Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence

Further memorandum submitted by the Department for Work and Pensions (OP 08A)



  1.  Following a recent visit to Benefits Agency (BA), Employment Services (ES) and Jobcentre Plus offices in Wakefield, Leeds, Huddersfield and Sheffield by the Work and Pensions Committee, Mark Neale agreed to provide further detail on the innovations currently being delivered by private/voluntary sector (PVS) partners in the ONE pilot areas.


  2.  Immediate. This provides the Committee with some additional background to their recent visits and is for information only.


  3.  As part of the competition for private/voluntary sector leadership of ONE, the PVS partners were asked to put forward their proposals to introduce added value and innovative ideas. These were intended to improve the effectiveness of service delivery and were separately identified within partners proposals for implementing and delivering the service. In operating the ONE service, partners have continued to work closely with ES, BA and local authorities to refine and introduce their innovative ideas. They were particularly keen to enhance the job outcomes achieved from non-JSA clients in response to specific actions sought by Ministers to attach these clients to the labour market. Innovative proposals currently being delivered in the four ONE PVS areas are set out as follows:

4.  Reed In Partnership—North Nottinghamshire

  The innovation focuses in the main on helping non-JSA clients into work through "Reed Discovery", a programme that has been tested in the Employment Zones that Reed operate. The aim of Reed Discovery is to build upon the foundations laid down by ONE in North Nottinghamshire working further to engage the non-JSA client group, including Lone Parents and those claiming Incapacity Benefits.

  Reed Discovery comprises three sections, covering:

    —  Motivation and goal identification.

    —  Business Culture.

    —  Jobsearch.

  Reed Discovery intends to engage 400 clients and aims to help 100 of those clients into sustainable employment. In addition Reed are delivering an outreach facility to clients who are unable to come into their Reed Discovery centre.

5.  Deloitte Consulting Ltd—Leeds

  Deloitte have implemented a number of innovations within the Leeds pilot area to enhance both their performance and the service to clients.

  These include:

    —  Opportunity Centre—which delivers an enhanced caseloading service to non-JSA clients, particularly refugees and asylum seekers.

    —  Lone Parent Mentoring—providing additional support to lone parents entering ONE and will contribute to better outcomes and sustainable employment for this client group.

    —  Active Job Matching and Sustainability Support—this involves increased client contact with the labour market by increasing the level of submissions to vacancies. The aim is to achieve an increase in the number of clients placed into sustainable employment.

    —  Ex-Offender Job and Training Brokering—the aim is to enhance the ONE service for the ex-offender client group by matching training provision directly to the needs of the local labour market.

    —  Client Profiling and Streaming—in order to better meet the needs of clients the length of the initial work-focussed meeting is tailored to the individual client. This will particularly benefit the non-JSA client group.

6.  Deloitte Consulting Ltd—Suffolk

  The innovative proposals implemented by Deloitte in Suffolk are quite different from those implemented in Leeds. The differences reflect the needs of the individual clients and labour markets within the pilot areas. The broad aims however are very similar in that they are focussed on enhancing the service to clients and therefore improving the performance of the pilot area.

  The innovations are as follows:

    —  Targeted Job Placement Activities—this is aimed at specific client groups particularly those facing barriers to work. Teams of peripatetic advisers and job matching clerks offer a service to clients with a strong focus on returning to work.

    —  Targeted Client Marketing & Advisory Service—this innovation focuses on clients with barriers to work, including those in rural areas. The service is available to all client groups but particular focus is placed on long-term incapacitated clients and people with disabilities.

    —  Dedicated Screening and Matching Service—this service is aimed at those clients who already have a strong focus on returning to work. The service will undertake one-to-one caseloading, match clients to job vacancies and actively market the client and job to each other.

    —  Lone Parents Dedicated Matching Service (Stock Clients)—this innovation is aimed at Lone Parents who demonstrate a desire to return to work. At initial meetings advisers will be able to offer advice and undertake extensive job matching to help the client into employment. Employers will also be targeted to increase opportunities for Lone Parents. Support will also be offered to the employee and employer in the first 13 weeks of employment.

    —  Provision of a Telephone and Postal Support Service—this innovation has been implemented due to the dispersed and rural nature of the county to respond to the needs of the local client group. The aim is to provide a centralised point of contact for all telephone enquiries and postal claims and provide a call-back service to clients. Staff will establish whether clients requesting a new claim to benefit are capable of participating in an initial work-focussed meeting. This will ensure an early focus on job readiness assessment and job submission.

7.  Action for Employment—North Cheshire

  A number of proposals have been implemented in North Cheshire to enhance the service delivered to clients these include the following:

    —  Electronic Claim Form—an IT solution, which enables clients to provide their personal details once, with these details then populating the appropriate electronic claims forms before being printed and signed.

    —  Lone Parent Open Week—This took place in Halton Lea Jobcentre and highlighted the help and services available to Lone Parents.

    —  DfEE Health and Safety Approved Toys—these are designed to make the atmosphere in the ONE sites more welcoming for clients with children.

    —  Specialist Vacancy Matcher—this service is aimed at matching clients to vacancies across the North Cheshire pilot area. ES vacancies will be matched up to clients skills, experience and qualifications to ensure that employers are provided with quality candidates.

    —  Development of ONE Personal Adviser Training Event—designed to encompass those elements of adviser work not covered by existing training events.

    —  Delivery of Training to Personal Advisers—this will centre around the use of the Labour Market System IT and how the system should be used to effectively capture the results of advisory interventions.

    —  Employer Open Day—in order to encourage take up of vacancies in care work a local employer was invited to meet with ONE clients.

January 2002

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