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Archive for June, 2011

Legal aid cuts to hit hardest to reach

There have being serious concerns raised about the proposed £350 million pounds of cuts to the legal aid budget and how it will affect the most disadvantaged.

On 21st June 2011, the Law Society reported that the government’s proposed Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, due to have its second reading 29th June 2011, ‘was the single biggest attack on access to justice since the legal aid system was introduced.’

The Law Society cites that the reforms will deny justice to those unable to afford it, especially in cases of family breakdown, medical negligence, immigration, debt and welfare benefit appeals. This directly impact on those most vulnerable in society, given the cost of housing, food and energy,  inflation running at 4.5%, and disposable incomes falling 2.7%.

The Law Society cited

“The sort of people who would lose out through the changes could include a baby injured because of a mistake at birth, a woman whose career’s benefit is wrongly stopped and a man whose former partner will not let him see his children.”

In a separate criticism, the only woman member of the Supreme Court and Family Law Specialist Baroness Hale voiced  concern that legal aid will be reserved in future for claims where life or liberty is at stake, where there is risk of serious physical harm, homelessness or children being taken into care. This would leave those most at risk to rely on legal help on no win no fee basis and if unsuccessful not having the means to address a wrong.

Finally, in the Guardian Lord Macdonald, former director of public prosecutions, has expressed ‘alarm’ at the Bill ending the automatic right under the Police & Criminal Evidence Act to have a solicitor present during questioning by the police.  Lord Macdonald added that this was less about the public having protection from the police but protecting the police from the public against for example allegations of cruelty.  He said:

“This is a critical part of the apparatus of protection that we have.

“The presence of a lawyer doesn’t just protect the defendant from police, it protects the police from a defendant making up allegations about what happened, for instance during the course of an interrogation. I think the government should be very cautious about interfering in any way with the absolute right to representation in police stations. It’s there for a very good reason. When we didn’t have it, we saw the consequences.”

But equally any changes to the requirements of access to a solicitor based on means testing will disadvantage the poor. A point that has been raised by various legal charities.

Lord Macdonald also repeated a growing concern that appears to be commented on increasingly that is the government has not allowed the Bill enough time for proper scrutiny in the commons.

Kuki Taylor

Project Support Officer

Read more:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2010-2012/0205/cbill_2010-20120205_en_1.htm

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/60/section/58

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As the Work Programme enters its fourth week of operation, and public sector cuts and strikes loom menacingly over the horizon, the issue of TUPE is causing some consternation between Primes and their supply chain.

The Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending review estimates that 490, 000 jobs in the public sector will be axed over the next 5 years, yet some of these roles will be transferred from government agencies into the private sector, via TUPE.  TUPE applies to most services but the issue is now commonly regulated by contracts due to the ambiguity as to when TUPE categorically applies.

 

“All the transferor’s rights, powers, duties and liabilities under or in connection with the transferring employees’ contracts of employment are transferred to the transferee.” – TUPE

In brief:

  • TUPE safeguards employees’ contracted terms and conditions when a business or contract is transferred from one owner to another,
  • Employees and, crucially, their contracts and rights are then subsumed by the new owners/providers,
  • Owners (old and new) must consult their employees who will be affected directly or indirectly by the transfer – failure to do so may incur the complaint being taken to the Employment Tribunal and may result in the employer paying compensation of up to 13 weeks’ pay to the claimant
  • Employees have the right to launch a case against employers for unfair dismissal, unpaid salaries, redundancy, personal injury, discrimination,
  • Employers, old and new can agree to share the TUPE liability,

Employees can choose to opt-out of TUPE but this then leaves them in a legally vulnerable position should their employment be terminated.  Fundamentally, the rights and terms and conditions of the employee cannot be altered to suit the best interest of the new employer.  If this occurs, and indeed if any adjustments are made to the employee’s contract as direct and evident result of the employment transfer the employee (depending on the individual details) may have every right to take their employer(s) to court.

Likewise, the incumbent owners are obliged to issue the new owners with written details of their transferring employees’ contract, rights, and liabilities.  This must be issued at least 14 days before the transfer, and failure to do so may incur costs per employee to the outgoing employer.

The mystification surrounding TUPE looks set to be resolved soon as the Employment Relations Minister, Ed Davey, confirmed that an employment law review will be initiated this year and will amongst other issues, look in to possible reformation of TUPE.

However, the review will be too late for Work Programme employees and employers as Employment lawyers look set to be kept busy.

Providers

Numerous Work Programme sub-contracts have been signed and there is concern by providers that they are being forced to take on TUPE liabilities in order to participate in the programme.

Many providers have very little financial reserves and they are stoking up significant problems downstream.

