Bidding opportunities – DWP Welfare to Work services

The following went up on the DWP site on the 12th of February. We'll be covering each of the upcoming rounds in detail on Indus Delta over the coming months, starting with IDEAS

Is your organisation innovative, able to deliver or oversee the delivery of quality provision to high standards and offer value for money?

Can you unlock the talents of individuals, help them enter employment and support them in the development of new skills? If so, we’d like to talk to you.

New site layout

We've changed the site design a bit, to make it easier to find the stories and information that interest you. Take a look around, why not? Feedback welcome.

FND - What's going on?

It's been an unusual week for the welfare-to-work industry, with a flurry of stories about Flexible New Deal, starting with a temporary pause in contract award and ending with rumours of the whole process being cancelled. So what was actually going on?

Having talked to a few of the people involved, it appears that what was mainly going on was the blowing up of footnotes into headline stories. Sometimes shining a light on an industry creates more shadows than it removes*.

FND procurement paused - providers have to resubmit bids

Letters were sent to providers on Friday announcing a 'pause' in the Flexible New Deal contracting round, which was due to announce its results this month. Here's the FT article that broke the story

Update - and here's the letter!

Note for Financial Times readers

Indus Delta was mentioned on the front page of the FT on Friday. Their article was a write-up of performance issues with the Pathways to Work provision. This article on the Indus Delta website provided the source material for the FT story. If you're interested in finding out more about welfare reform, welfare-to-work, and unemployment programmes generally, you can sign up here to receive free weekly updates on everything that's happening in the welfare-to-work sector.

Business Action on Homelessness Report - get homeless people into jobs

I've posted this press release directly, as there's no facility for non-providers to upload stories yet. This will change!

A report published this week by Business in the Community’s (BITC) Business Action on Homelessness (BAOH) campaign indicates that savings to Government could be in the region of £1.7bn by investing in a financial incentive for homeless people who are ‘ready to work’. The report – Making Work, Work – is the culmination of research carried out by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of BAOH in 2008.

Reed making mass redundancies

News has come in that Reed in Partnership laid off 5% of their workforce and put 10% under consultation on January 27th. As one of the biggest Pathways to Work deliverers, this is not a positive sign for the future of the provision. Given that nobody is achieving target on Pathways, companies or charities may start collapsing if the targets, payments and referrals aren't sorted out soon.

Update - Reed in Partnership have issued the following statement:

IPPR Survey request - managers and advisers in employment support organisations

The Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) is currently researching how personal advisers in the welfare system can be best equipped to deliver a personalised and flexible system of welfare to work in order to support more people off benefits and into sustainable employment.

We are looking for people to complete an online survey to help us get a clearer picture of how the system currently works. The first survey is for personal advisers working in employment support organisations and the second survey is for managers working in employment support organisations.

Social Mobility White Paper

The New Opportunities White Paper is making its way toward law. The major impacts of this on welfare-to-work are:

  • £500 training entitlement for parents or carers returning to work
  • Employment support programme for young people leaving care
  • 35,000 new apprenticeship places
  • Full time community volunteering programme for people not in education, employment or training in 33 local authorities

Welfare Reform Bill submitted to Parliament

Following on from the Welfare Reform White Paper, the Welfare Reform Bill was released today. This will change all the necessary laws to implement the White Paper.

FND Gateway proposals unveiled

The DWP have released details of a new £500m support package for the FND Stage 2 period of 6-12 months unemployment, to be rolled out from April

Traffic Light performance for all provisions

Update 13/1 - now with analysis of the figures! The DWP have sent Alan Cave's traffic light reports through. I've extracted the main summary page below, and the Excel file is at the bottom of this story.

Performance for different groups

summary graphs from the Excel file

Workless in 2009 – Event Report

Shortly before Christmas, CESI ran a particularly star-studded conference. The sheer quantity of information from the 14 speakers and 6 sessions has taken a while to digest. I've put together some highlights, and the session plan and PowerPoint slides can be found on the CESI website.

Calder buys Talent Recruitment

This just in, unedited and from the horse's mouth

Shortlisted FND-bidder Calder Holding of the Netherlands has acquired the majority share in Talent Recruitment. Talent will continue to trade as it is and its job brokerage services should bolster Calder's bids for Central London and LSW district, Coventry, Warwickshire and The Marches.

Whither Indus Delta?

The website and newswire have been growing over the past 18 months. It's now reached ubiquity - I went to a CESI conference on Wednesday, and almost everyone there was a subscriber. And what they all asked me, immediately after saying they read it every week, was: