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Bigger and stronger?  How will the third sector fare under the new Government?

Bigger and stronger?  How will the third sector fare under the new Government?

So George Osborne’s July Budget has been and gone.  Did it tell us much about future funding of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector?

The answer is not really.  There were, of course, many announcements that will have an impact on VCSE organisations’ beneficiaries.  But for actual funding details, it’s probably going to be September’s spending review when we learn this kind of detail.

There is, however, plenty that we do know about the direction of the Government’s VCS policies.  First, at a ministerial level, there’s continuity, with the Coalition Minister, Rob Wilson, re-appointed to the role.  After the Brooks Newmark imbroglio last year, a bit of continuity is probably no bad thing.

Secondly, Rob Wilson gave a speech in June on the theme of building civil society together.  This sets out a four point plan for working with and funding VCS organisations.  Before we get onto that plan though, there’s an important announcement to make: the Big Society is dead.  Back in April, I was quizzically surprised by the resurgence of the Big Society in the Conservative manifesto.  But it was a dead cat bounce: in 2,000 plus words of the Rob Wilson speech, there is no mention of Big Society.

Instead we have a “bigger stronger society” – all lower case, no capitals.  But, like its predecessor, a bigger stronger society seems rich on rhetoric and short on cash…  The one bit of new funding is a Local Sustainability Fund for high-impact charities and social enterprises.  However, this has been long expected (it was first announced in early 2014) and, indeed, seems to have halved from £40m to £20m.

However, we have long known that the Government regards itself as an enabler rather than a funder of the VCSE, so perhaps this lack of cash is only to be expected.  Which brings us to the four point plan.  I think the easiest thing is just to quote directly from the speech:

“This is our plan:

“First, we need a confident and capable voluntary sector, armed with the skills it needs to meet the challenges ahead.

“Second, we want to see more social action and volunteering, with community participation embedded in our lives from school days onwards.

“Third, increased levels of giving, and more social investment, helping people who want to use their money to transform lives to connect to organisations who can put those funds to work.

“And fourth, stronger, more resilient, more capable and more empowered communities.”

 

All of these aims are, of course, laudable.  The tricky bit, equally obviously, is achieving them.  It will be, perhaps, most interesting to see if the Government can help effect a shift in the levels of volunteering in the UK.  Right near the end of the speech, the Nesta-led (and Cabinet Office-funded) Cities of Service initiative gets a name check for its work in seven UK local authorities.  This was a scheme started in New York in 2009 and now including 170 Mayors in cities with a combined population of over 50m.  If this initiative can achieve the level of change it’s had in the States, maybe we will start to see a step change in volunteering levels.

So as the new Government settles in, the direction of its policies for VCSEs is certainly becoming clearer.  We might have to wait until September, though, to see what — if any — cash there is to help VCSEs down this path.

 

For more information contact James Turner

Is the third sector in Glasgow facing a boiled frog moment?

Is the third sector in Glasgow facing a boiled frog moment?

Richard Scothorne writes for the Glasgow Centre for Population Health on his perspectives facing the third sector in Glasgow following a recent review conducted by Rocket Science.

You can access the blog through this link on the GCPH website ….. or read on.

Is the third sector in Glasgow facing a ‘boiled frog’ moment? | Glasgow Centre for Population Health

Our recent research, commissioned by the GCPH, on the status of Glasgow’s third sector workforce revealed some stark facts. Third sector incomes are going down and demands on the sector are going up.

We came across lots of staff who were both dedicated and distressed – they were working harder because they remained committed to their clients. They still got reward from their jobs because they felt they were making a difference, but they wondered how much longer the squeeze could go on before something gave.

Organisational leaders felt that a tightening of finances was converting collaboration into competition as organisations fought for survival.

There appears little likelihood that these trends will reverse – or even slow down. What does this mean for the sector?

This looks horribly like a ‘boiled frog’ moment – referring to the anecdote that if a frog is placed in boiling water it will quickly jump out of the pot– but if put into cold water which is then slowly heated it will stay put until it is too late.

So, for me, one of the big questions from our work is ‘What can these organisations do to get on the front foot?’ The answer is not straightforward – not least because we didn’t see any convincing patterns in which approaches were working for those third sector organisations which had effective responses to the situation.

