Integrated Employment and Skills
Redundancy Response Process in the East Midlands
The Integrated Employment and Skills (IES) agenda covers a range of
services aimed at supporting unemployed people back into work. These have
included Skills for Jobs, Flexible Routeways, LEPs and the Flexible New Deal.
However, the impact of the economic downturn has required an earlier, more
urgent response to support employers who are reducing the size of their
workforce and individuals who are either under notice of redundancy or who
have recently been made redundant.
This paper sets out the pre and post-redundancy support process available to
employers and individuals in the East Midlands. Endorsement and
implementation of this process will help ensure that key partner organisations
such as Nextstep, LAs, the LSC and JobCentre Plus, avoid duplication and
offer a timely and cost-effective service.
The paper also documents the ongoing interventions designed to support
unemployed people into sustainable work. Annex 2 outlines the process and
actions that need to take place between the key agencies to ensure that the
client journey runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Companies are required by law to notify the Department for Business,
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) when they intend to make 20 or
more of their workforce redundant. They should give a notice of 30 days for
redundancies of 20-99 employees and 90 days for redundancies of 100 plus.
Where less than 20 employees are being made redundant there is no
requirement to notify and there may be certain circumstances where it is not
reasonably practicable for employers making more than 20 redundancies to
meet the minimum notification periods.
Information on redundancies is secured from a number of sources including:
HR1 redundancy notifications received from BERR each week
New claims interviews
Weekly UK Activity Reports
Labour Market Recruitment Adviser contacts
Newspaper and News Reports
Direct contact from companies to JobCentre Plus
Providers and Provider Networks
The Skills Brokerage Service
In the East Midlands, the majority of redundancies have been from
businesses with less than 20 employees and as such, there has been little or
no notification period for the key public agencies to work within. In recognition
of this, this paper sets out a redundancy response process which has two
principle approaches which offer varying levels of support to both employers
3. Pre-Redundancy Support
a. Support for Employers
Prior to any announcement of redundancies, opportunities exist to support
employers to enhance the skills of their workforce and make their business
more resilient to the challenges of the economic downturn. Employers can
now take advantage of short skills interventions focussed on business areas
critical to profitability. Bite sized skills interventions have been introduced to
secure productivity improvements that may mitigate the scale of any
redundancies. These include: business improvement techniques, marketing
and sales and customer service.
EMDA is now the lead agency for all business support, including the
brokerage service that is currently contracted to EMB Ltd. Eligibility and
access to this provision is facilitated through EMB skill brokers and the
network of Train to Gain providers.
An agreed protocol is already in place to facilitate referrals from JobCentre
Plus to EMB Ltd. Partners are directed to apply online or use the helpline on
08450571817 to contact a skills broker. Where however, an employer
declares an existing effective relationship with a Train to Gain provider, direct
referral can be made.
The Regional Cabinet, chaired by Phil Hope, the Regional Minister, has
established the ‘Virtual Response Group’ with a membership drawn from key
public sector partners such as EMB, JCP and the TUC. This group has
produced a leaflet outlining the support available for employers and providing
contact details. (Appendix 1 -
JobCentre Plus traditionally offers three levels of support to employers in a
redundancy situation based on the number of redundancies and comparable
labour market conditions.
However, as the economic downturn has progressed, the level of support
offered is increasingly flexible, tailored to the specific needs of employers
having to make redundancies. It now all comes under the broad heading of
the Rapid Response Service. The support includes a telephone advice
service, provision of redundancy packs, and coordination of the redundancy
process by a JobCentre Plus adviser who works with partner services.
b. Support for Individuals under notice of Redundancy
Where redundancies have been announced, support available to those under
notice of redundancy is focussed on quickly accessing opportunities available
in the labour market. This could include skills training analysis, job focussed
training and support to overcome short term barriers to taking up specific job
JobCentre Plus is the lead agency for coordinating the key partner’s
redundancy response to individuals. Individuals are offered redundancy
packs, benefits presentations, skills assessment and training and vacancy
Support presumes access to mainstream training resources where
Access to impartial information, advice and guidance on the skills
training and qualifications available to them; *
Sector employability training and induction programmes to give
individuals the opportunity to refresh their job seeking skills and to give
them ‘tasters’ into sectors of the economy where there are jobs. (see
Redundancy Response provision on page 5)
Access to further training support when in employment
Access to redundancy response support is increasingly being facilitated by
Next Steps, the LSC contracted IAG contractor. Arrangements are in place to
facilitate referrals between JobCentre Plus and Next Steps. Partners are
directed to forward any individuals enquiries to the helpline on 0800269468 or
* The LSC in the East Midlands is currently piloting the Skills Account offer
which will be at the heart of the emerging Integrated Employment and
Skills Service that helps the individual to invest in their learning, record
the results and progress into work. This will become central to the work
of IAG providers.
4. Redundancy Support
a. Support to Individuals Newly Unemployed
The new Job Seekers Regime provides increasing levels of support
corresponding to the duration of an individual’s unemployment. There are four
stages to the increase in support and mandatory activity (see appendix 2). At
initial assessment an opportunity exists for JobCentre Plus to fast track
customers on to more appropriate stages and if a significant gap is identified
in their basic skills or employability skills, individuals can be referred for a
‘skills health check’. The skills health check service is accessed through the
NextStep provision described in section 3b above.
Job Centre Plus Flexible Routeway (Jobmaetes) provision provides
individually tailored interventions, which includes a full range of support in
order to move customers into work. A minimum of 13 weeks, the programme
is targeted at the unemployed and economically inactive customers who are
disadvantaged in the labour market and face barriers to work. Actions include
measures to ensure early identification of needs, including individual action
plans and personalised services and/or referral to a range of other
In addition to the Skills Account and Next Steps support outlined in 3b above,
the following training support is also available from the LSC:
Employability Skills Programme (Basic Skills Support) – a
programme of between 15 and 22 weeks available to any benefit
recipient referred by a Job Centre Plus personal adviser. The aim of
the programme is to enhance employability skills; improve their literacy,
language and numeracy at entry levels; secure and sustain
employment. Participants are expected to achieve an ASDAN and
Skills for Life qualification at Level 1, 2 or 3.
Vocational Training - Through the network of Further Education
Colleges, the LSC funds a wide range of sector skills council approved
vocational qualifications and sector employability and training induction
programmes. These are designed to refresh the individual’s job
seeking skills and to give them inductions into sectors of the economy
with employment opportunities. These include Sector Routeways.
Redundancy Response – This £100m package of support is typically
between 2 and 8 weeks, aimed at helping those under notice of
redundancy and the newly redundant (up to 6 months) to retrain and
refresh their skills to enable them to progress into sustainable
employment. The aim is to offer a seamless service to employers and
individuals, as early as possible, to ensure that in-employment and
post-employment training is closely aligned.
b. Support for the Long-Term Unemployed
Currently, three quarters of people find a job within 6 months. However,
competition for work is increasing as the impact of the economic downturn
works its way through the local economy. In response to this, the government
has introduced a range of support packages under the heading of the
‘6 Month Offer’ which forms a key element of the Flexible New Deal being
rolled out nationally by Jobcentre Plus.
The 6 Month Offer - This has four component parts:
A recruitment and training subsidy, £1,000 for an employer to
take on a long-term unemployed person, together with £1500 of
train to gain funding.
A self-employed Package, £50 per week for 6 weeks for those
long-termed unemployed starting their own business.
Help for those wishing to become volunteers (details to follow)
An £87m training initiative delivered by FE colleges and linked to
their mainstream adult funding programmes & Train to Gain.
