Wednesday, 11 August 2010

And after the publicity?

I didn't watch Emma Harrison last night in "Who Knows Best". If you did, feel free to comment. The lack of any reviews in the press, apart from the Guardian's premature piece, shows that it raised little interest. Perhaps that means that the TV companies have exhausted this particular line of programming; the "it's easy to get a job if you really want one" line. But I bet there is more stuff in the pipeline that encourages this perception and bashes all "benefits scroungers".
What does all this exposure mean for A4e? Like the other big contractors, they have been encouraged to expect to inherit the new Work Programme contracts. Emma Harrison's expectations are summed up in a little piece in the Wellington Times: "Iain Duncan Smith's New Work Programme has been greeted as 'fantastic news' by Emma Harrison the chairman of A4e. A4e have £300 million of Government training contracts and controls 25% of the long-term unemployment budget for the Department of Work and Pensions." She praises the new direction: "The way it has been done in the past is with a myriad of programmes going on, it has been too much, too complicated and the cost of it has been too much. This Government has been brave enough to announce that there will be one programme and that programme will be individualised to every single person who comes on the programme." And: Mrs Harrison said that A4e was 'very happy' to work within the New Work Programme payment structure. "We are growing organically. We don't do acquisition. We are all owned by ourselves. We are very well placed to do this thing," she said." And finally: "We will export this worldwide."
The "framework" is expected to be announced in November; those big companies which will control the contracts under the Work Programme. We can assume that the procurement process will not be influenced by the amount of TV exposure a company has had. But when it comes to selling your services worldwide, it can only help.


  1. I just don't get Emma Harrison at all. I really don't. If you had watched her blubbing last night at the blossoming of her pet project you'd think she was all heart. Yet to welcome the condem slash and burn approach, with it's shock and awe collateral damage approach, you'd think she was someone else.
    Every experience i've read and witnessed (thankfully not firsthand, my time was with the equally useless Working Links) about her company says the complete opposite of the 'holistic' approach she apparently advocates.
    Not only that, but how can such an approach be even practical when you see the drab a4e offices crammed to the rafters with 'clients'? HOw many of them are gotten jobs through her personal contacts? How many 'clients' does she personally buy suits for?

    I have to wonder if this programme and her performance on it was carefully constructed as a PR exercise. She came across light years ahead of that religious nutter she was 'competing' with.

    It's ironic, i've mentioned to the various providers in a similar capcity that i have spoken to (next step, shaw trust, working links) about a holistic approach. To me it makes sense (when it's not a soundbite). Every time there was no interest at all. Working Links, who i saw in their capacity as helping people with health issues getting back to work, weren't at all interested: 'we're not doctors' they said.

  2. I would like to make you party to a e mail i have today sent to Emma.Emma,

    I hope the Morning finds you well.I am sure you have seen some of the publicity with regard to your recent TV appearance.When i see the vast network that you have,and how you have tried to help others,i just cannot understand how you turned the other way,with reference to myself.I do feel that both you and the television company have a duty of care to people.It is simply not good enough to walk into peoples life's and houses,and then turn the other cheek.I hope you do realise that when you do walk into there life,you give that person hope,and the feeling you care,only to be sadly disappointed at a later date.
    After watching the show last night, i was shocked to see the methods you were using,hand round the shoulders and the crying.I would like to believe in the emotion,so if it was real in my case,why did you offer me the help to camera and when approached after the show you palm me off to an unknown company,with the excuse that Manchester is not your area.As soon as you walked into my house you made it your area.
    I even sent you my CV,to which i had no response.I have mentioned it is simply not good enough,using vulnerable unemployed to further your media profile.I am sure if you were to sit down and think,you would come to the conclusion,that you do have a duty of care.
    I only thought it was fair to e mail you in person with reference to my opinions once again,to give you the opportunity to honour your responsibility.Lets see Mark Shields

  3. "Emma,Emma. this is your conscience speaking. How could you".

  4. Pathetic propoganda.


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