Whilst some prime contractors have accepted that TUPE does not apply for particular types of provision, this must be treated with caution, as the final decision of when and where TUPE applies is a legal decision and one that cannot be concluded by agreement between contracting parties. Ultimately it up to the individual employee to present their case and for the contracting provider to defend against this – if it so desires.

Employees

As far as some employees are concerned, TUPE seems to have been applied very unevenly across the supply chain and there seems to be a lack of consistent consultation between employers and employees.

Quite naturally no government department will be drawn on the detail of this, so everyone needs to be cautious when accepting and rehearsing comments from ministers or senior mandarins on whether or not, and to what degree TUPE applies.

There now appears to be a growing movement of individuals willing to take mass action.

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

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A LLAKES Briefing event: 

Education, opportunity and social cohesion

 

Tuesday 28 June, 17.00-19.00, Registration 17.00-17.30

Room 739, Institute of Education, followed by a canapé reception

In this briefing event, Professor Andy Green and Dr Germ Janmaat will draw on recent LLAKES research to highlight current threats to social cohesion from declining job opportunities and persistent inequalities in education and incomes. The education system is a crucial arbiter of life chances. Where it is perceived to distribute opportunities equitably, it can provide legitimacy for the social and political order and thus promote social cohesion. However, in the UK educational outcomes are exceptionally unequal. Declining job opportunities, particularly for young people, coupled with high levels of inequality, threaten to weaken core beliefs in individual opportunity and just rewards and to erode the social and political trust on which social cohesion depends.

There will be a response from Dr. Floyd Millen, Director of the new public affairs think tank –yesMinister.

Attendance at the event is free, but places should be booked in advance via llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk.

 

Information about LLAKES

LLAKES is an ESRC-funded research centre, based at the Institute of Education, University of London. LLAKES researchers are studying the bonds holding together different societies, and the role that education systems play in promoting – or undermining – social cohesion in different contexts. The research brings together the findings from different social science disciplines and uses a variety of empirical methods and data sources to explore these issues. Datasets analysed include the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA); the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS); various rounds of the World Values Survey/European Values Study (WVS/EVS), the European Social Survey (ESS), Eurobarometer and the Civic Education Study (Cived). Various analytical methods have been employed, including correlations, time series analysis, cluster analysis, factor analysis, reliability analysis and multilevel analysis.

www.llakes.org

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– Social cohesion launch

More selection in schools means less equal outcomes, research finds

For immediate release: 24 June 2011

School systems that select by ability and make extensive use of ability grouping within schools end up with more unequal educational outcomes than non-selective systems with mixed ability classes.

This is a key finding of a synthesis of research on schooling and social equality carried out by academics at the Institute of Education, London. This new report follows evidence from the IOE’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies published this month that streaming in UK schools is on the increase.

It finds that the UK is “notable” for the degree to which pupils’ social class influences their school’s academic performance. Across all OECD countries on average 57% of the performance difference between schools can be attributed to the social characteristics of the intake. However, in the UKthis figure rises to 70%.

In, “Education, Opportunity and Social Cohesion”, Professor Andy Green and his colleagues from Llakes, the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies, draw on their new research to highlight the role that education systems play in promoting – or undermining – social cohesion and equality across OECD countries.

The report is being launched at the Institute of Education on Tuesday, June 28.

The 2009 PISA study of literacy skills among 15 year olds – examined by the researchers — shows that educational outcomes in the UK are more unequal than in most OECD countries. The gap between the top and bottom 10% was the 11th highest of the 34 countries.

Inequality in education leads to an uneven distribution of skills in the adult population. “Our research suggests that it is not so much the average level of education in a country which maters most for social cohesion, but rather how the skills acquired are spread around,” says Professor Green.

“The more unequal the skills distribution among adults, the higher the rates of violent crime and civic unrest, and the lower the levels of social trust and civil liberties.”

The new report also says that students who spend longer in mixed-ability classes are “more likely to share basic values in areas such as tolerance and patriotism, regardless of their social or ethnic group.” When compared with comprehensive systems, selective education systems have more social segregation across classrooms and greater disparities in pupils’ civic knowledge and skills.

THE REPORT: SocialCohesion_webversion

Ends

Editors’ notes
To speak to Andy Green, please contact him on 07941 828364 or andy.green@ioe.ac.uk Germ Janmaat is on 07984 716974 or g.janmaat@ioe.ac.uk

A Llakes briefing paper, Education, Opportunity and Social Cohesion, is available from the IOE press office: James Russell, + 44 (0) 20 7911 5556, j.russell@ioe.ac.uk

A new book, Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societes and the Crisis of Globalisation, by Andy Green and Jan Germen Janmaat (Palgrave) has just been published.

A briefing event, “Education, opportunity and social cohesion” is taking place Tuesday 28 June, 17.00-19.00, Room 739, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way.
Attendance is free, but places are limited: please send a booking e-mail to llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk.

The Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) investigates the roles of lifelong learning both in promoting economic competitiveness and social cohesion, and in mediating the interactions between the two domains.

The Institute of Education is a college of the University of London that specialises in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the publications that the IOE submitted were judged to be internationally significant and over a third were judged to be “world leading”. The Institute was recognised by Ofsted in 2010 for its “high quality” initial teacher training programmes that inspire its students “to want to be outstanding teachers”. The IOE is a member of the 1994 group, which brings together 19 internationally renowned, research-intensive universities.
www.ioe.ac.uk

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2010/11 is £218 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at http://www.esrc.ac.uk

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Wednesday 22 June – for immediate release

 

 

Leading voluntary sector provider elected to chair trade body for welfare to work sector

The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the authoritative voice of the welfare to work sector, has today announced that Matthew Lester, Operations Director of Papworth Trust, has been elected as its new chair. This means that a subcontractor will be presiding over a majority prime contractor board. 

Stuart Vere, chairman of Work Programme prime contractor Avanta, has been elected as ERSA’s vice chair.

Matthew Lester will be presiding over a freshly elected board, consisting of a mixture of prime and sub-contractors who deliver a range of employment programmes.  ERSA’s board has been elected from its membership who represent 85% of the organisations that have been awarded prime contracts under the Work Programme and many of the subcontractors. ERSA also represent 90% of the prime providers of Work Choice, the specialist disability programme.

There are a total of twelve board members, with six coming from the private sector and six from the voluntary/public sector. Turnout for this year’s board election was exceptionally high with 75% of full ERSA members casting a vote.  Joining the board for the first time will be chief executive of Maximus, Bob Leach, managing director of G4S Welfare to Work, Sean Williams, chief operating officer of Ingeus, Chris Blackwell, and deputy director and development manager of Salvation Army, Helen Robinson.

Matthew Lester of Papworth Trust said he was delighted to be elected as ERSA’s new chair:

“My vision is for ERSA to represent all provider types across the UK as credibility comes from diversity of membership. In 2011/12 we will continue to lobby to shape the future legislative landscape of the welfare to work industry, drive up standards to improve quality of delivery and establish our role as a trusted thought leader in the welfare to work space.”

Matthew Lester was ERSA’s vice chair from 2009 to 2011. He has been at Papworth Trust since 2003 having previously worked in the private sector.  Papworth Trust is a leading disability charity and subcontractor for the Work Programme.

Commenting on his election as vice chair, Stuart Vere of Avanta said:

“It is an honour to be elected as vice chair of ERSA. The diversity of ERSA’s membership means that ERSA is in an excellent position to effectively represent the membership going forward on issues that are of strategic importance. As vice chair I would like to continue to shape and contribute to that progress.”

Stuart Vere has been chair of Avanta, which incorporates TNG and inbiz, for six years.  Avanta is a Work Programme prime contractor operating in the North East, North West (Manchester / Cheshire) and the South East (Surrey, Sussex and Kent).

ERSA will soon be launching two new forums, one dedicated to supply chain issues, and the other dedicated to skills within the Work Programme.  These join the existing plethora of forums, including the HR Forum, PRaP and MI Forum, Finance and Commercial Forum and Policy and Communications Forum, which cover major aspects of welfare to work.

The full ERSA board is as follows:

  • Matthew Lester, Operations Director, Papworth Trust (ERSA chair)
  • Stuart Vere, Chairman, Avanta (ERSA vice chair)
  • Chris Blackwell, Chief Operating Officer, Ingeus*
  • Sally Burton, Chief Executive, Shaw Trust
  • Bob Leach, Managing Director, MAXIMUS Employment and Training*
  • Rob Murdoch, Executive Director, A4E
  • Dan Murphy, Director of Communications, Remploy
  • Helen Robinson, Deputy Director and Development Manager, Salvation Army*
  • Ian Smith, National Delivery Director, Working Links
  • Kate Still, Director of Development, Wise Group
  • Steve Swan, Director of Welfare to Work, Tomorrow’s People
  • Sean Williams, Managing Director, G4S Welfare to Work*

*indicates they are new members of ERSA’s board for 2011/ 12

For press enquiries please contact Philip Curry: Philip.curry@ersa.org.uk / 020 7960 6317.

Notes to editors

  • The key contacts of full ERSA members were asked to vote for members of the board from Monday 23rd May to Friday 3rd June. The chair and vice chair position were elected by ERSA’s new board between Monday 6th June and Friday 17th June.

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Association of Employment and Learning Providers press release

Strictly embargoed until 1015hrs on Tuesday, 21 June 2011

 

AELP Annual Conference, 21-22 June 2011

Venue: Hilton London Metropole Hotel, London W2 1JU

 

Employment and skills agenda means a new name for ALP

 

The Chairman of ALP has announced today that the representative trade body is being renamed as the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) with immediate effect.

