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:

More providers and contracts in our database

The provider and contracts databases have been updated! The new database covers over 400 providers and 1100 contracts.

Key points from the Welfare Reform White Paper

The White Paper is essentially the Green Paper plus the Gregg Review. Some of the more controversial proposals (Work for Your Benefit, mandated support for lone parents with younger children etc.) will start out as pilots or trailblazers. The responses to the consultation are outlined in some detail in the appendices, but the only major changes are the softening of drug-testing proposals and the freeze on transfer of carers from IS.

Key points from the Gregg Review of Conditionality

Paul Gregg's review of benefits and conditionality was published on 2nd November. The web page and full report are available here. For ease of reference, I've put the main points and press coverage below. However, the actual report is definitely worth reading - just the list of recommendations at the end of the report is 7 pages long!

Compass and PCS give the anti-reform campaign some edge

Compass and the PCS are leading the latest charge in the anti-reform campaign. With no major newspaper or political party on their side they're facing a tough battle. But what are their own proposals?

Latest star ratings released for Employment Zones

The April-September star ratings have just been released. Major headline? They're totally different to the previous set of ratings. To the point where it raises questions about whether they're worth looking at. I might put together an analysis of the results for next week if there's enough demand, but I can't guarantee that the analysis won't say 'ignore them'. Anyone interested?

21 year old to find meaningful work

Can you please advise what knowledge and help you are able to provide a 21 year old who obtained good results of A's and B' s in GCSE level but made a mess of 6th Form and after several stints volunteering abroad and here locally in Somerset plus lots of temp work - he is negative about job prospects and is totally unable to specify an area in what kind of job he would or could get. The local job centre is trying to help but just keep giving him low grade jobs which he sees no future in . with thanks x

Lone parents entering JSA

Is Ofsted working?

It's been a few years since I helped on an inspection visit from the then-ALI. Since then, performance statistics have become far more important, with class and one-to-one observations taking more of a back seat. Given the forthcoming introduction of star ratings and recent criticisms of Ofsted's school inspections as pointless, what's the purpose of Ofsted inspections nowadays? Does anyone find them useful?

FoI request for provider performance data - in progress

I've just submitted an FoI request for the traffic light reports that the DWP put together each month. Wish me luck!

PRaP - going pear-shaped?

Rumours abound that the Provider Referrals and Payments system to automate SL2s in Flexible New Deal delivery has, um, a few issues. I've put together some thoughts, but I've got a limited knowledge to work from. Contributions welcome!