The following post is a reply from Stephen Dering, in response to our earlier article Daring Derings Gone. Since our comments close after a set period of time, to prevent spam, we decided to post Stephen’s response as a stand alone article.
There are a lot of rumours going around in relation to the company I set up 4 years ago. Because of a number of legal processes, we have not been in a position to respond to these rumours and put these right until those processes have completed.
In October 2009 we started a number of new contracts where referrals are to come from Jobcentre Plus – we cannot refer people directly onto programme. By Feb 2010 only 7% of the actual referrals were coming in that was expected. This is common to all companies in the same sector, we are not the only ones affected – every other organisation has a similar experience of low referral levels.
Therefore we had to undertake a review of which services are viable and which are not and to focus on those which are viable. In our market sector we receive fees for job outcomes achieved. No job outcomes = no fees therefore in some areas it is not viable to operate.
Unlike charitable organisations we do not get grants or legacies to deliver services. We have to make a profit.
We have therefore made some changes to remove or suspend the non-profitable elements and to focus on the areas that are profitable. That means in some areas like Melbourne, we have handed our service over to another provider who has the resources to carry on the work. In Cheshire we have terminated the service where the volume of customers was too small to be viable. In Brisbane we have entered into a joint agreement with partner organisation Interwork to deliver employment services together.
In many areas such as Birmingham, Derby, London, South East, Northern Ireland and France, our services are not affected at all and we continue to exceed expectations in the level of job outcomes. For example, we started delivering Employment Services for the first time in Devon & Cornwall in December and are delivering job outcomes that exceed contract requirements. In 2009 we worked with over 1,000 people and supported 244 into work. So far in 2010 we are on course to achieve a similar level of people into work through a tighter, more focused team working in areas which are the most viable.
Our Operations Manager is indeed leaving us at the end of March – however, she is going to Remark to manage a new service in April that is going to compliment the services that Dering provide by providing support in the workplace once Dering has supported a person into work. Therefore this is something that we welcome and look forward to working with her on.
Dering Employment Services