Most of the prime providers are advertising for "partners" in the Work Programme, as the government wants. A4e doesn't seem to be doing this, probably preferring to keep the dealings to themselves. Some of the voluntary sector organisations are agonising about whether they should engage with it at all. The real deals are being done with the banks which will finance the companies, and the question is whether the £400 - £600 "attachment fee" for each client will be enough to get them on board. Among many interesting aspects of the contracts will be how many of the existing FND providers get the new contracts in the areas in which they've been operating. My guess is all of them, because to do anything else would cost a lot of money in compensation.
CDG are still pushing the "Expert Volunteer Initiative", the plan to recruit an army of volunteer mentors for the unemployed. They have appointed as Chair of a working group Dr Mike Nussbaum, former chair of Volunteering England. They say that the initiative is designed "to complement the work currently carried out by welfare to work providers" but don't explain how this can sit alongside the payment of large sums of money to private companies.
Publicity for Emma Harrison seems confined to the Sheffield press at the moment. The Star says: "Unstoppable Emma Harrison is riding high with her ever-expanding welfare-to-work business A4e. But it's not all been brilliant news recently. She talks about the highs and lows of life at the top in tomorrow's Business Monthly." Has anyone seen this article?