Meanwhile Roy Newey has been at a "Global Skills Summit" in India, where "A4e India has been working closely with the Government of India for delivering globally benchmarked skills for the bottom of pyramid clients on a pan-India basis. A4e India aims to create a Credible, collaborative, competency based and transparent skills training system with the government, private and third sector organisation partnerships." Also taking part was "Rt. Hon. David Blunkett, Member of Parliament, UK and A4e advisor".
Thursday, 29 September 2011
More on that £300k contract
Private Eye has pointed out that the £300k contract for A4e is about more than just investigating the effectiveness of SIBs. It's "to design the kind of contracts for which it will itself bid". The government is "putting its main welfare contractor in charge of designing welfare contracts". The Eye likens this to the PFI shambles. The contract documents can be found on the Contracts Finder website. They include A4e's proposal, and there are some interesting bits in that. "We were pioneers in implementing PBR (payment by results) contracts to deliver employment outcomes in Israel, and used what we learnt to influence UK government thinking in the development of both the flexible New Deal and the Work Programme." (That was the Israel contract which was so controversial because the British government was supposed to be against involvement in the occupied territories but helped A4e get the business.) The document goes on to boast about their " experience and expertise acquired over many years" and their investment in "specialist expertise to support whole-family based intervention at local level, through Families Unlimited." Other documentation shows that A4e will be involved in "knowledge transfer", and they will “organise a seminar to discuss lessons learnt with lead officials in Central Government” and prepare a “how-to guide to be used by future commissioners". Could a company get closer to government than that? Worth being excluded from the ESF contracts, perhaps. They will probably, though not certainly, be excluded from bidding on the 4 contracts they are currently helping to design, in Birmingham, Leicestershire, Hammersmith and Westminster, but when it's rolled out, it will all be up for grabs.