Approaches to the situation

As a veteran of various third sector Boards I have seen a range of responses to this question. These have included:

  • developing a stronger focus on doing a small number of roles really well – in other words, serious specialisation
  • ensuring that they can tell a persuasive story about the difference they make, directly and indirectly – through thorough evaluation and case studies – and so demonstrate the value they offer
  • developing strong alliances and partnerships around some important tasks and client groups
  • broadening the sources of income which might include social enterprise strands
  • merging with one or more organisations to reduce overheads and widen markets.

This is not easy stuff, particularly the last response. There are a lot of small organisations with strong teams, a clear focus and distinctive cultures and reputations. One of the strengths that small organisations can offer funders is that they can be fleet of foot and offer a highly personalised service to their clients.

Mergers, leadership and culture

But compared with larger organisations they are often incurring high overheads per client which in practice takes money away from clients and threatens their organisational survival. In principle, mergers look like the obvious solution. However, research suggests that, while there have been some notable successes, most mergers don’t work well – mainly because there is a fatal lack of clarity about leadership and culture.

And actually our impression was that the larger organisations felt under just as much pressure as the smaller ones.

So, just for starters, two questions, which I suspect third sector leaders are losing sleep about:

  • If I knew that current trends were going to continue for the foreseeable future – in terms of income and demands – what could I do to safeguard the support for my clients?
  • If I had to ensure that our current clients continued to receive a high quality service (from someone) – and that we respond to increasing demands – how could I make this happen?

….and one for the funders:

  • How can I work with my third sector partners to develop creative ways of responding to increased demands and less money – and sustain the commitment of their dedicated staff?

If this feels like a boiled frog moment to you – it may be time to jump.

Contact Richard Scothorne for more information

 

Parent power  – how parent networks could improve social mobility

Parent power – how parent networks could improve social mobility

We looked at how parents’ networks could be used to create improved work experience opportunities for young people in school, regardless of their family status. Using technology to pool opportunities into a universally accessible database where young people could track their experience and skills.  We applied for funding through the tech and innovation funders but it was rejected… we think it has a lot of potential?  What do you think?

Unlocking-work-experience-through-parents

Get in touch if you want to find out more.

Caroline Masundire

From learning to earning .. the Corsa years

From learning to earning .. the Corsa years

Or can I borrow some money for petrol to get to work Mum?

So its been nearly a year since I last updated you about my son and how he has got on at college and his electrical installation course.  For those of you new to this saga, I have been charting the last four years of my son’s education from Year 10 through to his attempts at getting an apprenticeship – his learning to earning journey.  You can grab a full recap here.

Well the last year has been both interesting and very expensive.  The good news is that my son managed to finally get a GCSE Grade C in Maths so that he could move up to his Level 3 and reduce down to a one year rather than two-year course.  However he fared less well in his attempts to get an apprenticeship through the traditional routes.  His college seemed only able to get a couple of vacancies to share among 60 students and training providers would only accept him if he had already bagged an employer.  He applied for six apprenticeships online and never received any replies.

Now I know what you are thinking, he probably did not fill out the right forms or had a good enough CV.  My thoughts exactly.  But if you have ever tried to offer advice and help to a truculent hormonal boydult with a  ‘you can’t tell me anything cos you are a parent’ attitude, you can bear witness that parents are in a no-win situation.  On one hand I admire him for standing his ground and being confident and on the other I despair.

My sister who is a trained counsellor in mental health blames this on the teenage brain; emerging evidence that the adolescent brain does not reach adult maturity until the early 20’s which unfortunately means that I have got another three years of sighing, rolling of the eyes and incomprehensible grunting that only gets clearer when a demand for cash/petrol/clothes/loan/phone/oil/MOT/repair is looming.

After two attempts (at theory and practical stages)  my son passed his driving test in November which started an onslaught of an adolescent version of pester power to honour my commitment to get him a car and pay for his insurance for the first year.  This was a deal I struck up with him years ago when it was obvious he would not be going to university like his sister. In the interests of balance and fairness I agreed (stupidly) to give him the same amount towards a car that I paid towards her fees and maintenance, which he reminded me of at least three times a day and managed to extend in value by at least 33%.  However he had given me a very difficult task to find a new model Corsa (3 not 5 door), it had to be silver, a 1.2 engine and less than 80000 miles on the clock.  As you can imagine choices were limited, the mere hint of an alternative or 06 number plate had him raging and flailing his arms about with accusations of me being a bad parent, reneging on my promises and being  ‘just just … oh forget it!’ (cue flounce out of room and silent treatment).

