holding contracts with or through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Department of Education (DFE) and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), for the provision of a wide-range of work-based and work-related learning and welfare-to-work programmes, including the Work Programme. Our members deliver a significant majority of apprenticeships in England. They also include a number of consultants, regional networks, and FE colleges in membership, alongside well over 50 charities, giving ALP a well rounded and comprehensive perspective and insight on matters relating to its remit.  More information is available at: www.learningproviders.org.uk.

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Kennedy Scott to launch US style welfare-to-work programme in Britain

News Release

Embargo: 9th May 2011


On the 9th May, the launch of a report, “Welfare to Work in the 21st Century” published by PKF, the leading accountancy firm and the University of Portsmouth will recommend that the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) pilot an innovative US welfare-to-work programme developed by America Works, a US welfare-to-work provider. America Works has successfully placed 200,000 previously unemployed US citizens in employment, primarily the hardest to help – ex servicemen, offenders, disabled and long-term unemployed.

Kennedy Scott, a UK welfare-to- work provider and America Works and are talking with the DWP and Ministry of Justice to develop a pilot programme that will seek to replicate America Works’ success here in the UK.

Kennedy Scott is one of the first providers in the UK to embrace outcome driven payment, and has a track record of successfully working with local business to ensure its clients meet local business’s needs and expectation.  Its pre-employment and holistic support programmes are exemplars of UK best practice.

Central to America Works’ model is performance based payment, with no up-front fee, stepped payments at 30-60-90-180 weeks, and the largest payment near the end. Its commitment to mentor and support clients through their first months of employment has produced some of the most productive and loyal employees. About two–thirds remain employed three years later and not costing the US government $40,000 a year in benefits. America Work is committed to the work first principle: that an unemployed person be compelled into the programme as soon as they are out of work, and then building in education and training to move them along,

Kennedy Scott and America Works share an entrepreneurial spirit, and a can-do approach that is set to create a new standard and code of practice for the welfare-to-work industry. And not before time.

GMB analysis of the most recent official figures released shows that one in five workers aged 16-24 is unemployed. Lewisham tops the league with 35.4 % youth unemployment followed by Westminster 34.7%, and Hackney 34.6%.  London had the highest proportion of economically active young workers out of work at 23.4%, followed by North East and Wales 22.3 %, North West 21.6% and West Midlands 20.9%.

Teresa Scott, founder and CEO of Kennedy Scott says,

“As a small, local based welfare- to-work provider, Kennedy Scott have spearheaded collaboration with local business and proved how this model can bring about sustained employment for the hardest to help and benefit local business with a no-cost, high quality recruitment and HR service. The new Work Programme is designed to promote creativity and innovation and gives exceptional scope and flexibility for us to build on and refine our model. Visiting an America Works programme last year I found a place full of hope and energy with clients motivated and committed to their own success. Here in the UK we’ve got a long way to go before our clients regard the Job Centre as a departure lounge for employment, career planning, training, mentoring and prosperity, but it’s a journey Kennedy Scott and America Works are determined to take with the support of DWP.”


Peter Cove, founder and CEO of America Works says:

“ In their hearts people want to work. It will take time for the culture to change in the UK and you will have to get much tougher. But more tragedy has occurred by us allowing people to become dependent on the government that you would ever expect by asking people to go to work.  The UK government’s latest pronouncement is music to our ears. The Government appears to be adopting the two main planks of America Works’ success: the stick approach to welfare and the pay-for-results model. However, I am worried about the pace. A typical unemployed person will be compelled into the programme only once they have been on the dole for 12 months. Moving them quickly into work and then building the education and training to move them along is what works best. We believe very strongly that work is a great socialiser. It gives people a sense of worth. To us, that is so important and so lacking in many of the people coming to America Work’s and Kennedy Scott’s offices.”

The Report highlights the results achieved by America Works and Kennedy Scott.

The Report takes a broad view of the changing nature of the welfare landscape and the labour market, and the importance of innovative and outcome driven providers of welfare-to-work services. Focused on best practice providers in the US and UK, the Report makes the following recommendations:

  • The Government should consider funding assistance to work programmes for those who are going to be made redundant before they are formally unemployed. Such provision should be pro-active, particularly for hard-to-employ groups.
  • The Government should recognise that best practice is for contractors to have a presence in job centres and should facilitate and encourage such a presence to enable assistance to be provided as early as possible.
  • The Government should review the experience of JobStat and VendorStat[1] in New York with a view to developing such a model in the UK.
  • The Government should continue to support assisted employment for people with disabilities, particularly through models such as Workchoice and Remploy and ensure such employment provides opportunities for them to secure a wide range of positions according to their talents.
  • Given the success of Kennedy Scott and America Works with certain hard-to employ groups and the attractiveness of their outcomes based payment regime to the public purse, the Government should consider setting up pilots with a variety of hard-to-employ groups to be based upon a system of outcome based payments.
  • The Government should consider setting up pre-employment programmes to identify the best possible practice in this area.
  • The Government should publish a comprehensive strategy to counter fraud and error in the Work Programme, building on developments to date and should clearly identify appropriate resources within its Fraud Investigation Service to implement it.
  • The Government should robustly monitor the sub-contracting market to ensure that competition and innovation are maximised. If weaknesses do emerge in the process the Government should consider a much more open competitive process in the future.

