Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A4e's New Star

A4e have found a new person to be their media face - and she's good at it. Jo Blundell, their Group Development Director, was on BBC Breakfast and on Radio 5 Live this morning explaining FND as it goes live.

The TV item was brief. After a quick explanation by the presenter, she was asked what is the point of FND. It's so "no one gets left behind" and to "keep investing in them". Why do it with a private company? Because there are a "very vibrant and experienced set of providers". ("Vibrant"?) And 80% of their money will come from outcomes.

The Radio 5 Live interview was longer, but she coped well. FND is personalised, tailored to the individual. They'll be with their customers for a year, get to know them well, become like a life coach. Why not just give the money to people? Because they need motivating, have issues which are not simple, need quite a lot of help. But there are no jobs. It depends where you are. The job market in London is okay, for instance, but it isn't in Hull. It's not the ideal time to be launching the scheme. Yes it is, because FND will give everybody a chance. Who are you targetting? isn't it a scattergun approach? No, it's individualised. What's the incentive for firms? Won't they just get rid of a current employee in order to take on someone from the scheme to claim the incentive, and keep doing so? Blundell didn't really answer this question but waffled valiantly. What about people who say that wages are too low and it's not worth working? Yes it is, even though it can be a close call at first. What are the targets for A4e? Across the 5 districts where they have contracts, it's 50% into 13-weeks-minimum jobs.

I was impressed. The slogans had gone; no "improving people's lives" or being "passionate". Blundell was articulate and personable. Now we have to see whether the reality of FND in A4e's hands matches the hype.


  1. Here's a link to the BBC Breakfast interview courtesy of YouTube:


    As per usual, it is not possible to leave comments of ANY kind in response to this video. I wonder why....???

  2. As A4e are Government funded the You Tube Account states that it is a non comment channel so any political comments are avoided by third parties.


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