In 2004 I was contacted by the labour attaché in the Germany Embassy in London. The German Government were looking for new ways to address the long term unemployed and those furthest away from the labour market. These two were populated by young people, workless families and older unemployed workers with large turkish communities who had also been excluded from the world of work. Initially I visited Germany and undertook a review of the existing services delivered at a state and regional level. This review was presented to the federal board of the employment service. A study visit was organised for the key stakeholders to visit the UK. The visit included local, regional and national teams on the delivery, policy and contracting sides.

Following the study visit a project was commissioned to design a new front line service to be tested in a pilot region. After consulting with unemployed communities, stakeholders, private sector and trade unions we submitted a proposal for implementation. The proposal was accepted and we moved into implementation phase. Recruitment and training of staff, development of operations manual, back office systems and customer pathways where all managed by our project teams.

The project launched and operated for two years. All performance targets were exceeded and customer satisfaction levels exceeded. The pilot was rolled out onto a wider stage and our customer was delighted with outcome.