£5 million of the £14m 2011-12 funding has already been allocated to Adapt, the Assembly Government’s Career Transition, single point of contact service which was announced by the Minister and the Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths, last week. Adapt is the scheme to help public sector employees who have lost their jobs to return to work and gain new skills to find employment, building on the success of similar initiatives targeted at the private sector. It also provides a subsidy to companies who take on people who have been made redundant. Further funding will be provided to support Adapt in subsequent years.
The funding will also help support the way public sector organisations work and deliver services by supporting innovation and initiatives to improve efficiency. It can be used to create opportunities for organisations to work together so they can drive down costs and improve services and meet workforce challenges.
Speaking at the 6th meeting of the Efficiency and Innovation Board in Cardiff today, the Business and Budget Minister said:
“The funding over the next three years will help public sector organisations make the transition to more efficient and innovative forms of public service delivery. I am also very pleased to say that, through our Adapt Scheme, developed by the Efficiency and Innovation Board, there will also be continued support for employees who are facing redundancy and the employers who have to make those redundancies.”
The Minister also announced a fourth round of the Invest-to-Save Fund at the Board meeting. The Fund was introduced in 2009 to support public service organisations transform the way they work so that they become more efficient and continue to provide quality public services
The Minister said:
“The Fund is once again open to new applications and I am encouraging public bodies to use it to help them bring forward projects.
“The Assembly Government has already invested some £37 million in 42 improvement projects and today I am announcing that new bids will be sought to utilise the £3.6million that is available from repayments by projects previously approved and already delivering benefits.
“Through the Fund we are supporting the work of the Efficiency and Innovation Board and encouraging the wider adoption of collaborative working where the approach adds value, saves money and importantly delivers good quality public services.
At its meeting, the Efficiency and Innovation Board also agreed to:
- the publication of Meeting the Challenge of Change: Our shared approach to Public Service Efficiency and Innovation in Wales, which sets out the approach and work of the Board;
- support a specific ‘mandate for change’ to encourage the integration of ICT systems, functions and activities across the public sector in Wales, for example by pooling budgets for ICT investment;
- endorse the recommendations of the Collaborative Procurement taskforce review, aimed at achieving better value for money by the public sector in its procurement in the context of our Economic Renewal Programme.
- endorse the development of a measurement framework to demonstrate progress being made on the broader efficiency and innovation agenda.