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We’ll build better relationships, says DfEE


David Blunkett

Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett has announced a drive to reduce 'unnecessary red tape' in the way in which his department works with private and voluntary sector providers. A new consultation document proposes a new framework of principles which should bring together best practice among providers and within the DfEE, Employment Service and the incoming Learning and Skills Council.

The consultation document, known as "Getting the Best from Each Other" is aimed at bringing more consistency to the contracting process between service providers and the Department for Education and Employment in response to calls from providers in the voluntary and private sectors, who have called for greater parity with public sector providers. The aim is for a new framework to be put in place which aims to help providers and the DfEE work together to focus on outcomes, concentrate on the demands of local labour markets and raise standards. It plans to make contractual relationships between providers and the DfEE more flexible, less bureaucratic and easier for new contractors to enter. Other proposals include the development of consultation mechanisms and a central database of providers to improve communication and co-ordination. The plan also cites the Common Inspection Framework being put in place for LSC providers as an example of best practice which could be extended across the DfEE.

Mr Blunkett said: "This consultation gives us the opportunity to strengthen relationships with our providers of public services, ensure our programmes are managed to the highest quality standards, and cut down on unnecessary bureaucracy. We need to do this to ensure we collectively provide the best possible service to the public. Public resources are precious and they must be used to deliver high quality results for people."

TrainingZONE says: This seems like a good idea in principle, but sounds like a nightmare in practice. The ideas in the framework are currently up for consultation until June 15, which means it's likely to be some time before any recommendations are put in place.


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