This is something which, presumably, the government has thought about. They have suggested in the past that they want to get smaller organisations and the "third sector" involved, but that will only happen if they act as sub-contractors to the big companies.
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
"Providers of New Deal to voice concerns"
There's to be a meeting tomorrow, 2 June, between the "minister for work", Chris Grayling, and the body which represents the New Deal providers. That body, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is chaired by Rob Murdoch, who is an executive director of A4e. The Financial Times reports on this today, and says that the providers "have spent millions bidding for the second wave of Labour's Flexible New Deal contracts". It goes on: "Those contracts were put on hold just as they were about to be awarded when the general election was called. But the existing providers also hold contracts under the first wave of Flexible New Deal that run to 2014." Current stop-gap contracts are due to stop taking on new clients next month, and the government wants the Work Programme up and running by April next year. Given that the government wants to roll up all the various existing contracts into one provision and put people on it much earlier, it "implies larger scale contracts", says Murdoch. He points out that if providers are only going to get paid for outcomes, it "has big implications for cashflows". If an organisation has to wait longer for payment, only the biggest companies can afford to bid for the contracts and stump up the money. Murdoch also has a threat for the government. "If they breach contracts, that would be very negative for how the provider market looks at the changes."