Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Contracts and Amin

There is some confusion at the DWP over what to do about contracts which are in the pipeline. Yesterday it was announced that the publication of results of bidding for Work Choices has been delayed. (This is the programme which replaces Workstep, for those with support needs in employment.) But today the providers who have been successful at the PQQ stage of something called the "progress2work-LinkUP and Welfare Reform Drugs Recovery Pilot" have been published. What is that? There's a partial explanation on the DWP's website. The results here show that A4e have been shortlisted in 11 of the 19 contract areas. So while, as we reported on 19 February, the government is pressing ahead with pilot contracts for integrated "Personalised Employment Programmes" it is persisting, or perhaps not, with specialised provision for those with special needs.
Perhaps we should look to places like Israel to see the future here. An article in the Jerusalem Post describes A4e's success there (where the company is called Amin). Bearing in mind that this is probably a PR piece like those which the company gets into British local papers, it is an interesting description of the regime for the "chronically unemployed" (how long before that phrase appears over here?). And it points out that the Israel contract (won in controversial circumstances) "led it to expand to other countries, including France, Germany and South Africa, and even has the company looking toward expansion to India."
PS: I received a comment from someone who claimed to have taken part in the forthcoming "Famous Rich Jobless" programme. If that person will send me another comment (it won't be published) with some evidence, I'll consider it.

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