Chris Grayling – Minister with responsibility for the Work Programme delivered a powerful speech today at the Institute for Economic Affairs to a room full of Primes, Sub-contractors and Specialist Providers gathered to hear about the work Programme one year on.
Aaron Henricksen – new head at Maximus – and Sean Williams of G4S rubbed shoulders with jobseekers and specialist providers and employers. I was there as guest of the inspiring Fiona Twist – who runs the high performing EOS Aston Centre. See Picture.
Grayling was clear that Providers had to perform or he would take action. He said he was not sentimental, not there to provide an income stream and cared more about the quality of the service than who provided it.
- Performance in some centres is better than others – ranging from 18-26% of job entry for JSA claimants.
- He said that Providers should be a dating agency for individuals to meet employers.
- He suggested that if someone else was doing well that people do some industrial espionage to find out whats working and copy it.
- He made clear that what is required in intensive intervention and that the more intense the better the results had been.
- He praised groups like the Cross London Primes for getting together to make Employers lives easier.
I asked about any extra support for Lone Parents – but Grayling said no – he did not want to add complexity. I suggested Childcare but again he said there would be be no special case made for Lone Parents.