Delivery through partnerships
121. Many witnesses argued that welfare to work initiatives
do not function effectively if delivered to a "one size fits
all" design. Ms Bridget Rosewell described this approach
as "delivering to people rather than for people".
Working Links in its submission stressed that its model involved
"a true partnership approach within the communities where
we operate instead of a loose cooperation guided by self interest."
This sentiment was echoed by Mr Leigh Lewis who told the Committee
that Jobcentre Plus is "trying to be more and more in the
business of devising and helping to play our part in local solutions
to local problems because a one-size-fits-all approach clearly
does not work with a myriad set of labour markets and local circumstances."
122. Many witnesses identified Local Strategic Partnerships
as an obvious vehicle to bring coherence to the many programmes
and strands of government activity. Witnesses agreed that providers
often create complicated "funding cocktails" between
different Government policies - particularly where training funds,
employability programmes and area-based initiatives coincide.
123. Mr Peter Lauener, of the DfES, pointed to the
model of "co-financing" that has been introduced to
reform the use of European Social Fund (ESF) Objective 3 money
Eligible service providers no longer have to find match-funding
that is typically worth 55% of a project before applying for ESF
from a regional Government Office. Instead, the Learning and Skills
Council (LSC), Jobcentre Plus or other co-financing organisations
bring together both the ESF contribution and the match-funding
to provide 100% of a project is costs to the provider. Much of
the auditing and management information requirements attached
to European Funding become the responsibility of the co-financing
organisation thus relieving the service provider from the substantial
burdens of compliance.
124. We believe that co-financing is a useful
model and recommend that Jobcentre Plus programme funds could
be placed with LSPs to be match-funded with other resources from
local and central government. This would create real strategic
partnerships equipped with a wide range of programme funds and
would enable local decision takers to reduce duplication, fill
gaps and achieve "double benefits" to both individuals
and communities. We recommend that a pilot area be identified
to test and evaluate this approach.