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1.    Introduction

1.1   New Deal for 25 plus is one of the initiatives of the Government’s
      Welfare to Work programmes. It addresses the problem of long-term
      unemployment for people aged 25 or over through the provision of
      high quality training, which is work-focused and work-based.

1.2   The primary aim of ND25 plus is to increase participants’ employability
      and move them into sustainable work as soon as possible.

1.3   ND25 plus is delivered in 3 stages:
       a “Gateway” period, lasting up to 4 months providing access to
        short types of provision;
       an “Intensive Activity Period (IAP)” lasting for, initially 13 weeks but
        which can be extended up to 26 weeks (and in a small number of
        cases up to a year) including flexible packages of support which
        can combine work experience/placements, work-focused training
        and help with motivation and soft skills; and
       a period of “Follow-through” support.

2.    Eligibility

2.1   ND25 plus is mandatory for customers aged 25 or over who have had
      a continuous claim to Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for 18 months or
      more, or have been claiming JSA for 18 out of the last 21 months
      (including NI credits only cases). Customers within special groups, who
      may find it particularly difficult to gain employment, can choose to
      enter ND25 plus early providing they have a claim for JSA, the New
      Deal Personal Adviser (NDPA) is satisfied New Deal is the most
      appropriate form of help and they meet the criteria of at least one of
      the following Early Entry categories:
           People who have completed a custodial sentence;
           People with immigration status;
           Homeless people (including rough sleepers);
           People affected by drug addiction (including alcoholism);
           People who have been in residential care;
           Ex HM Armed Forces;
           People with language, literacy or numeracy problems (if they do
            not enter Work Based Learning for Adults); or
           Lone parents, people with disabilities and carers on JSA (instead
            of other benefits).

2.2   In addition NDPAs have discretion to allow early entry, in exceptional
      circumstances, to those who do not meet any of the above categories
      if they consider the individual will not find work without New Deal

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3.    Gateway

3.1   On joining ND25 plus participants will enter Gateway, during which
      time they will receive a series of detailed advisory interviews, access to
      specialist external provision and barriers to work will be identified. The
      primary purpose of Gateway is to help participants move quickly into
      work. All participants will undergo Basic Skills screening and where
      appropriate will then be referred for in-depth assessment and
      immediate access to additional help and support to address these
      Basic Skills needs. NDPAs and their managers will hold case
      conferences to review participants' progress through Gateway and
      agree suitable help that should be offered.

3.2   NDPAs have the discretion to refer participants to a Gateway to Work
      (GtW) course if it is felt the participant would benefit from the course
      content. At the point of referral it becomes mandatory for the ND25
      plus participant to attend GtW.

3.3   ND25 plus participants who have not found work by the end of
      Gateway will move into the IAP. The IAP is mandatory for those aged
      25 – 49, and failure to participate without good cause will result in the
      loss of benefit. Customers aged 50 or over will be required to
      participate in Gateway, but entry for them to the IAP will be voluntary.

4.    Intensive Activity Period (IAP)

4.1   Although by their nature, IAP participants will be harder to help than
      Gateway participants, the IAP must still be clearly designed with job
      entry in mind. The IAP is designed:
          to address more deeply entrenched barriers to work;
          to provide valuable experience of the world of work; and
          by requiring full-time activity, to act as an added incentive to
           participants to move into work, and as a deterrent to fraud.

4.2   With the exception of those cases where a participant enters
      subsidised or self employment, or an Education and Training
      Opportunity (ETO) directly from Gateway, all participants' IAPs will
      consist of at least one, and often two or more of the following range of
           help with Basic Skills problems;
           work placements with employers;
           work experience provision;
           training with strong labour market links - Short Job Focused
            Training (SJFT) or Longer Occupational Training (LOT);
           motivation, soft skills and job search skills provision; and
           any other support, which will help them overcome barriers to

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4.3   Only a small minority of participants should receive help through just
      one of the above activities. All the above will be underpinned by
      intensive supported job search throughout participants' time on the

4.4   Jobcentre Plus will decide how they wish to contract for the provision
      to be delivered in the IAP, and the exact nature of that provision.
      There are however a small number of key principles which will apply to
      the IAP in every District:
           Work-focused packages of support: Outside subsidised
            employment and self-employment, every IAP participant should
            receive a package of support tailored to their needs. This means
            that there should only be a very few cases where participants
            undertake 13 (or 26) weeks of one sort of activity. For almost all
            participants, the package of support should include an element of
            work experience, preferably with a ”real" employer.
           Range of Provision: The full range of provision set out above
            must be offered in every District, and within different types of
            provision such as work experience and occupational training, a
            range of opportunities must be offered.
           Tailored to Individual Needs: the provision delivered to a
            participant in the IAP should reflect their needs and any existing
            skills and experience, and take into account provision they may
            have already undertaken.
           Duration of IAP: each individual’s IAP should, at the outset, be
            planned to last for 13 weeks, and a package of provision for the
            duration of that period should be arranged. The only general
            exceptions to this rule should be for the self-employment route;
            where participants enter subsidised jobs; or where they have
            severe basic skills or other severe problems - in all of which
            cases, a 26 week IAP might be planned. At the 10/11 week
            stage NDPAs should make a judgement, following discussions
            with providers as to whether participants should continue on the
            IAP for a further period of up to 13 weeks, or whether at that
            point, they should enter Follow-through.
           Pace and Purpose: participants should feel that they are
            involved in a high quality experience with a clear goal. They
            should understand why they are involved in any particular
            element of provision and what it is intended to achieve. In order
            to maintain progress, the IAP should be designed to be
            seamless, without breaks between elements of provision.
           Employer Links: Districts and providers should build links with
            local employers with the aim that, wherever possible, they
            contribute to the design of the provision being sought and to the
            delivery of that provision.
           Job search: Ongoing job search should form part of every IAP,
            and should underpin provision, rather than being seen as a
            separate element of provision. However there may be cases
            where it is appropriate for a participant to spend some time, not
            usually more than a week, undertaking intensive job search, eg

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           following a training course, while also updating their CV,
           developing a better knowledge of the local labour market etc.
           Apart from such cases, job search provision should not make up
           a significant stand-alone element of the IAP. Participants can
           continue to access help via Programme Centres and this may be
           as part of the job search within a modular New Deal IAP.

