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Work Programme Minimum Service

DWP yesterday published details of the minimum service delivery levels that each prime contractor wrote in their Work Programme bid.  These are contractual requirements, so if they are not delivered DWP will be taking action (or so the story goes).

So what does the most radical change to welfare delivery, and the innovative black box approach offer in the way of minimum standards?  Have primes set themselves stretching standards which show their absolute commitment to providing a high level of service?  Are the minimum service levels innovative and inspiring?

Download the full list of service levels from DWP's Work Programme page.

Well ... overall not very much new or innovative quite frankly.  There are lots of service levels relating to specification requirements such as speed of start up, minimum contact time, paying childcare and travel, assessing customers and producing action plans, abiding by data protection laws.  But overall, we're disappointed.  These service levels don't make the Work Programme look any different from anything that has gone before. 

The following are highlights from the minimum service delivery list (we've excluded an online portal for customers as that appears to be a common thread):

  • A4e are offering Recharge activities for people who aren't making progress
  • CDG and Maximus are offering Expert Volunteers to support customers
  • ESG are offering a Rewards card for customers to gain points and prizes
  • Ingeus have a professional Careers Academy
  • NCG are offering their InFit programme and a discount card
  • Prospects have an Ascent Employability Kit where each customer will receive a minimum of one item such as a haircut, personal hygiene kit, alarm clock, work or interview clothing!  They also have an Ascent Tracker where customers can log in online to view their progress.

And that really is it.  Let us know what you think.  Is this a missed opportunity or are providers just promising low so they over achieve? Is there any real innovation in the Work Programme?


23 June 2011

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