Skills for Jobs (ESF) – Whilst not limited only to those who have been
unemployed for more than 6 months, this relatively generously funded
support package is designed to address the needs of those furthest
away from the job market. The term ‘Skills for Jobs’ is an over-arching
description, used to describe a range of pre-level 2 provision which
promote sustained employment outcomes for low skilled adults who do
not have a job and want to work. Its focus is on providing support to
those groups facing specific barriers and disadvantages who need
additional support and training (i.e. pre entry Skill for Life) to enter and
sustain employment. Together with Job Centre Plus’ Flexible
Routeways, this programme forms the foundation of the multi-agency
employment team model (Jobmaets).
Future Jobs Fund - recently announced in the Chancellor’s 2009
Budget, the Fund will provide a new guarantee of 6 months of work or
training for everyone under the age of 25 who has been on JSA for 12
months, with an additional £1.2 billion of Government funding to
support 150,000 new jobs in local communities and across the
voluntary sector which will be created through this Future Jobs Fund.
Bidding has now opened with ministers inviting third sector
organisations and public agencies across Britain to bid for funding to
create these new jobs, the first of which will be provided in the autumn
of 2009. An additional 100,000 jobs will be created in sectors to help
Britain grow such as green jobs, social care and hospitality. For further
information go to:
5. Coordinating Pre & Post Redundancy Support
The aim of all the above redundancy support provision is to offer the individual
seamless support to the individual to meet their individual needs and enable
them to join/rejoin the labour market.
The challenge for the public sector support agencies and their providers is to
work together collaboratively rather than in competition. Employment and
Skills Boards in each area are therefore critical in ensuring that partner
resources and activities are aligned so that public spending on IES has the
maximum positive impact.
Appendix 3 identifies the regional infrastructure which will ensure that there
are clear lines of reporting and communication both between partners and
between regional and local offices and networks.
Finally, Appendices 4a and 4b provide a more operational view of the
redundancy response referral process. 4a outlines the process to be
followed by key public sector partners where notification of redundancies has
occurred. Appendix 4b identifies the process to be followed where notification
has not happened.
LSC/JCP REDUNDANCY RESPONSE – TIMELINE AND INTERVENTIONS
Flexible Routeways - Jobmaetes
‘Self Help’ ‘Directed job ‘The Gateway’ ‘Flexible New
Rapid Response Service search’ Deal’ C
Including: Self managed Job search .
Telephone advice to employer job search Personal support through Personalised J
Redundancy Support Packs Adviser support programme support through
Benefit presentations centres specialist
Funding for training 2 provider C
Links with suitable vacancies 1 3 4
Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs)
6 Month Offer, Golden Hellos
- 3 months - 1 month 0 months 3 months 6 months 12 months 24 months
Universal Offer - Next Step / IAG - Differentiated Offer
Employability Skills Programme (Basic Skills Support)
Redundancy Response Provision (ESF) 6 month training offer
Skills for Jobs (ESF)
Apprenticeships, Train to Gain & bite size qualifications C
Vocational Training through Adult Learner Responsive Allocations (focus on
sector routeway provision)
Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) 7
LSC * emda* JC+ * Link
* each key agency will have their own internal structure and arrangements to underpin their contribution to the
overall regional response
IES partnership Groups in the EM
A Regional Cabinet has been set up, chaired by Phil Hope. This meets quarterly, with a
membership of chief execs from the RDA, Government Office, JCP, LSC and the LA’s.
Integrated Employment and Skills Coordination Group –This group meets bi-monthly to
focus on pre-employment interventions and rapid response performance. Membership is
drawn from LSC, JCP LA’s and Employment and Skills Boards.
Employment and Skills Boards - A patchwork quilt exists across the East Midlands. No one
model and not every county/city has one. The longest standing is the Greater Nottingham
ESB which is chaired and led by private sector employers. The focus of all these groups is
the IES agenda and they are increasingly leading and coordinating the response of the
partner organisations. Several of the ESBs have responsibility for LAA skills and
LSC/JCP Joint Strategic Group – Meets quarterly to plan and review LSC/JCP joint
agendas, including rapid response initiatives. This group is chaired alternately by JCP and
LSC regional directors.
