We were told that A4e was contracted to occupy the clients for 30 hours per week. We were not told that this is meant to include a work placement. The original idea behind the contracts was that claimants would get experience of working and, possibly, be taken on by the employer permanently. Lots of A4e's clients are indeed out on placements, but few with private sector employers, who don't want the hassle. Most are hived off to the voluntary sector, and A4e pays the organisations small amounts to take them.
The pressures on space and the difficulty in usefully occupying clients results in people being sent out to roam the streets. Two former A4e clients in Hull complained to the local BBC office that they had been sent out to do quizzes, and that the whole "course" had been a waste of time.
Mark's job was intended to be permanent and so would have resulted in a job outcome payment for A4e. However, since he didn't stay in the job for 13 weeks, they would not have received the "rolled up weeks", the payments for the remaining weeks of the programme.
A4e were caught claiming agency jobs as permanent in Hull. We saw how these jobs are casual and so very unpopular with claimants; they also don't qualify as real jobs with the DWP, so the temptation to get the agency to tick the "permanent" box is very real.
A few months after this programme was filmed, an Ofsted inspection rated A4e's offices in the area only "satisfactory" and gave the figure for job outcomes as 18%.
A4e's PR people will know that this programme, together with last week's episode, are a disaster for the image of the company and its boss. But does it matter in the long run? The Conservatives are still reluctant to say that they would ditch FND, because it depends on the state of the contracts when they get into government. And for A4e the future lies abroad more than in Britain.