Headlines: June 29th, 1999

A partnership of Employment Service, Manpower PLC and Ernst & Young has been set up to bid for management of Employment Zones due to be launched in April 2000. Bids will be invited later this year from public, private and voluntary organisations.

The partnership brings together a range of skills and experience. Employment Service, an Executive Agency of the Department for Education and Employment runs 1000 job centres. Manpower PLC is part of the world’s leading employment services group which operates 3,200 offices in 50 countries. In the UK, the company has over 350 offices nation-wide offering temporary, permanent and contract positions in the office, call handling, IT, technical, nursing, industrial and transport and distribution sectors. The UK firm of Ernst & Young is a member of Ernst & Young International. Over 15,500 management consultants operate across its network of 670 offices spanning 132 countries. They will bring project management strengths to the partnership.

The Zones, which are to operate in 15 areas of the country, will enable providers to apply radical and innovative ways of helping long-term unemployed people into jobs.Around 48,000 long-term unemployed people aged 25 and over will be given help in finding work by those organisations chosen to deliver Employment Zones. There will be greater flexibility, including the creation of Personal Job Accounts. Accounts will consist of benefits, training and job search funds pooled to create a flexible pot which can be drawn upon by participants and their advisers more effectively to help them get and keep work.