In the end I managed to find the car of his dreams, which needed a bit of TLC, new tyres and apparently a new exhaust system (which I had to replace just five days after purchase).  Add this to the cost of his insurance which I managed to get for a mere £1500 through one of those black box deals, lets just say I paid out far more than I bargained for.

Some of you might be thinking what a fool I have been, but it appears that this investment has started to pay off.  It seems that you are much more likely to bag an elusive apprenticeship if you drive and have your own transport.   As soon as he had his car my son’s success rate at getting in front of people doubled overnight and he got four weeks work experience within a couple of days.  Unfortunately the experience did not last too long as the company only wanted to pay cash in hand and offer work as it came in.  At the time my son was also working 16 hours a week at Iceland and in one week clocked up nearly 50 hours in work… something he could not sustain alongside his studies.

Most of his friends have bagged their apprenticeships through friends and family.  One of his mates has got an apprenticeship paying £25,000 a year, learning one day a week a college with his uncle who owns an electrical company, his other mate’s Dad runs a construction company and has found him a job with one of his sub-contractors; another knows someone who knows someone.  In fact none of his friends have got their apprenticeships through the Government’s apprenticeship portals, or through providers and or through the college.  They have managed to get them through the ‘its not what you know it’s who you know’ route.

Being a family with absolutely no connections to the building trade we began to lose hope until a passing conversation with my partner’s neighbour, whose sons’ own their own electrical business, revealed that they would be interested in having a chat with my son.  After a week of persuading him to ring them up and send his CV, they took him on a week’s trial back in March.   I am pleased to report that he is still there, working on the days he is not at college and will this week be signing up to an apprenticeship with them (crossing fingers the college will pull their finger out and sort out the paperwork quickly).

Working out why we have eventually been fortunate is not difficult.  My son has held down a 18 hour part-time job since leaving school rising to a deputy supervisor within six months – he has developed employability skills; hard work, flexibility, personal communication (but not with his mum!) and responsibility but most importantly he has access to transport and a driving license – an absolute must have for a role in the trade – how else can you pack in eight jobs a day?

He has had a firm foundation of skills and support, which has reminded me of the importance of family and continuous support to keep him in line and focused. We cannot just rely on the educators but they should have provided more than they did by accessing more employers and jobs, give better CV and interview support.  And it seems to me to be a no-brainer for the Government help pay for driving lessons and a licence to improve the chances young people will have of getting an apprenticeship (for low-income families or rural areas) where it counts?

The apprenticeship system surely has to change, we have been talking far too long about the failure to serve young people and employers.  But we also have to change our views on what social mobility really means, we must not talk just about the elite jobs, we need to talk about all jobs and routes to progression as the ‘who you know’ rule is entrenched in all classes.

Caroline Masundire

You can follow Caroline @evaluationista

 

Better Business Cases – Think like a Minister?

Better Business Cases – Think like a Minister?

With the growing agenda around the devolution of powers and resources to the English regions – and further powers and resources to Scotland – there is a growing focus on the significance of business cases for both capital and revenue projects.  Our new Senior Consultant, Clare Hammond, has just joined us from the New Zealand Treasury and looks at how to cut through to the heart of what decision makers are looking for in a Business Case

 

5 case BBC picture for Blog

In both New Zealand and the UK, Government capital funding proposals are required to be accompanied by a business case. Both countries use the five case Better Business Cases model (detailed in the UK Green book). This model is outlined in figure 1. Business cases play an important role in improving the level of analysis underpinning spending decisions. They are also incredibly useful frameworks for making a case for non-capital related projects.

A business case is your key vehicle for convincing Ministers (and HMT and even spending Departments such as DWP) that your idea is worth investing in. At its core, a business case needs to make a succinct, yet comprehensive, and convincing case for change.

But amongst that several hundred page business case, Ministers and Treasury officials care most about getting answers to three questions. The most influential business cases I have seen go through Cabinet are able to clearly walk the reader through the answers to these questions.

Question One: Why do I need to do anything about this?

The public sector will tend to sweat its assets, so decision makers will often be thinking about whether they can delay the decision. This is particularly true in times of austerity, or if your asset isn’t part of a sexy headline or election winning project.

