Friday, 14 May 2010

The education business

Back in October we reported on A4e's contract for the Education Business Partnership in the Tees Valley. So one has to wonder why A4e has now published the details of this as a case study on its Insight website. Perhaps it's a lesson in how the private sector can move into hitherto public areas.
Connexions was a national service set up in 2000 to provide careers guidance for young people. There was criticism from the start, and in 2005 there was a decision to break it up and give local authorities control over the Connexions service in their areas. In the Tees Valley this meant that the service was to be divided between 5 local councils. The existing not-for-profit business managers decided to try to stay in business, and "gained agreement to novate the LSC contracts to a new host". [yes, "novate" is a word, look it up!] In October 2006 they were taken over by A4e; the staff were TUPE'd in and extra staff taken on. Three months later the new business got the EPB contract.
This formed the basis of A4e's Education and Enterprise division, and the company boasts that "since launching the new division with contracts valued at £2m per annum, A4e has invested in resources and people and today it has a turnover of over £5m and is still growing strongly."

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