Given the growing financial pressures placed on local authorities, this year’s Public Sector Finance Conference is the ideal platform to assess the future of funding and financial management, whilst examining practical solutions to ensure efficiency and capitalise on innovative commercial and income generation opportunities. With the MHCLG sharing updates on the progress and implications of the Fair Funding Review, you can join them on the 10th of October in Central London to examine the next steps in business rates retention, as well as securing value for money and financial sustainability in the delivery of high quality services. The morning keynote speech is by Stuart Hoggan, Deputy Director, Local Government Finance Settlement & Directorate, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government The theme of his talk is: Developing Secure Foundations for Local Government Finance Reinforcing the commitment to support local government funding by giving English councils access to more than £200 billion in funding over five years Outlining the future of local government funding and budget allocations as per the 2018-2019 Local Government Finance Settlement Giving …
19 July 2018, 10am–4.30pm, London This NPC training is for charities keen to improve their impact—developing a theory of change is a good place to start. It shows what you want to achieve and how, setting out the causal links between your activities and end goal. For more information and to book, follow this link.
James Brokenshire, the Housing Secretary, announced a new Housing First pilot to get rough sleepers off the streets of Greater Manchester, the West Midlands Combined Authority Area and the Liverpool City Region. These schemes will involve the development of Housing First provision which puts the emphasis on finding individuals a secure and affordable home to live in, while providing them with expert support to rebuild their lives. Housing first is a model originally developed in the US that has now been piloted with considerable success across Europe. 3SC are looking at how they can be involved in the delivery of the pilot in the West Midlands.
Sadiq Kahn, the Mayor of London, has launched the GLA Young Londoners Fund, to provide a range of services focusing on employment, skills, being active and community involvement targeting young people from the ages of 10 to 21, who are at risk of exclusion or involvement in criminal activity and young people who have already been involved in criminal activities. The current tender has a total value of £15 million with most of this money being let as small grants of less than £50,000 a year. 3SC is exploring whether some of the larger grants available would suit a consortium approach. Details can be found here and the application deadline is midday 9 July.
18 June is Autistic Pride Day, an internationally celebrated day during which many events – initiated and led by people with autism – will be held.
The Ministry of Justice will open a dynamic purchasing system during the summer to facilitate the purchase of services in prisons that will complement the core curriculum offers through the Prison Education Framework. The DPS is an opportunity for providers to offer a range of interventions, such as mentoring and employability training. 3SC will be seeking to get a range of offers that it can subcontract onto this DPS that we would seek to subcontract out to delivery organisations.
Social Enterprise UK has launched a quarterly newsletter to keep people abreast of developments in its Places Programme, which aims to promote, raise awareness, and build the markets for social enterprise at a local and national level. Hotspots of social enterprise activity can be awarded the Social Enterprise Place badge, which celebrates their achievements and supports their growth. There are currently 25 accredited Places across the UK; to become one you can find out more here.
29 June is Employability Day, organised by the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), which campaigns for better services for jobseekers and learners. This is the third such annual event; a key messaging pdf is available here.
The Welsh Government have launched their Working Wales tender, which will replace a number of existing programmes, including Jobs Growth Wales, ReAct, Traineeships and the Employability Skills Programme. The service aims to support people of all ages to overcome barriers and gain the skills to achieve and maintain good quality, sustainable employment. The provision will be funded for a period of up to seven years, will have an expected value in the first year of £56 million, and will be let in seven lots. 3SC are talking to a number of bidders and hope to be in a position to develop a delivery partnership as the bid progresses.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have just released a prior information notice confirming their intention to open a procurement event for providers to register and prequalify for delivery through the Prison Education Dynamic Procurement System (DPS). The idea is that required provision can then be commissioned through call offs from the DPS. The MoJ have indicated that up to £100 million of provision will be commissioned via this approach; the tender event is planned to open on 6 August this year.
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.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.