There's still no sign of the Channel 4 programme, "The Wager", in which A4e's Emma Harrison was to have a starring role. It was supposedly scheduled for June. Has it been shelved?
Saturday, 3 July 2010
Is the Work Programme doomed?
There's been a "Welfare to Work UK" convention going on this week, with the various providers taking part, along with Chris Grayling and other interested parties (although not, of course, the clients). A significant contribution came from a spokesman for Serco. The whole Work Programme is predicated on the idea that providers will only be paid for sustained outcomes, and that means, as the DWP has said, that the "framework" will have to consist of the bigger companies which can stand the up-front costs of providing the service long before they get any money back. A4e has not publicly criticised this model. But Serco, the biggest and richest provider of the lot, is now signalling that they will pull out of the bidding for the contracts if they consider them not financially viable. The government is apparently negotiating, and Chris Grayling has said that the WP has to be agreeable to both the DWP and the providers if it is to succeed. Does this mean that the government will have to back down? If they have to concede that their model won't work it would be a major blow. A poster on the Indus Delta site reports that a suggestion that the government would lend the money to the providers is definitely out, and that Grayling is going to try to persuade city bankers to "invest" instead.