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.