And it's goodnight from them...

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell resigned after the polls closed on the European elections. Yvette Cooper has been announced as his replacement in the role. Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform Tony McNulty also resigned following his recent expenses scandals, and has been replaced by Jim Knight.

FND Phase 1 results

The results, announced on 29/5/09, are:

Preferred Providersort iconContract area
A4eBlack Country
A4eCambridgeshire and Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire & Rutland
A4eCentral London, Lambeth Southwark & Wandsworth
A4eNorth and East Yorkshire and Humber and Tees Valley
A4eSouth Yorkshire and Derbyshire
CalderCentral London, Lambeth Southwark & Wandsworth
Dudley MBCBlack Country
Max EmploymentSurrey, Sussex and Kent
MentorBirmingham and Solihull
PPDGCoventry and Warwickshire, The Marches and Staffordshire
RemploySouth Yorkshire & Derbyshire
SeetecBirmingham and Solihull
SercoCoventry and Warwickshire, The Marches and Staffordshire
SercoGreater Manchester Central and Greater Manchester East and West
SercoNorth and Mid Wales and South East Wales
Skills TrainingSurrey, Sussex and Kent
TNGCambridgeshire and Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire & Rutland
Wise GroupEdinburgh, Lothian and Borders, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, Ayrshire Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde
WorkDirectionsEdinburgh, Lothian and Borders, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, Ayrshire Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde
WorkDirectionsLeicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire
Working LinksDevon and Cornwall
Working LinksLeicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire
Working LinksNorth and East Yorkshire and Humber and Tees Valley
Working LinksSouth Wales Valleys and South West Wales

Tender Tracker

The Employment & Skills Tender Tracker is a new service through which your organisation can receive a comprehensive weekly e-mail bulletin with details of newly released employment and skills tenders across the UK. This cost effective solution brings you pre-sifted, relevant opportunities only, including subcontracting opportunities with other providers and lower value contracts outside of EU procurement rules. To find out more, including how to get your first month for free, visit

Analysis of New Deal and Programme Centre performance 2008-2009

This article builds on the analysis and explanations in Indus Delta's 2006-07 New Deal performance analysis. The figures used in this article cover every New Deal and Programme Centre contract in the country over the course of an entire year, end of March 2008 to end of March 2009. However, there are major added complexities on top of those faced in the previous analysis, that make a simple comparison table less useful.

FNDelay and a DWP Defence

The official results are now up over in this post.

Incoming - New Deal and Programme Centre performance

As covered in this previous story, I asked the DWP for contract performance statistics on current provisions back in February. They did not respond within the legally required time, so, following a reminder request, I issued a formal request for an internal review of the lack of response to the initial request.

ALP Conference - soundbites and points of interest

The ALP conference that just finished today had far too much content to even attempt full coverage. I've collated some highlights in this story, and a workshop on PRaP has its own story up.

PRaP Update

For those who haven't encountered it, Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) is the automated system that will replace SL2s with the introduction of FND, getting rid of the paper-based referrals, claims, and other paperwork processes that have bedevilled employment providers for so many years. We've covered its development previously in this article.

ALP Conference reporting

I'm reporting from the Association of Learning Providers 'Forum for Employment and Skills' event over the next two days. It's just about to start, but for now I'll put up the press releases.

Site upgrades - job alerts, discussion alerts, contracts database

Building on the new website software, some new features have now been enabled on the site:

FND Rumour Mill cranking up

This article is superseded by the official results

FND contracts have reached preferred bidder stage. The DWP has told the bidders who they're prefer to deliver in each area, and the likely primes are now negotiating with the DWP over the final contracts. However, the DWP have reinforced their usual secrecy with a Non-Disclosure Agreement for post-tender discussions, and primes appear once again to be banned from telling their subcontractors anything about what's going on.

DWP: 'The Code of Conduct (sort of) does not apply to Pathways to Work'

Speaking with a (former) Pathways subcontractor the other day, they related an interesting experience of dealing with the DWP. The subcontractor's legal contract with the prime required them to give 30 days notification to the DWP when terminating their subcontract. They gave notice to the DWP, and were told that their subcontract had no legal value with the DWP in any case.

Shaw Trust and Employment Opportunities merge

A merger has been confirmed between Shaw Trust and EOpps. Press release follows:

National employment charities, Shaw Trust and Employment Opportunities are to merge it was announced today. The merger will take effect from 1 May 2009.

The merger brings together almost 60 years of proven expertise in helping disabled and disadvantaged people find and keep a job. Both charities deliver employment programmes on behalf of the Government and see the merger as strengthening that capacity.

Tim Papé, Director General of Shaw Trust said:

Online welfare debates - starter for ten?

I'm putting together some web debates, with leading thinkers and do-ers in the welfare-to-work field discussing industry issues out in the open. However, while the participants will doubtless have their own favourite topics, I'd like to make sure they also respond to the interests of a wider audience.

Budget 2009 - impact on welfare-to-work

The following summary highlights the key impacts of the 2009 Budget on welfare-to-work delivery. For each section, I've included the relevant part of the actual Budget report, for reference. This report is still being edited and added to - check back later for more content

More money for delivery