5.    Follow-through

5.1   Those participants who reach the end of the IAP without finding work
      will move into Follow-through, which will last for the majority for 6
      weeks. In exceptional circumstances it can last for 3 months. Follow-
      through should help participants to build upon the progress they have
      made during the Gateway and IAP. During the Follow-through period
      participants will be supported by their NDPA and will be able to access
      to a range of further external provision.

6.    Participant Payments and Responsibilities

6.1   ND25 plus participants will continue to receive JSA or a New Deal
      Allowance whilst on different stages of the programme. However, on
      certain elements of provision participants can receive either a New
      Deal Allowance or a wage paid by the provider.

6.2   In return, and to maximise the benefits they receive from their time on
      provision, participants will be expected to:
           work actively towards meeting their goals outlined in their action
           conform to appropriate standards of behaviour - standards will be
            discussed and agreed during the Induction to provision;
           find employment where possible - through active job search,
            making use of the support, guidance and resources available
            during provision;
           participate safely - by learning how to work safely and following
            the health and safety rules explained by the provider; and
           inform Jobcentre Plus of any changes in circumstances - which
            may affect the payment of allowances, for example a change of
            address, marriage, or separation. Participants should either
            inform Jobcentre Plus directly, or through the provider who will
            forward the details to Jobcentre Plus.

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7.    Jobcentre Plus Roles and Responsibilities

      Jobcentre Plus has a main role in supporting the delivery of provision,
      and will be responsible for:

7.1   Identification and Referral to Providers.

      The arrangements for identifying and referring customers to providers
      differ for different sorts of provision, and different customer groups. In
      all cases, Jobcentre Plus will be responsible for:

      a) determining eligibility in accordance with programme eligibility

      b) contacting providers to arrange tasters of provision and arranging
      suitable times for the participant to attend;

      c) screening participants for Basic Skills problems;

      d) arranging an assessment in Gateway of the participant's needs and
      deciding with the participant and providers, the most suitable provision
      for them if they do not find work during Gateway;

      e) the efficient referral of participants to provision. Jobcentre Plus will
      inform the provider of referrals and share information about the
      customer with the provider. This should include: details of customer
      characteristics and need, as identified, for example, during the New
      Deal Gateway; other help that had been given to the participant whilst
      unemployed, including where relevant, while on New Deal; why the
      participant had been referred to particular provision; and any other
      help that is being delivered alongside the provision

      f) discussing any issues and concerns with the participant and
      providing basic information such as location and start details. They will
      also discuss with the participant what help they will receive whilst they
      are on provision and who will deliver this help; and

      g) advising the provider of any mandatory referrals.

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7.2   Continued Support to Participants.

      The arrangements for continued Jobcentre Plus support for
      participants during provision differs for different sorts of provision and
      different customer groups. Within New Deal Jobcentre Plus will be
      responsible for maintaining regular contact with participants, by face to
      face and telephone contact either at Jobcentre Plus or the provider's
      premises. Both the participant and provider will be given an indication
      at the start of the placement as to the likely frequency and content of
      monitoring visits. This contact will enable NDPAs to:

      a) ensure that a participant is making appropriate progress, including
      reviewing the activities they are undertaking against the training plan
      agreed at the outset of the provision and gathering information to
      support the process of contract management;

      b) share information, for example about previously unidentified
      customer needs;

      c) resolve disputes or issues arising on the part of the provider or

      d) discuss and agree with the provider and participant any changes
      which are required to the participant's training plan, or a move to a
      different routeway or provider if appropriate;

      e) help the participant with job search, including matching to

      f) towards the end of a particular element of provision, ensure that the
      participant can see the progress which they have made and
      understands what provision they are subsequently moving onto (if
      applicable), how it builds on previous activities and what it is intended
      to achieve; and

      g) arrange specialist support during Gateway to tackle particular
      barriers to employment, and, in discussion with providers, arrange for
      that support to continue as necessary during other elements of the
      programme, including the New Deal IAP.

7.3   Contract Management and Administration including:

      a) Management and monitoring of the contract and provision.
      Jobcentre Plus will monitor contracts to ensure that the provider is
      meeting their contractual obligations of delivering provision to agreed
      performance and quality standards. Part of this role will be to monitor
      performance and agree continuous improvement activities with the

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      provider and ensure that good practice is developed and shared
      between providers.

      b) paying promptly and accurately, provider fees and participant

      c) NB: Lead Providers will be responsible for ensuring that any sub
      contracted provision meets performance and quality standards and
      that self assessment, action planning and continuous improvement
      activities are undertaken.

7.4    Quality and Continuous Improvement

      The Jobcentre Plus Quality Framework provides the basis of the
      approach to maintaining and improving the quality in Jobcentre Plus
      funded provision. This includes continuous self-assessment and action
      planning, and independent external inspections by the Adult Learning
      Inspectorate in England and Estyn in Wales.

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