Large Business Support Group – Regional partnership set up by the ESP specifically to
provide a partnership response to large scale redundancies and more generally to provide
skills and recruitment support to large East Midlands employers. Chaired by JCP it has
previously coordinated response to significant redundancies at Rolls Royce and the Lear
RDA – Sub-Regional Strategic Partnerships – Whilst these are to be incorporated into LA’s
in 2009, much of their existing expenditure has been channelled into infrastructure/skills and
IES-type activity. The LA’s across the region intend to use this ‘windfall’ of RDA money to
enhance their economic regeneration activities (including rapid response).
‘ Career Chain’ – Engineering and Manufacturing – This is a project set up and funded by
emda to combat skills flight from engineering as a result of redundancy or structural change.
Activity focuses on re-skilling and upskilling and job placement with other engineering
companies in the EM for workers laid off through redundancy.
NAS– As with other regions, the LSC in the East Midlands, is monitoring the redundancy
position with regard to apprenticeships via the WBL Provider Network. When notified of the
threat of redundancy, actions are being taken to ensure continuity of training and
employment for those trainees affected.
PRE REDUNDANCY SUPPORT REFERRAL PROCESS
FOR EMPLOYERS & INDIVIDUALS UNDER NOTICE OF REDUNDANCY
LOCAL JOB CENTRE EMDA LSC
EMPLOYER NOTIFICATION OF REUNDANCY THROUGH
MEDIA OR CONTRACTED DBERR EMB TRAIN TO
PARTNER PROVISION (HR1) GAIN
JC+ REDUNDANCY COORDINATOR NOTIFIED.
JC+ ADVISE KEY PARTNERS THROUGH AGREED MECHANSIM (SEE BELOW)
FOR LARGE BUSINESS >250 OR FOR ALL OTHER BUSINESS USE
LARGE REDUNDANCY >100 LOCALLY AGREED MECHANISM.
USE LBS EXTRANET DEFAULT ARRANGEMENT WEEKLY
SUMMARY TO ALL KEY PARTNERS
JC+ ENGAGE EMPLOYER TO SECURE EMPLOYEE’S
PROFILE & ASSESS LEVEL OF SERVICE REQUIRED
JC+ COMPLETE REFERRAL FORM & SEND TO LSC
IF IAG OR SKILLS TRAINNG NEED IDENTIFIED
SUPPORT FOR SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUAL
REFER DIRECT REFER TO NOMINATION
TO EMB REFERRAL REFER OTR FOR OF PROVIDER REFER TO
TO TO TO NEXT TRAINING TO DELIVER SPECIALIST
IDENTIFY PROVIDER STEPS NEEDS SKILLS PROVISION
PROVIDE FOR IAG ANALYSIS TRAINING
MEET KEY PARTNERS TO AGREE
OFFER TO EMPLOYER & EMPLOYEE’S THROUGH AGREED
REDUNDANCY SUPPORT REFERRAL PROCESS
FOR NEW JSA & NON BENEFIT CLAIMANTS
OTHER, e.g. JOB CENTRE PLUS LSC
Interested in CUSTOMER
NEW BENEFIT CLAIM benefit claim DECLARATION OF
THROUGH REDUNDANCY TO
PERSONAL ADVISER NEXTSTEPS OR
Not interested in benefit
ACCESS TO IAG
PERSONAL ADVISER ASSESSMENT THROUGH NEXT
OF NEED INCLUDING ELIGIBILITY STEPS
FOR EARLY ACCESS TO LATER
STAGES OF THE NEW JSA REGIME LEVEL 2
ACCESS TO IAG
REFERRAL TO JC+ REFERRAL TO REFERRALTO
NETWORK OF SPECIALIST SKILLS TRAINING
ACCESS TO VACANCIES
GUARANTEED INERVIEW OR WORK TRIAL
LABOUR MARKET RE-ENGAGEMENT
& REFERRAL TO TRAIN TO GAIN