Month: March 2018

Employment Related Services Association

29 June is to be the third annual UK ‘Employability Day’ and ERSA is calling for all organisations involved in employment support to get involved, by hosting events, talking to local MPs, informing the local press and social media, and other publicising activities. ERSA wants to know what your plans are for the day and has provided an online form for completion to help, which is available here. Online support materials are also available from ERA here.

Joanne Cholerton

Why Join 3SC?

An interview with Joanne Cholerton, CEO.

The heart of 3SC’s work is building third sector consortia – like-minded organisations operating together to get and deliver on contracts from the public sector. This is no mere business – it’s a business that has the vision of creating a greater amount of social impact
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Dynamic Purchasing System

The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is a procedure available for contracts for works, services and goods commonly available on the market. The DPS can streamline procurement for both suppliers and authorities; suppliers don’t have to demonstrate suitability and capability every time they wish to compete for a public sector contract, and the award of individual tenders can be quicker than under some other procedures. Once the DPS is set up, an authority may award specific contracts using a DPS that they are entitled to use by inviting all suppliers admitted to the relevant category to bid. The Government is currently giving a series of presentations in different regions, giving an in-depth walkthrough of the accreditation process, the ‘Employability Journey’ and explain how suppliers can get involved. For more information contact:

ERSA employability awards

Finalists for the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) 2018 awards will be announced at the ERSA annual general meeting on 19 April, and awards will be presented to the winners in June 2018. There are several categories and include: Disability and Health Employment; Youth Employment; Innovation; Partner of the Year; Adviser of the Year; Team of the Year; Large Employer of the Year; Small or Medium Employer of the Year; Significant Achievement; and a Lifetime Achievement.

Department of Work and Pensions

The DWP has replaced their flexible support fund with a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) and plan to spend £35m in the current financial year. We have a place on the DPS and are currently getting a steady stream of call offs. At the moment these are in Wales, the Midlands and the North West but could expand to cover the whole of the country. This does seem to offer a way to pay for services to support some marginalised communities back into work.

Home Office – Advice, Issue, Reporting and Eligibility

The Home Office is re-commissioning services for asylum seekers in the UK. One of the services being tendered for is AIRE. This service will involve each asylum seeker being provided with a single point of contact that will offer support, and help them navigate the asylum process. The provision will provide support with the process of the application for asylum and will also address other support issues and help resolve accommodation issues, including those associated with resettlement for those who are granted leave to remain. The tender for this service will be launched in the next few months and as soon as the requirement is clear it will seek expressions of interest from relevant organisations.

Ministry of Justice: Prison Education Framework

The MoJ are running a tender for places on the Prison Education Framework (PEF). Most of the activity commissioned will be college courses, delivered in prison and associated with English, Maths and ICT. The MoJ will also be commissioning work which will focus on employability and mentoring, and 3SC are talking to many of the potential primes about developing such services for them. At the moment it is not clear how much mentoring and employability activity will be commissioned through the PEF as that will be decided locally by prison governors in response to local need in the autumn. The MoJ are also going to develop a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) to sit alongside the framework, and prison governors will additionally use this to commission pieces of work to support the delivery of accredited courses commissioned through the PEF. Delivery will begin in the spring of 2019 and detailed discussions are expected to begin this autumn.