Meanwhile, A4e continues to look to other areas of business. In Northern Ireland they've been awarded a £400,000, 2-year contract to provide a free debt advice phone line.
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Is FND finished?
The Flexible New Deal contracts have only just got under way, but already seem irrelevant. The Conservatives have said that they will "renegotiate" them to transform them into their (or David Freud's) idea of welfare-to-work. The Tory proposals would pay providers only for outcomes - and 12-month "sustainable" job outcomes at that. Anyone with a glimmering of knowledge of the current jobs market knows how scarce such permanent jobs are. FND providers were concerned that it wouldn't pay; and that was with 80% of the payment on job outcomes of 13 weeks or more. Who will want to bid for contracts with 100% on job outcomes of a year? Even if some up-front money is provided to help cover costs, will the only bidders be institutions like FE colleges, who have the necessary infrastructure anyway, and large companies like A4e and Serco which can bear the costs? We shall see.