Indus Delta just got uglier and harder to read!

The back end of the website has been heavily upgraded over the past week, and in consequence the entire interface has been rebuilt from scratch. Don't be alarmed if it looks a bit different - it still has all the same functionality, and your information is entirely safe!

B3ta discussion on unemployment

The immensely popular, definitely not-safe-for-work b3ta website recently ran a Question of the Week asking people for their positive experiences of unemployment.

3-month 'delay' to DWP back-to-work schemes

[Posted by a site user] Hello daniel, I have just read in 2 newspapers today that the DWP have cancelled their new schemes for 3 months, obviously you are on your Easter break now, BUT, did you know that this press announcement was imminent, so many people have been spreading stories that this was going to happen, and quiet frankly but now I do not think that any one is surprised. I think it has been suspended because so many new unemployment signers have overwhelmed the dept!

FND results not-so-due at end of April

The DWP have made an official announcement available here:

6 April 2009
Phase 1 Flexible New Deal - Progress Update

Radio show wants input from front-line provider staff

A radio researcher has been was in touch asking for help in finding provider delivery staff to contribute to a radio show going out this Sunday. Request follows:

Pertemps and WorkDirections in the Times 100 best companies to work for

Pertemps article - sample quote:

Pertemps People Development Group helps to reignite the spark in jobseekers who have lost hope. It aims to turn lives around, and its workforce is testament to its success — about 40% of the 576 staff members are former clients.

Star Ratings round-up

A key part of the Commissioning Strategy is the requirement for open performance information, so that providers can be held to account and customers can choose which provision to go for.

While it's not entirely clear whether the raw performance data will be published, one thing that is gearing up to take on the task is Star Ratings. Given their potential importance (think Star Ratings for hospitals and A-C grades for schools) and the questions swirling round them, we've put together a quick primer on the topic.

Cee-Mac in administration

Northampton-based provider Cee-Mac have gone into administration today and made all staff redundant. Cee-Mac hold a number of LSC contracts, but their main DWP contract is the Norfolk ESF prime contract from last year's bid round.

There are some complexities to the story, though. It appears that the DWP contract has been transferred by the DWP from the company in administration, CeeMac Projects (UK) Ltd, to its still-solvent parent company, CeeMac Ltd. This means that the contract is theoretically still live.

DWP publishes details on Day 1 support contracts

Taken from the DWP website under Crown Copyright

Support for Newly Unemployed Customers

This service will be targeted at customers who are newly unemployed claiming JSA and are good prospects for quick entry to employment once they have information and advice about modern job search techniques. Some may also need help to take stock of their transferable skills and how they match to jobs in the current labour market.

Performance statistics, you say?

In December, the DWP announced that they would be publishing individual performance statistics for all provisions starting in January. Nothing appeared, so I submitted a Freedom of Information request asking for them.

Job Clubs contracting - support for redundant executives

This Last week's newsletter referred to stories about £40m support for recently redundant professionals through 'job clubs'. I've just heard that the contracts for these are being put through the REC for start in early April. Seems they really are aiming to deliver these using recruitment firms rather than providers, as there isn't a peep about them on the DWP website.

ESF Phase 2 PQQ Event

As with most contract briefings, the presentations basically repeated the ESF PQQ instructions to make sure that everyone understood what was needed. The only new news was that the previous ESF round (2007-13) has 24,000 starts to date, with 9% job entry rate against starts or 36% against leavers. This compares to a 36% job outcomes target in the new ESF round.

Observer: Minister in welfare 'cover-up' row

Key Points from the Select Committee report on FND and Commissioning


The Select Committee were broadly supportive of the current contracting reforms, but had particular concerns about the future of local delivery and small organisations, and about the deliverability of FND in a recession.

DWP Bidding Opportunities - Event Report

Before each presentation at this event, the speaker often apologised to existing DWP providers that they would probably repeat a lot of information they already knew. Despite this, it was a useful day even for them. The reason? There was over an hour of Q&A with the most senior contracts people in the DWP. I've put together a rough outline of the presentations, and the Q&A. The DWP will publish the slides from the presentations on the 6th of March.