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Commissioning Employment & Skills Services in Partnership

In 2009, the Local Government Improvement and Development worked closely with experts in the worklessness field in England, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Communities and Local Government to develop a series of 'How to' guides. The guides are aimed to help practitioners who have a role in tackling worklessness and meeting local employment outcomes.

These guides contain practical advice, tips for action and support, and offer practical support for tackling worklessness

Commissioning Employment and Skills Services in Partnership

Councils have a central role in joining-up employment and skills provision in their areas, and in linking this to a wide range of support to help people from disadvantaged groups and communities into sustainable employment. Developing a strong partnership to inform the commissioning of employment and skills services can help to deliver these ambitions: partners improve their knowledge of the services that are being delivered, align funding and join-up the way that provision interfaces with employers and individuals to create integrated offers of support.

It is important to develop the partnership approach by regularly reviewing the opportunities for joint working and decision making, and encouraging greater transparency of future contracting plans across partner agencies.

Nevertheless, those authorities that have taken the steps set out in this guide are reporting real improvements to employment and skills provision in their areas.


Top Tips:

  • Establish clear protocols which set out how partners will share information about their commissioned and mainstream programmes, and how they will involve each other in commissioning decisions.
  • Collate existing information concerning the programmes that have been commissioned. Consider mapping these as a customer journey and pinpointing where additional resources are required. Identify opportunities to review contract terms to facilitate more joint working and integration of services on the ground. Draw up a forward plan of commissioning opportunities and agree the priorities which you will jointly pursue.
  • Consider where duplications can be avoided and value added by working more closely together, for example in respect of IT systems, and/or training for frontline staff.
  • As you move forward, look to increase the extent to which you are making decisions jointly and the amount of funding that is influenced by the partnership
  • review progress and refresh your working arrangements in the light of experience. and new opportunities.