DWP Work Programme Providers – the Spend Matters League Table

The figures provided by DWP yesterday for the various providers to the UK’s Work Programme didn’t make it easy to see who the stars or dogs are in that population. The size of each of the 18 regions varies, and job availability is bound to vary region by region. It is presumably easier to find someone a job in Surrey than Sunderland. But it seemed to us that comparing performance between providers within each region probably gives some idea of how they’re doing.

As someone who loves numbers, and having spent many a happy – if somewhat lonely – childhood hour playing my own version of dice cricket and working out endless batting and bowling averages, I thought I’d come up with a scheme to do that. It’s very simple and clearly isn’t going to be exact, but it would be very interesting to know whether it does identify the best and worst providers in the DWP’s eyes?

Here are the rules.

  • If there are two providers in a region, you get 2 points for a win (more job outcomes than your opposition), 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss.
  • If there are three providers in a region, 2 points for a win, 1 for finishing second or a first / second place draw, and 0 for coming third (individually or joint).
  • Scores within 10% of each other are counted as a draw (given comparisons clearly can’t be exact).
  • Total score gained by a provider divided by number of regions gives an average score for each provider.

So that gives us:

Provider

Played (regions)

Total points

Average points / Region

G4S

3

6

2

EOS

1

2

2

Ingeus

7

12

1.71

Working Links

3

5

1.67

Maximus

2

3

1.5

Serco

2

2

1

CDG

1

1

1

ESG

1

1

1

JHP

1

1

1

Pertemps

1

1

1

A4E

5

3

0.6

Rehab jobfit

2

1

0.5

Seetec

3

1

0.33

Business Employment Service

1

0

0

Prospects

1

0

0

Reed

1

0

0

NCG

2

0

0

Avanta

3

0

0

Note that the major assumption here is that the providers within a region got a relatively “fair” allocation of clients in terms of quantity (which is true) and quality (harder to judge).

But given that, yes, the much maligned of late G4S are leading the table! Well done to them, Ingeus and Working Links of the larger providers, whilst EOS was the only one of the single region providers to star. We won’t name names but clearly a few multiple contract holders don’t appear to have done too well…

And of course, the announcement that several providers have been warned by DWP, leads us to ask; who is in line for European qualification? Which “teams” might face relegation to the Conference or the Isthmian League? Is there a “Chelsea” ready to controversially sack their CEO in an attempt to move up the table?

OK, I know this is serious stuff – these firms are playing a key role in the lives of many people who need their help. But actually, a bit of overt competition between providers, if it stimulates performance, would be no bad thing. We probably don’t see enough of that (post contract award) in public procurement, so perhaps this is an interesting model for further development.

* Required fields  [email address will not be published]

*