The Report also examines key governance issues relating to service providers, outlining evidence of abuse. It argues for a clear DWP strategy concerning governance issues, specific DWP staff focussed on this area, and specific strategies to address governance issues and related problems.

Paul Kenny, Secretary General, GMB says:

“GMB is looking at how best to support both our members who are facing redundancy as the public sector cuts bite and those suffering the scourge of long term unemployment. We welcome the idea of pilots across the country to evaluate how best to do this. We want to support those who find themselves unemployed back into permanent work with real employers and not just put on more job search schemes. Assisting the unemployed back to work is about delivering long- term stable employment. This is far too important to be run as a revolving door numbers game.”

The Report’s authors, Dr Mark Button, a Reader at University of Portsmouth and Jim Gee, a Director of PKF conclude that the Work Programme should embrace the learning’s from best practice service providers in the UK and US and propose a series of pilots following the America Works model with a variety of hard to help groups based on a system of outcome driven payments.

Jim Gee, a Director at PKF says:

“The country is facing the biggest change to the welfare system in 50 years and the new Work Programme will see up to 3.2million people (6.3% of the adult population) go through its doors over the next five years. This is equivalent to around 400,000 people in London alone. Not to do our best by those people would be indefensible.“

The Report, Welfare to Work in the 21st Century was commissioned by the GMB Union and sponsored by Kennedy Scott.

–          ends –

Notes to Editors

Kennedy Scott Ltd: Key Facts

  • Provided Welfare to Work programmes for 21 years supporting thousands of customers into sustainable work.
  • In 2008, KS won the ESF/DWP “LO13 Hardest to Help” contract (Brent and Harrow) and in the past 2 years has supported 400 customers, with multiple barriers to employment into sustainable jobs on a 70% outcome based contract model.
  • Expects this success rate to rise as it continues to build its reputation amongst employers through high profile proactive communications and tailored pre-employment that reinforce the benefits and cost savings to local business
  • Delivers Flexible New Deal in Kent with 46% JER over the last 6 months and strong performance (79%) in sustainability.
  • Holistic delivery model cited by OFSTED in March 2010 as an example of best practice for the ‘Hardest to Help’ client groups,
  • Designed and delivered the Metropolitan Police Service Pre-employment programme leading to 60% PCSO job outcomes for women and Black and Minority Ethnic groups (BAME) clients. Winning the National Training Award – London, 2006.
  • London Development Agency London Knowledge Programme for BME groups and Women Drivers. Of those qualified all 100% are still in work.
  • Security Industry Training Awards for outstanding practice by a Provider in 2006.
  • Won a National Training award 2007 for their hardest-to-help programme aimed at customers with multiple barriers to work.

America Works: Key Facts

  • Foremost US agency and market leader in performance based, outcome only contracting.
  • Since 1984, America Works has placed more than 200,000 men and women into jobs including military veterans, long-term welfare and food stamp recipients, former criminal offenders, people who are homeless and living in shelters, youths aging out of foster care, non-custodial parents, people living with HIV/AIDS, and people receiving SSI/SSDI.
  • Funded by HNW social entrepreneur
  • Special citation from the Department of Employment for the City of New York for achieving 100% of its programs’ performance goals
  • Won The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

For more information and to request interviews please contact:

Lisa ter Haar


Mobile: 07973 819 395

Emma Allen

Office: 020 7034 1800

Date: May 2011

[1] JobStat is a performance management support initiative to facilitate robust management of New York’s Job Centres. The JobStat programme provides local managers with performance data to which they are held accountable. VendorStat publishes monthly data showing results of job placement and job retention statistics from its contractors.

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Motion on the Bill

Yesterday MPs approved a procedural motion enabling the Welfare Reform Bill bill committee to establish a Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

The bill simplifies the welfare system by replacing existing benefits with a single Universal Credit from 2013, and introduces tougher sanctions for those who refuse work.

The new credit will be paid to people both in and out of work, replacing child tax credit, working tax credit, housing benefit and income support, among others.

Disability living allowance is being replaced with a new personal independence payment – based on an individual assessment of claimants by health professionals.

Listen here

Chris Collins

Business Development

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