Posts Tagged ‘Treasury’

Pre-Autumn Statement Submission on Apprenticeships

In advance of Wednesday’s expected announcement that there are now 1 million NEETs and a government announcement on apprenticeships, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, whose training provider members deliver over 70% of apprenticeships in England, has made a pre-Autumn Statement submission urging ministers not to get blown off course on from their previously announced plans for apprenticeship growth during this Parliament.


AELP has made clear to the Treasury and BIS:


  • Apprenticeships are as important for upskilling the adult workforce as they are for training up school leavers.
  • They currently do not result in dangerous ‘brand stretch’.
  • Damaging brand stretch would occur if they embraced programmes for the unemployed/NEETs unable to meet the selection criteria laid down by employers.
  • ‘Preparatory’ training for the unskilled unemployed should precede entry into an apprenticeship.


The association has pointed out that the apprenticeship programme, relaunched in 1994, was never set up exclusively for the benefit of young people as a form of job creation.  The submission also addresses other misunderstandings and misconceptions about the programme.


Two additional points are worth bearing in mind, especially in the current economic climate.  Firstly, over 262,000 young people in the 16 to 24 age group started an apprenticeship in 2010-11 – a 15.9% increase on the previous year – and these apprenticeships came with a contract of employment at a local business.  Secondly, a record number of apprentices are completing their programmes.  The success rate is now approaching 75% which compares favourably with the best in Europe.


The summary below of the AELP submission is being sent to MPs this week.  The full submission can be downloaded from: www.aelp.org.uk.  


Graham Hoyle, the AELP chief executive who is attending the government’s Apprenticeship Summit tomorrow, is available for interview.


Kind regards,

Aidan Relf

Spokesman for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (www.aelp.org.uk)

Tel. 01483 832130 / 07710 305182


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Secret report reveals ‘real danger’ to welfare reform

The plan to create a new Universal Credit welfare system by 2013 is considered to have a number of problems and risks, which have been highlighted in a report by commercial experts working for the Treasury and Cabinet Office.

The Daily Telegraph has seen a copy of MPA’s initial report on Universal Credit, completed earlier this year. The 14-page report is marked PROTECT to indicate a sensitive internal document.

The Daily Telegraph have reported that plans to shrink and reorganise the Department for Work and Pensions could jeopardise welfare reform.


“There is a very real danger that due to a number of factors, including restructuring, headcount reductions, and uncertainty about the delivery model, the department may lose some of the expertise that it will need in order to deliver Universal Credit successfully,” it says.

The MPA felt that this risk was being “managed at this stage”. But the report concluded that in future, “this risk will need more focus.”

The Daily Telegraph yesterday revealed that the welfare reform project has risen to the top of the Treasury’s warning list of major public sector projects at risk of delay and overspend.

For the full The Telegraph article click here


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Iain Duncan Smith the Work and Pensions Secretary, is looking at a radical scheme to change the lifestyles of families in which nobody of working age has ever had a job by improving their basic skills.

Iain Duncan Smith is examining a German approach where long-term unemployed families have been encouraged to create a “household culture” with trips to the cinema and evening classes.

The family will be the centrepiece of the Coalitions welfare reforms

IDS has been promoting the “family futures” scheme, pioneered in a town near Dusseldorf, where 1,661 households had three or more individuals who were long-term unemployed.

The welfare cost to the German exchequer was €31m (£25m) a year – and the plan to focus on families brought the bill down by one-third.

The scheme was designed by Maximilien Dorostian; European Director for A4E welfare to Work.

Parents had lost the “working habit” and fear losing housing support or seeing income cut if they got a job. The younger adults often had issues with figures of authority and unrealistic expectations.

The younger members think they should all be the boss in an office with people working for them. It’s because they have never worked and never interacted with people,” he said. “We have to give them this habit so they can have realistic expectations of work.”


The savings were dramatic despite the initial costs being double those of the scheme targeting unemployed individuals.

By cutting workless households by one-third, the German taxpayer saved €10m a year

One of the drawbacks is that money needs to be spent now to save the Treasury cash later.

The chancellor, George Osborne, has a simple formula for the Department of Work and Pensions – officials must find £5 of savings for every £1 they spend reforming the benefits system.

Using that logic, £800m would be made available if Duncan Smith could find an extra £4bn in welfare cuts demanded by the chancellor this week.

The Guardian

See our previous blog

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Whilst it is true that individuals could do much more to help themselves out of poverty. Very rarely is poverty self inflicted: it is usually the result of circumstances beyond an individual’s control.

Poverty, however does not occur or remain in isolation but it is usually exacerbated by socio-economic conditions including a lack of jobs – and where there are jobs – they are low-paid, short-term, part-time, unreliable and insecure. Individuals are likely to spiral into increased dependency and ultimately intergenerational unemployment ensues which further excludes, compounds and reinforces their individual and collective position. The myth is that the poor contribute very little to society:  actually; the converse is true: many people living in poverty do make important contributions through caring for the elderly, disabled, looking after the children of friends and family and volunteering. As I discussed in previous postings, our dysfunctional benefit system fails to support these and other people when they wish to transit into work.