Often the case for change, while widely understood within the organisation, won’t be presented explicitly to Ministers and their advisors. Having decision makers disagree with your imperative for change can be an opinion that is difficult to shake later in the process.

In the business cases I’ve worked on, the tag line ‘the current asset isn’t fit for purpose’ is a particular favourite. To be convincing on this point, the evidence needs to outline clearly which needs are being met by the current asset, which aren’t, why, and does it really matter? If service delivery failure is a risk, being explicit about the risk tolerance assumed, and the likely outcome of service delivery failure can be useful in providing a tangible image for Ministers.

Question Two: Why is this my best option?

Most business cases are dedicated to showing how great the preferred option is. What can often be forgotten is that in arriving at the preferred option, many other options have dropped off the list. Ensuring that your business case adequately answers why the other options are not the best can be incredibly powerful in supporting your preferred option.

Question Three: How do I know this will be delivered well, on time, and to budget?

Crudely put, the key messages coming from Ministers on this are likely to be:  “Don’t come back to me for more money”, and, “I don’t want to have to clean up a PR mess if this project fails to deliver”.

These issues tend to get lost in a sea of organisational diagrams, management charts, and procurement technicalities. Stepping back and thinking about how to answer Question Three can be a useful exercise in producing a convincing case.

The most successful business cases I have seen are able to take complicated and detailed analysis and use it to convincingly answer the three questions above. To achieve this, I suggest creating a devil’s advocate within your organisation to really push around and test your answers to these questions. The criteria for selecting a good devil? Well they should be able to think like a Treasury official or Government Minister……

If you have questions on this blog, or on developing and assessing Better Business Cases more generally, please contact Clare.

How do you solve a problem like Childcare?

How do you solve a problem like Childcare?

Caroline Masundire gives her take on the eternal challenges of childcare and where some opportunities lie for innovation.

Two years ago,  I published a blog called Goodbye Childcare, Hello Freedom which charted the challenges I faced as single parent organising childcare in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.  Reflecting back on this and my subsequent blog on the Government’s childcare strategy, More Great Childcare, I have put some thoughts together on the challenges of developing and supporting childcare, which cannot be resolved just by extending free provision in early years or pump priming new provision.  Since the 90s, the childcare sector has been subject to a lot of change:

  • Initiatives and some investment from government and regional agencies e.g. extended schools (labour) which attempted to incentivise schools to offer wraparound childcare, through to current Government investment to pump-prime start up provision with a micro grant, the extended free childcare offer which provides 15 hours of free childcare a week and childcare tax credits.  Many of the regional development agencies prior to their demise in 2011, established regional childcare investment programmes and some back to work programmes offered unemployed individuals a childcare subsidy paid to providers to help them manage their transition into work;
  • Professionalisation of the childcare workforce through vocational qualifications and accreditation which has become an integral part of the regulatory assessment of quality childcare but has had a subsequent impact on the cost to run childcare provision;
  • The changing role of local authorities moving from an assessment and regulation role to becoming stewards of the local childcare market, identifying and supporting the development of provision through Childcare Sufficiency Assessments, their requirements around Children and Young People and Economic Wellbeing and their role as brokers of childcare information through their Family Information Services including access to online information;
  • The change to employment conditions (atypical hours, zero hour contracts, short term contracts) and working hours of parents has placed a demand on providers to become more flexible in their childcare offer.  However the pace of that change is hindered by the cost to provide what parents need compared to the scale at which those costs can be recovered through requirements around staff to children ratios.

In short there has been a lot of specific investment in developing provision and some tinkering around the edges, but it still remains a big problem. On top of these challenges recent policy influences are also having a big impact:

  • Welfare reform and the move for parents on Income Support to Job Seekers Allowance once their youngest child reaches school age has increased demand for out of school childcare;
  • National Minimum Wage (NMW)  and commitments to a Living Wage impact both on parental income and the costs of running provision;
  • Potential impacts of Universal Credit (UC) on household income as well as areas such as London where housing costs are significantly impacting on costs of living and affordability.  This in turn is forcing families to move out to more affordable areas to live, extending their commuting time and need for childcare outside of core hours (8am-6pm).

Understanding the tensions between what parents need and what is provided

I think many actors with an interest in childcare understand the tensions but find it hard to resolve the challenge around what parents need and what can they afford against what can the market supply that is both affordable and sustainable for the provider.

