Archives for March 15th, 2006

REVIEW OF ACTION TEAMS FOR JOBS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 15 March, 2006

This report from the Department for Work and Pensions presents the findings of a review of Action Teams for Jobs. Action Teams were introduced into disadvantaged areas with particular labour market problems with the aim of increasing the employment rate amongst disadvantaged groups. They started work in June 2000 in three pathfinder areas and currently operate in 64 areas. They are a voluntary programme providing an adviser led service, often based in local communities and working in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors.The report was commissioned to examine the current operation and efficacy of Action Teams and gather together the lessons learned. The review found that Action Teams have been effective in helping people from deprived areas find jobs. From June 2000 to September 2005 they helped over 150,000 people into work. Flexibility in funding has been important in enabling them to prioritise resources effectively, to co-finance projects with partners and address client needs in deprived areas. Flexibility also allowed the secondment of employees from specialist partners and the ability to offer a tailored and client centred approach.

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STUDY SHOWS LOW SPENDING GOVERNMENTS CAN PROVIDE BETTER PUBLIC SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 March, 2006

A new report says there is evidence that low spending governments can provide better public services than their higher spending counterparts. The study also claims more equitable outcomes and improved standards of living can be achieved with less spending. The report, “Lean, not mean: how small government works” has been written by Keith Marsden, an economics consultant to a number of UN agencies, and is published today by the Centre for Policy Studies.The study uses data from published reports from international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations and the WTO, and examines the performance of 10 OECD member countries over the last two decades. Five countries – Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and the United States are classified as having ‘leaner governments’ that have reduced their tax take over the period under review. Britain is one of five countries listed as having a ‘larger government’ along with France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

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NHS TO PLAY ITS PART IN REGENERATING COMMUNITIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 March, 2006

Organisations in the National Health Service are to be told they must play their part in regenerating local communities. The Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, said NHS bodies could be a powerful force for good and she is insisting that they take account of tackling deprivation when making decisions about providing local services.Current guidance to the Health Service and to Overview and Scrutiny Committees on reconfiguration of services already advises them to consider the impact of changes on the wider community but Patricia Hewitt has told public health experts that the NHS should seek to make a real difference to the local economy and local community in its decisions about the shape of health and social care services.

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