Steven Morgan has been announced as the new Chair of the National Procurement Service for Wales Board.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has today announced the appointment of Mr Steven R. Morgan as the new Chair of the National Procurement Service for Wales Board. He has previously worked in the public and private sector.

The National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS) manages contracts for common and repetitive spend across the public sector in Wales and helps to reduce expenditure; eliminate duplication, develop a sustainable procurement model and increase efficiency.

Miliband outlines Labour plans to devolve powers over skills funding, employment and the Work Programme

Labour leader Ed Miliband has delivered a speech and written to council leaders setting out his plans for devolution of economic powers. Mr Miliband has said that under Labour’s proposals; cities, counties and LEPs will take control of local economic plans, investment in infrastructure, skills budgets and the Work Programme.

DWP slashes number of employees the Health and Work Service will assist by a third

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has cut the number of employees its new Health and Work Service (HWS) will be able to support back to work by more than a third.

The service offers non-compulsory medical assessments and treatment plans for people who have been off work for more than four weeks. However, as part of its aim to limit the number of workers accessing the service, the DWP has admitted that it may restrict employer referrals or extend the early intervention period to beyond four weeks.

Councils have run out of emergency funds set aside to help those affected by the bedroom tax

Despite the government increasing the money available to local authorities, many councils had already exceeded their budget for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in February, several weeks before the end of the financial year on 31 March. Consequently, thousands of people are at risk of being “driven into destitution”, as the emergency funds set aside to help those worst affected by the measure become increasingly sparse.

Doors are closing on housing benefit claimants

A new report by the London Assembly Housing Committee entitled ‘Assesing the consequences of welfare reform’, has found that landlords across the capital are increasingly more reluctant to rent to housing benefit tenants, which is affecting one-third of claimants.

Most workers on zero-hours contracts are paid less than the national average wage

New analysis of wage levels completed for the TUC, has found that almost four in five, or 79 per cent of those employers on zero-hours contracts receive less than the average national rate of pay.

Disabled researchers propose alternatives to failed job tests

A new report entitled Beyond the Barriers, which was entirely researched, written and supported by disabled people, aims to kick-start a significant new debate about the failure of sickness and disability support in the UK. Topics covered include what must be done to improve it and why, and how current systems should be re-designed so that all members of society can achieve their goals and aspirations.

Migrant jobseekers to face English language test before claiming JSA

The government has announced that from the end of April, migrant claimants will face a spoken English test in England - and if their language is found to be a barrier to looking for work, they will be expected to improve it.

Bedroom tax leaves 100,000 tenants trapped in larger homes and wanting to move

Two separate studies published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), have found that the spare room subsidy or ‘bedroom tax’ has left tenants struggling to cope and has failed to free up homes in many areas. It also discovered that savings to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will fall short in the policy’s first year.

It is still not clear Universal Credit IT will work warn MPs

A new Work and Pensions Committee report has warned that there is a worrying uncertainty about the new Universal Credit (UC) IT system, which includes how it will work, how much it will cost and who will develop it.

Announcing the #YouthFriendlyMP Campaign

Youth Employment UK (YEUK) has launched its major campaign of 2014. 

Shazia Fletcher, Head of Employer Routed Funding: Apprenticeships at BIS, to speak at an upcoming Campaign for Learning seminar

The Campaign for Learning are delighted to announce that Shazia Fletcher, Head of Employer Routed Funding: Apprenticeships at BIS, will be speaking at our seminar on the apprenticeship funding consultation on Wednesday, 9th April.

Disabled people affected by the housing benefit changes face "severe financial hardship and distress," MPs warn

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Committee have warned that the changes to housing benefit that were implemented in Scotland, England and Wales in April are having a “severe” effect. MPs explained that this is because the reduction of payments for social tenants deemed to have a larger home than they need have hit vulnerable people not intended as targets.

Therese Rein agrees multimillion-dollar sale of jobseeker business Ingeus

U.S based employment company, Providence Service Corporation, has agreed to acquire Ingeus Limited, an Australia-based company that provides workforce development and related programs in ten countries, including the Work Programme in the UK.

George Osborne commits the Conservative Party to full employment

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has committed the Conservative Party to “a fight for full-employment,” in a speech marking the start of the tax and benefit changes in the UK.