Welfare to Work newswire

Free, weekly updates on news of interest to the welfare to work industry.

Indus Delta Welfare to Work Newswire - Emergency Budget - 22 June 2010

Latest news - Emergency Budget 2010

Budget’s increases on unemployment

The independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), one of the coalition government’s innovations, has forecast that the effect of this budget will be to increase unemployment up to 2014 over its pre-budget forecasts. In 2015, unemployment is forecast to fall below the OBR’s earlier estimates for 2014.

Welfare to Work Newswire (18th June 2010)

What's new on Indus Delta?

We are pleased to introduce our new Debate and Deliberate section to the Indus Delta website, which will see regular contributions from senior representatives in the industry and provide you with the opportunity to get involved in key debates and explore innovative thinking in the Welfare to Work sector.  This is a space where you are encouraged to publish your comments as experts and debate the key issues. So, what are you waiting for - get involved today!

Indus Delta Welfare to Work Newswire (11 June 2010)

LATEST NEWS

Important Newsflash - The Work Programme

A Ministerial Statement regarding the future of welfare to work contracting has been released.  All affected providers are being written to and are promised one to one discussions.  Read more here.

Jonathan Lewis from Social Investment Business defends current investment model

IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH - The Work Programme

A Ministerial Statement regarding the future of welfare to work contracting has been released today.  All affected providers are being written to and are promised one to one discussions to discuss what this means for them.

Key information is that:

Indus Delta Welfare to Work Newswire (7th June 2010)

LATEST NEWS

Coalition appoints Frank Field to lead on poverty review

The Government has appointed Labour MP for Birkenhead and former Social Security Minister to head up an independent review of policies to tackle poverty.  Read more at: http://indusdelta.co.uk/story/coalition_appoints_frank_field_to_lead_poverty_review/4327

Indus Delta Welfare to Work Newswire (28 May 2010)

LATEST NEWS

Inclusion Director of Policy and Communications, Fran Parry, writes:

Goodbye and Hello!

It's time to report on some changes at Indus Delta. We are sad to say goodbye to Paul Convery who is stepping down as ‘editor at large’ for Indus Delta. Following the May 2010 elections in London, Paul has become an Executive Councillor in Islington with a portfolio that includes regeneration and employment. To avoid any risks of conflicting interest he has therefore given up his role as an Associate with Inclusion.

Indus Delta Welfare to Work Newswire (24th May 2010)

New Government keeps us waiting …

The Coalition Government has published “Our Programme for Government” - a longer and more comprehensive statement of the policies agreed between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. A section on “Work and Welfare” provides a little more detail about how the Government intends to change the current benefit system, programmes and funding. Read the details at http://indusdelta.co.uk/story/coalition_...

14th May 2010 Indus Delta Newswire

The smoke begins to clear ... it's the Conservative welfare reform manifesto

As the Coalition Government took shape on Wednesday of this week, its welfare reform agenda became clear. The new Government's political agreement was published and the sections on welfare reform reveal that it will be based entirely on the Conservative Party's manifesto commitments.

The Ministerial appointments reflect this. The DWP Secretary of State is Ian Duncan Smith and the Minister of State for employment is Chris Grayling; a Lib Dem MP, Steve Webb, takes the Pensions portfolio in the Department. The Guardian has published a very good story which provides some insights into Ian Duncan Smith's background and charts the 5 year history of his socially conservative thinktank, the Centre for Social Justice.

The Coalition's policy agreement says the Government will:

  • create a single welfare to work programme to help all categories of unemployed people get back into work;
  • JSA claimants "facing the most significant barriers to work" will have immediate access to the programme;
  • JSA claimants aged under 25 will be referred after a maximum of six months;
  • contracts will be "re-aligned" on a payment by results basis
  • implement some kind of 'DEL/AME switch' mechanism to finance its programme
  • introduce greater conditionality for benefit receipt

7th May 2010 Indus Delta Newswire

"The morning after the night before"

To misquote Bill Clinton's famous quip "The British people have spoken. We just don't know what they said".

