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Transition Fund Guide

DWP will launch five ‘Right to Control’ Trailblazers on 13 December 2010 to support disabled people in having greater choice and control over their lives. The Trailblazers will pool a range of support and funding streams including employment, housing, social care, and community facilities.

The five pilot areas are;

  1. Essex County Council,
  2. Leicester City Council,
  3. London Borough of Barnet,
  4. London Borough of Newham,
  5. Surrey County Council (two parts only: Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council).

There will be further trailblazers launched in 2011.

The introduction of these programmes is set against the backdrop of £18 billion in cuts to welfare spending and long-term reforms to simplify the benefits system designed to make work pay and penalise those who refuse work. This includes plans for mandatory volunteering opportunities for job seekers, with financial penalties for those who refuse.

Read more … Transition Fund Guide

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What the Lord Said!!

Lord David Freud

There was much weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth in the sector; but whoever said change was easy?

This year’s welfare to work convention was a feast of activity. The weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth were temporarily paused as Lord Freud approached the podium….

LORD FREUD

Lord Freud gave his very laid back account of where we are, how we got here, why we need to make changes and what those changes are.

  • I am sure that you are all very well versed on this;

NOW FOR THE INTERESTING BIT

Eyebrows were raised and the audience was forced out of its reverie when Lord Freud expounded on THE FRAMEWORK. The weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth were replaced by murmurings and questioning; delegates were surprised, astonished and perplexed at what was said

Here’s what was said…..

Dave Simmonds follow up question: “Can I just clarify  your response to Steve’s question about the framework and consortia?  You seem to be implying that the priority for organisations should be to get onto the framework and thereafter you can sort out consortia yeah?”

David Freud response: “Yeah.”

Dave Simmonds continuation: “Whereas some people have been assuming that the hurdle is going to be so high to get on the framework that you’re going to have to sort out the consortia before.  I think that was steve’s point.  But you’re saying ‘no, no, no’ the hurdle’s going to be sufficiently low to let through maybe a greater number of organisations but you’re then anticipating that those organisations once one the framework will be congealing together in one shape or form.”

David Freud response: see his FULL RESPONSE HERE

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This raises questions as to what the framework really is;

What do we know so far?

“The framework competition will identify organisations (including consortia) that have the capacity and expertise to deliver not only the Work Programme but also other potential employment related support services contracts”

Q:1 How will local authorities and other commissioners of employment related services access the framework?

Q:2 Will the Framework be the primary tool used to commission provision or will there be separate tendering rounds. Given the huge spend by providers on PQQ, ITT and tender submissions DWP will need to act sensitively to reduce costs.

I have some details on EU Framework agreements that I will be condensing for you…..its pretty heavy going though!

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The Supply Chain or should I say Providers are increasingly thirsty for news from DWP.

Most feel that due to their size (smaller turnover or staff) they are being left out in the cold with no information.

I am sure that DWP have a plan but it would be really helpful if they undertook a program/process of Stakeholder EngagementYes Minister specialises in this and we are happy to help…. sorry about the blatant pitch…but we can help.

In the last two days I have spoken to Providers who are preparing to lay off staff, others are extremely tense and angry that there has been no communication with them.

Others have called me and have been inquiring whether i have any news on the proposition that we are moving away from Prime Contractors to Super-Primes.

I really do not know, but what I can say is that confidence is eroding and even potential SUPER PRIMES will have reservations about the veracity of contracts going forward.

For example, lets consider the cost of tendering; in fact lets look at the costs of information security and Data Protection, lets calculate the implementation period, lets look at implementing PRaP, lets look at the cost of partnership building and stakeholder engagement, lets assesses the break even point on contracts, lets look at the cost of investing in new facilities, systems and processes, lets look at unit costs on outcomes based contracts, lets look at the increased sanctions and conditionality that will be applied, lets look at the role of providers moving towards a policing role vis-a-vis clients, lets look at the reduction of jobs in the market place, lets look at and discuss what 12 month sustained job outcomes look like (financially).

Its at times like this when ERSA – or some other body, collective or association needs to have a strong voice not only for it’s members but for the sector as a whole.

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New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today show that while the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has gone down this month, there are nearly five million people claiming one of the main out of work benefits.

Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:

“……… we need to create real incentives for businesses to grow and create job opportunities.

“The figures also demonstrate why our planned Work Programme is so important. With nearly five million people on out of work benefits and record numbers of people who are economically inactive, we have to make sure that as the economy grows and jobs are created in the next few years that we learn from the mistakes of the past, and ensure that we provide real help and support for people on benefits so they can take advantage of employment opportunities and make the move into work.”

THE FIGURES

February 2010 to April 2010

The numbers of people in work rose slightly this quarter.

  • 28.86 million in work
  • employment rate 72.1% down 0.1% on the quarter and down 1.2% on the year
  • JSA claimants fell.
  • 5 million people claiming out of work benefits
  • The claimant unemployment rate  is 4.6% down 0.1 percentage points on the month
  • ESA: the numbers claiming ESA has remained stable since November 2009.  The figure stands at 2.62 million
  • numbers receiving Lone Parent benefit has fallen in April to 675,000

Read the figures for yourself……The Figures

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The Birth of The Work Programme has lifted the cloud. Due to PEP, staff employed to deliver New Deal contracts faced uncertainty about their jobs. Even with TUPE undertaking, many staff believed that – come October – they would either be out of work or be negotiating terms!

However, as a result of the Birth of The Work Programme these employees are now in a position of having secure work to June 2010 -when The Work Programme goes live – and beyond. These workers will also be TUPED across to The Work Programme which is a 4 year programme (even though it will only run for 3 and a half years), so theoretically they will be in work until the end of the Coalition government.

Providers delivering New Deal have also breathed a sigh of relief….. The birth of The Work Programme and the cancellation of other programmes has played to their strength and given them 12 month of security.

The challenge for these providers is that they need to significantly increase their performance or else they could find themselves without contracts from June 2010.

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Newsletter: Queens Birthday Honours, Increase Child Benefit, ALP Conference

Having difficulty viewing? visit http://www.yesminister.org.uk then click on PRESS

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This is quite amazing, we have had over 14,000 visitors to this blog…. and numerous other correspondences!!

If you would like to receive our ground breaking newsletter please email floyd@yesminister.org.uk

Please feel free to visit our home site http://www.yesminister.org.uk for more details about our work!

look out for more info on WELFARE TO WORK….. EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLS  et.al

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