Grayling slams Flexible New Deal
Employment minister Chris Grayling has denounced the last government’s Flexible New Deal. The cost per job worked out at more than £30,000, mainly because the contractors who were to deliver it strong-armed the government into agreeing very high service fees.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise. At the time the programme was being designed the TUC said that the flexibility of the Flexible New Deal was great, but that taking delivery away from Jobcentre Plus was a mistake. When the recession hit it was clear that the providers had been very successful indeed in renegotiating their contracts to take account of new circumstances.
Of course, the programme that most strongly resembles FND is the Work Programme and the organisations that delivered FND will also be (for the most part) the organisations that will deliver WP. The larger element of outcome-related funding in the new programme may reduce the likelihood of this sort of thing happening, but the main cause was the weak position the government was in when the labour market suddently and drastically deteriorated. If the new government continues to deny opportunities to Jobcentre Plus the risk of that happening again won’t have gone away.