With widespread confusion and uncertainty about who will form the next Government, all predictions about the future direction of welfare-to-work policy may need to be revised. There are three (fairly obvious) likely scenarios: Tories form a minority administration; Tories do a deal with Lib Dems; Labour forms a pact with Lib Dems.

In each scenario, it is hard to see how any single political party's welfare reform proposals can be implemented entirely intact. Compromises between different policies are inevitable. We therefore need to prepare for a situation in which multiple policies and combinations are debated and bargained by an incoming Ministerial team.

The industry could react in two ways to this: wait and see what happens; or start exercising influence. We favour the latter. Obviously a few days of dust-settling is needed first. But the next Government is going to have to craft a suite of policies that reflect either the Tories' Work Programme but without necessarily tearing-up FND 2; and if the Lib Dems are exercising any leverage, DWP needs to be setting the pace on a massive new programme for young people.

We have all heard how the Cabinet Office is guiding the machinery of Government to reflect uncertain Parliamentary arithmetic. Individual Departments should also be preparing options and alternatives ... and that goes for Work and Pensions in a big way. So, step forward DWP. Set the pace. Remove uncertainty as quickly as possible. Move ahead with FND2 and remove the purdah-blight affecting commissioning that is still pending. And do it sharpish.

30th April 2010 Indus Delta Newswire

With less than a week left until polling day in the General Election, the policy debate over worklessness has heated up. On Indus Delta, all 3 parties have continued to explain their plans for welfare reform and policies designed to increase jobs and reduce worklessness. At the same time, the three main trade associations for the welfare to work sector have also published on Indus Delta their expectations for how policy will change after May 6th.

23rd April 2010 Indus Delta Newswire

It’s been another odd week in the welfare to work business. There’s been politics coming out of our ears, 24/7. Mind you it is probably the most significant general election in two decades. There’s not much intelligent policy debate going on at the headline-grabbing level. But there’s lots of underlying thinking underway during this “quiet” period. The economic and labour market data released this week are very significant though: the recovery is underway but the data suggests that it’s quite fragile still.

LABOUR MARKET

16th April 2010 Indus Delta Newswire

This week’s newswire is a little lighter than usual. With a General Election in full swing, the apparatus of Government has pretty much closed down. All decisions are on ice until after May 6th. All activity on the contracting front has been suspended. Official policy announcements have ceased. All press notices have been spiked. No new research is being published. But it hasn’t been completely quiet.

POLICY AND POLITICS

Party manifestos contain few welfare-to-work surprises

9th April Indus Delta Newswire

It’s been a very busy week for the politically excitable. But a very quiet week for everyone else – especially in the welfare to work industry. The Government has pretty much shut-down in line with the “Purdah” convention which applies during a General Election. Indus Delta is also following the “purdah” principles and sticking clear of treading on politically sensitive toes during this period. See more at: http://indusdelta.co.uk/story/general_el.... But that principle is already proving quite hard to stick to ... see below.

1st April Indus Delta Newswire

PROGRAMME DELIVERY

FND2 - deadline stretched to April 23 ... DWP opens-up all CPAs to rebidding
The deadline for submitting revised pricing schedules for FND2 has been extended to April 23rd following representations by shortlisted prime contractors. In a surprise move, DWP also says that shortlisted Primes may consider bidding for other CPAs. http://indusdelta.co.uk/story/fnd2_deadl...

Future Jobs Fund will increase to 205,000 places

25th March Newswire

PROGRAMME DELIVERY

FND 2 - estimated client volumes plunge - bidders asked to revise proposals
Prime contractors bidding for phase 2 of Flexible New Deal were told on 23rd March that DWP has sharply reduced the planning assumptions about the number of clients eligible for the programme. The 5 year totals drop to just a half of the original volume on which tenders were submitted. Bidders have been asked to provide revised pricing proposals.
http://indusdelta.co.uk/story/fnd_2_esti...