Oddly, given the evidence from the Public Accounts Committee that Jobcentres worked better on the Pathways to Work:
Contractors have universally failed by considerable margins to meet their contractual targets for helping claimants who are required to go through Pathways. They have performed worse than Jobcentre Plus areas, although recent improvements have narrowed the difference.Predictably, the government is going with the external providers, even though the contract management last time round looks to have been exceptionally poor and has erred on the side of the supplier.
Despite being paid £100 million in 2008–09, providers claim not to have made a profit from their contracts. The Department agreed to pay £24 million in service fees early in view of contractor cash flow problems, although we consider the need for this was questionable given the large size of some of the organisations involved. The Department had an objective to build a healthy market, but has failed to develop an adequate understanding of the supply chain. It has not monitored how well prime contractors are sharing rewards and risks with the more than 80 specialist sub-contractors involved, and we have concerns that effective small private and voluntary organisations working in local communities are being asked to take an unfair share of the risk by prime contractors.It isn't clear that lessons have been learned from this programme, as
Graham Hoyle, the chief executive of the Association of Learning Providers - who represents more than 100 firms and voluntary organisations bidding for Work Programme contracts - says "there is no question" that some of them will go out of business, and community groups or voluntary groups hoping to get contractsSo, within a day of another relaunch, that's another nail in the coffin of the Big Society.
are particularly vulnerable.
Oh and the reward for the effectiveness of Jobcentre Plus? 9300 jobs will be cut from a service that we actually need. Fewer people will be helped by a less-effective service.