 

The new name is to reflect more accurately that as well as being the principal providers of Apprenticeship training and other skills programmes, many of the association’s members have long been active in the delivery of government welfare to work programmes, including the new Work Programme.

 

Martin Dunford OBE, the association’s chairman, reminded delegates at today’s ALP annual conference that ALP had been until recently almost a lone voice going back ten years in advocating a more integrated approach by government to employment and skills.  He said that ALP had always maintained that unemployed people were more likely to secure sustainable employment if they had access to skills training.

 

Sustainable employment is now required under the Work Programme if providers are going to perform well under the new ‘payment by results’ system. The chairman welcomed the flexibility for providers to offer training as part of their support for the long-term unemployed, but urged the DWP, BIS and the DfE to work even closer towards a single cross-government approach to employment and skills.  In the association’s view, this could be particularly helpful in tackling the major issue of youth unemployment.

 

Martin Dunford identified AELP as “a new single organisation with members working strongly in the employment, employability and skills markets, determined to bring about full recognition that we are all working in a single employment and skills system.”

 

AELP has announced that for the first time it will sponsor fringe meetings on employment and skills issues in partnership with the Social Market Foundation at this year’s three main political party conferences.  AELP’s chief executive, Graham Hoyle, will speak at each one.

 

The new AELP

The new AELP has over 600 member providers from the private, public and third sectors with voluntary sector providers comprising up to a third of the membership.  Approximately 50 FE colleges are also members.

 

Over 70% of the Work Programme prime contractors are AELP members with many other members listed as sub-contractors.

 

Over an estimated 70% of Apprenticeships in England are delivered by AELP members.

 

AELP members are playing a key role in the delivery of government-funded programmes.  A new survey of the members has identified the following key facts (allowing for some extrapolation):

 

a. Employer engagement

  • AELP providers currently engage with almost 300,000 employers across the country

 

b. Getting people jobs

  • 54,730 people were placed in a job last year by AELP members (this figure is believed to be a significant under-estimate and will be subject to further research)
  • 8,730 young people obtained jobs through the Entry to Employment programme, thanks to AELP members

 

c. Training apprentices

  • In 2010-2011, 117,240 learners completed an apprenticeship with AELP members
  • 124,100 16-18 apprentices are on AELP members’ programmes
  • 160,480 19+ apprentices are on AELP members’ programmes

 

d. Other skills attainment

  • 182,420 trainees gained stand-alone NVQs and achieved basic skills
  • 86,620 trainees achieved level 3 qualifications or above in 2010-11
  • AELP members currently have 24,190 young people on a Foundation Learning programme

 

AELP members are also major employers in their own right.   Members employ approximately 60,700 full time staff (average of 126 staff per provider) and an additional 14,500 part time staff (average of 30 staff per provider).

 

Although the related data must be treated with caution, the survey responses seem to confirm again that AELP members provide higher quality learning than the wider work-based learning sector in general. In terms of the outcome for learners, 96% of AELP members are performing satisfactory or higher.  60% of the quality of provision by AELP members is either good or outstanding.

 

The name change to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers is subject to ratification at a members’ EGM.

 

ENDS

 

Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 305182

 

ALP conference website: http://sbcustweb01.silverbearhosting.co.uk/ALP/default.aspx?tabid=453

 

 

Notes to editors

 

1. About AELP

From 21st June 2011, the Association of Learning Providers will be known as the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).

 

AELP represents the interests of 600 employment and training organisations from the private, voluntary and college sectors who deliver Apprenticeships, the Work Programme and other vocational learning to employers, young people and adults.

 

AELP’s principal remit is to:

 

  • influence the further development of integrating government employment and skills policy

 

  • ensure a fully open market for publicly funded skills development, based on funding going to the provider best able to deliver the specified service to the learner
  • work closely with government and funding agencies to develop effective procurement policies and appropriate funding rates to support the growth of Apprenticeships and a sustainable Work Programme

 

  • advocate a 14-19 learning curriculum giving equal weight to the vocational and academic routes

 

  • secure opportunities for lifelong learning and sustainable employment for all.

 

For more information on the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, visit: www.aelp.org.uk.

 

Telephone: 0117 9865389                       Email: enquiries@aelp.org.uk

 

2. About EDI, the AELP conference headline sponsor

EDI is a leading UK and international awarding organisation providing vocational qualification and specialising in work based learning across a range of industry sectors.

 

Working in partnership with private training organisation, employers and colleges, EDI provides innovative, high quality learner assessment and support services.  Our business approach is based on providing advice, guidance and support to ensure that we meet the individual needs of our customers and their learners.  For more information visit www.ediplc.com, call 08707 202909, or email enquiries@ediplc.com

 

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AELP MD speech release 21jun11 final

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