Back in Britain, there are more PR pieces masquerading as news items in local papers. The Stourbridge News carries a piece entitled: "Help for credit crunch casualties" which tells us that "A4e - Action 4 employment - has found permanent jobs for 17 clients since bringing the Government’s Flexible New Deal programme to the borough in October." Out of how many clients? The Stourbridge man who is cited as one of the successes got a job with ..... A4e. Some unemployed people might take issue with the main thrust of this piece, which is that clients need "coaches" who can "work on a one-to-one basis with each customer, identifying their goals and, if existing, their barrier to go to work [sic]. These barriers can be anything from childcare, debt issues, substances abuses, housing problems etc." Well, some do. Many, however, have no "barriers" other than the fact that they can't find work. They may well be qualified and experienced. The piece continues: “Once these individuals are ready to work, they work exclusively with an assigned employment coach who will focus on preparing them for work, helping them with their CV, job search, interview techniques and so on.” This is tarring all the long-term unemployed with the same brush.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
From Britain to Israel and back again
Readers may remember the controversy that surrounded A4e's venture into Israel. It's summarised here. But the UK government and A4e have long since distanced themselves from this controversy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's website UK in Israel carries a newsroom piece proclaiming that "A4E - improves people’s lives and delivers social change (14/12/2009)" As an advert for A4e, this is great stuff. And, of course, it's the job of the Foreign Office to promote British business interests abroad. But this is hardly what you'd call objective.