We cannot escape the fact that decisions about childcare are complex, something I feel policymakers often ignore.  Parents have to make judgements based on what is Available – around the age of the child (ren) and at times to suit, what is Accessible – where is it and how does it fit around travel to work and finally what is Affordable.  I refer to this as the three A’s which determine parental choice (something we used in sufficiency assessments back in the 00s.

For example look at the needs of a parent with a school age child of eight years and a baby of seven months.  Their childcare has to fit around the school day for the eight year old, so needs to be near or at the school, whereas there is more flexibility for options for the baby for which location is not a ‘dealbreaker’.  In this scenario (which reflects my own experience) the parent has limited choices.  If the school does not provide wrap around care nor has a nursery attached, the formal childcare available will likely be a local childminder that offers places for both under and over 5s and covers school runs to this school.

Another example is for a single parent on in-work benefits with three school aged children under 10 that works five days a week part-time on National Minimum Wage during the school day and does not need to rely on childcare during term time.  Yet during school holidays the parent has to find childcare to cover those hours and find the money to pay for childcare costs for the three children – making childcare unaffordable and out of reach.

What these examples also highlight are the challenges facing providers and local authorities in terms of addressing the different kinds of choices parents have to make based on their varying needs and circumstances.  Whilst quality of the provision is at the fore front of parental concerns, choice is also determined by the practicality of using the options available.  Sufficiency assessments provide an overview of need and offer at a local authority perspective, but providers need to have assurances around that they can cover costs and remain sustainable and profitable.  So it is unsurprising that there is a lack of choice; providers are guided by simple market forces and will offer provision where they can be assured of income, often resulting in lots of provision of early care and lack of provision in wrap around and out of school care.  The latter need is often met and supported through informal childcare which although affordable and often free is less reliable and breaks down.

Some opportunities for innovation

There are opportunities to look to innovation to address gaps both in terms of diversification of provision and collective action by local agencies to support the childcare market.  Here are my top two!

Innovation 1 – From Atypical to typical

There are significant opportunities for formalising the informal market for atypical provision. Atypical working hours describe working patterns which do not fall within the 8am – 6pm standard hours, and includes shift work, irregular hours, over-time, being ‘on call’, and weekend work.  Commuting (common to London workers) can also turn a typical working day into one of atypical hours; 16% of working people in London travel for over an hour to get to and from their workplace.

Research conducted by the Resolution Foundation suggested that “[c]urrent market failure in the provision of childcare outside core hours and international examples of best practice indicate that there may be a broader role for government in developing a childcare market that is responsive to the needs of parents working atypical hours”. A survey from the Daycare Trust highlighted that 53% of parents reported problems accessing childcare before 8am and 66% had problems accessing childcare after 6pm.  It also showed that only 9% of local authorities in England reported “sufficient childcare” for children of parents with atypical work patterns.

Research also shows the difficulty of demonstrating demand to be a major factor in establishing atypical childcare. The demand for atypical childcare can be untested because parents are not aware that there is even an option to request this from their local authorities. As a result, the “majority of parents, particularly those from low income groups, fill this gap with informal childcare” (Daycare Trust) – that is, grandparents, friends and other family. However, this is not always possible, particularly for migrant families without a support network, and this kind of support is not a long-term solution as informal care is more likely to break down.  The development of using innovation in atypical provision is challenging but achievable, both in terms of modelling a sustainable solution (a business model we developed for the London Borough of Brent which focused on an estate based solution) and facilitating the exchange of childcare services and payments through currency models such as Time Credits for two hours or less.  Both of which need to be ‘close to home’.

Innovation 2- Joint investment focused on assets and shared resources

We know that there is often a disconnect between local actors that have responsibility for the local childcare market and local economy.  Our review of innovation in childcare in Wales highlighted  failures in local authority departments to ‘join the dots’. Departments often make investments in isolation from one another and do not see the connections between their policy and funding decisions.  Closing the gap in perception between economic development and childcare professionals is a key challenge.  Otherwise, it will not be possible to form effective partnerships to deliver more effective use of local assets and resources.  In our view such partnerships have the power to transform how the market operates.   Our key recommendations from this review included the following

There needs to be greater collaboration and working between policy, commissioning and providers to design childcare solutions that better meet the needs of parents and ensure the sustainability of provision.  This may include:

 The sharing of resources and funding for the development of provision, linking into community venues such as schools and helping providers to work together to provide a wider range of services.

