DWP have announced the private companies who have been successful in bidding for the Flexible New Deal Phase 1 contracts. These contracts involve the wholesale privatisation of a large chunk of Jobcentre Plus work out of the civil service into the hands of private companies.
PCS opposes privatisation
The Flexible New Deal involves privatising all employment services for Jobseekers who have been unemployed for over 12 months. This move greatly extends the role of the private sector in delivering Jobcentre Plus services, a move that PCS is completely opposed to. There is no evidence that the private or voluntary sectors can out-perform the experienced and committed advisers in Jobcentre Plus in helping the unemployed find jobs.
Recent performance data from the Pathways to Work contracts show that the private sector, including many of the same companies who have just been given these new Flexible New Deal contracts, are performing considerably worse than in-house Jobcentre Plus Pathways teams. PCS believes that this is yet another example of the interests of big business being put before the delivery of effective high quality public services.
No TUPE transfers
Following legal advice, DWP have confirmed that TUPE is in scope for the transfer of this work from Jobcentre Plus to the new supplier. However DWP have assured PCS that all existing New Deal staff will be redeployed to alternative posts within DWP prior to the start of the Flexible New Deal contracts in October 2009. Therefore DWP have confirmed that there will be no compulsory transfer of any DWP staff to the private sector when these contracts start.
Successful Flexible New Deal Phase 1 bidders
A4e Black Country
A4e Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire & Rutland
A4e Central London, Lambeth Southwark & Wandsworth
A4e North and East Yorkshire and Humber and Tees Valley
A4e South Yorkshire and Derbyshire
Calder Central London, Lambeth Southwark & Wandsworth
Dudley Borough Council Black Country
Max Employment Surrey, Sussex and Kent
Mentor Birmingham and Solihull
Pertemps Coventry and Warwickshire, The Marches and Staffordshire
Remploy South Yorkshire & Derbyshire
Seetec Birmingham and Solihull
Serco Coventry and Warwickshire, The Marches and Staffordshire
Serco Greater Manchester Central and Greater Manchester East and West
Serco North and Mid Wales and South East Wales
Skills Training Surrey, Sussex and Kent
TNG Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire & Rutland
Wise Group Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, Ayrshire Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde
WorkDirections Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, Ayrshire Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde
WorkDirections Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire
Working Links Devon and Cornwall
Working Links Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire
Working Links North and East Yorkshire and Humber and Tees Valley
Working Links South Wales Valleys and South West Wales
Members will see that some contacts have two successful bidders. This is because the government believe that the long term unemployed want a choice about which provider they go to. However the choice to remain with Jobcentre Plus is not an option that is being made available to them.