In addition to the fact that people trying to move into work only keep a few pennies in the pound from what they earn, the costs of getting to and from work simply compounds the problem.

This does not even begin to account for those for whom work is just not viable due to health concerns and also because of their other familial responsibilities – which have financial implications to family and which has so far saved the state money…..

…yes I know…. we only hear about the costs and the scroungers …. not about the so called benefit louts who are in fact saving money…   .

What do I recommend?

If we accept that people living in poverty do wish to contribute to their communities then I propose that in addition to simplifying the benefit system, increasing the earnings disregard, tapering benefit payments as proposed by Centre for Social Justice, and supporting start-up and micro businesses, that through the Community Allowance scheme the unemployed would be allowed to take on small amounts of paid community work without losing benefits.

Participants would be permitted to register for a maximum of 52 weeks. Maximum earnings on top of benefits over the year would be capped at £4,469 or the equivalent of up to 15 hours a week on the minimum wage. Participants would be paid the minimum wage or more depending on the kind of work available and their skill base.Community Allowance.

I think this could be the answer to making the Work Programme work!

12 months on Community allowance in addition added to the cost paid to providers is a win win: everyone benefits and the Treasury saves.

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Here is the full statement by Chris Grayling MP:

Work Programme statement

Minister of State for Employment Chris Grayling said:
“We are committed to getting the unemployed back to work and that’s why we are taking swift action to get the Work Programme up and running”.

“The Work Programme will offer exciting opportunities for contractors from both the private and voluntary sectors to deliver the flexible and personalised support people need to get back to work, and I believe existing providers have a big role to play in this”.


Thursday 10th June 2010

        • Progress towards the Work Programme

Minister for Employment, (Chris Grayling): The Government has previously announced its plans for radical reforms of the welfare to work system and the implementation of the Work Programme. The Work Programme will be a single integrated package of support providing personalised help for everyone who finds themselves out of work regardless of the benefit they claim.

This will give providers longer to work with individuals and greater freedom to decide the appropriate support for them.  We will also offer stronger incentives for providers to work with the harder to help, paying providers out of the additional benefits they realise as a result of placing people into work.

We are determined to move quickly and are aiming to have the Work Programme in place nationally by the summer of 2011.

Until the Work Programme is implemented, we will ensure support is in place. Where necessary, we will seek to extend current arrangements to ensure that there is no gap in provision and people can continue to receive help and support to get back into work.

Once the Work Programme is implemented it will supersede much of the complicated raft of national programmes currently on offer and these will be phased out. The support currently provided by programmes such as the Flexible New Deal will be folded into the Work Programme as soon as possible.

We are committed to supporting severely disabled people and are currently reviewing the best way of doing this.

The Government has today written to relevant providers and will be beginning one to one discussions with them to discuss what this means for them. We believe that the Work Programme will offer significant new opportunities for contractors from the private and voluntary sectors to deliver truly flexible and personalised support, building appropriate partnerships to do so. We recognise the crucial role that the voluntary sector in particular has to play in tackling worklessness, and our plans reflect this.

We will be publishing further details as the design and implementation of the Work Programme progresses.

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Welfare to Work announcement


  • The Work Programme will be introduced nationally by Summer 2011.
  • The vehicle for bringing the Work Programme into being and handling all work-focussed services  (and related commissioning) will be a new framework of preferred providers.
  • This framework, The Work Programme Framework, will be used for the Work Programme and for future Welfare to Work requirements and will be accessible by other public service commissioners wish to commission work-focussed services.
  • Selection on to the framework will be based on a provider’s ability and capacity to deliver job focussed services over the lifetime of the framework
  • The framework competition will commence at the end of June 2010, identifying framework providers by November and placing contracts in the first half of 2011.
  • There will be an event in July for providers interested in the framework
  • All current competitions are superseded.  There will be no fND2, Invest to Save, Personalised Employment Programme or Community Task Force.
  • fND1 providers are being given immediate twelve months notice of the end of fND1 contracts.
  • The intention is to achieve maximum continuity of service and to minimise disruption.
  • All fND1 providers are encouraged to bid in to the framework for a managed move on to the Work Programme.
  • There is no decision yet on Work Choice but there is a commitment to supporting disabled people.
  • No decision has yet been made about how Work for your Benefit will fit within the Work Programme.
  • Current New Deal, Pathways and EZ contracts will be extended in fND2 areas then will roll in to the Work Programme.

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Quite apart from the pressing questions around the timescale and implementation of the new Work Programme, PEP,  CTF and  FND there are other pressing issues;

  1. How will centrally contracted welfare services be reconciled with decentralisation and localism?
  2. What role will local authorities play,
  3. What is the future of the Working Neighbourhood Fund,
  4. Will there be more opportunities for the voluntary and community sector in supporting unemployed people?
  5. Will employment and skills be integrated ?
  6. How will Total Place be used to integrate funding for the most disadvantaged?

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