    • The sharing of costs and associated administrative burdens of delivering childcare i.e. DBS registrations, management through a managing agent model to bring different providers together.
    • A multi-Agency approach, which is based on more coherent communication between Family Information Services and providers around childcare options to help manage parent expectations of what is childcare and the costs and benefits associated with it and possibly wrapped into wider benefits and money management advice and support”

So what next?

There seems to be very little in the election promises in 2015.  Without having in place a universal childcare offer in the UK (a dream but an impossibility) we can look forward to more tinkering and short term investment, with a bit of regulation thrown in, which has been the default position of all government administrations since before I can remember. Which leaves us with the question. Do we sit back and wait for the next initiative or do we grab the opportunities that innovating our ways of thinking about and working towards solutions present us?  I know which one I prefer.

 

Follow Caroline on Twitter @evaluationista

Six things we’ve learnt about employability in the Coalition

Six things we’ve learnt about employability in the Coalition

Richard Scothorne reflects on the lessons we have learnt from employability programmes over the past five years.

People can’t find work that doesn’t exist

In developing employability strategies for various areas with high and sustained unemployment a consistent feature has emerged.  They display a ‘jobs gap’:  a significant difference between the numbers seeking work and the numbers (and types) of jobs available locally.  Some of these areas have great economic development strategies in place with strong leadership and effective partnerships – but even if they exceed their highest expectations they won’t close the gap. There are lots of practical implications of this, such as what do schools do to help pupils understand the wider labour market, broaden their horizons, and give them the skills, confidence and resilience to help them move away and thrive in an unfamiliar community?  Can coordinated action be developed between ‘job gap’ areas and areas with much tighter labour markets to help people move and thrive?  And – over all of this – how do we deal with a situation where the match between where people are and where jobs are is getting out of kilter?

We have made great strides in partnership working, but…

On the whole, our ability to work as collaborative partners has come along in leaps and bounds – partly because the situation has been so bad and resources relatively limited.  This is taking some interesting and ambitious forms.  For example, in one area the partners have created a coherent ‘employment service’, integrated with small business development, with all the organisations playing to their strengths and with clear assessment, personalised design and progress management for all priority clients. Every month they review their high quality management information and take action on weak links, emerging issues and under-performance.  You’re right, I made that up.

We need to be clear where our loyalties lie

There are a lot of great, dedicated people who provide exceptional support and regularly go the extra mile for their clients.  We need to recognise and reward them – and ensure that anything less is not acceptable.   If we don’t see a great service we need to do something about it as funders and partners, otherwise we are letting down their clients.  And if we see underperforming providers who are outside our control (eg on the Work Programme) we need to find ways to ensure that our citizens get the help they need.

Success has many parents but failure is an orphan

 If Gordon Brown had formed a government in 2010 rather than David Cameron, we would have had a programme for the long term unemployed that looked awfully like the Work Programme.   The Freud Report on the future of welfare to work, which led to the Work Programme, was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – not Ian Duncan Smith, but his 2006 Labour predecessor, John Hutton.  This didn’t stop Labour deriding the programme as “worse than doing nothing” when it failed in its early years to meet DWP minimum performance targets.  But is it wishful thinking to hope that perhaps we would have had a programme which demanded (and rewarded) more consistently engaged partnership behaviour by providers and stronger local ownership?

We can do a lot more on prevention

There has been a sustained argument that the risk of deadweight made early identification of those particularly vulnerable to long term unemployment not worthwhile.  But the case is crumbling, and international good practice shows that a combination of personal characteristics, attitudes and adviser judgement can bring about a significant improvement in predictive ability.  Particularly if you take into account the cost benefit of vulnerable clients gaining work even a week or two earlier than they might otherwise have done.  Combine this with earlier support at school, strengthened school/work transitions, ensuring a good match between client and job, support for new recruits (dealing with difficult supervisors, demanding routines, travel to work, childcare etc) and progression to more responsible jobs and more pay through skill enhancement at work, and you have the making of powerful local preventative strategies that can transform lives.

And finally, a sixth:  Many of our clients would have been saved a lot of pain and hardship if more people understood and applied basic macroeconomics…

Contact Richard for more information