Back home, Jonty Olliff-Cooper has been tweeting to drum up business for a conference. "Looking forward to our A4e mutuals conference next week. If you are interested in starting a public sector mutual, come along." Mutuals are part of David Cameron's strategy for abolishing the public sector. Groups of council employees will form themselves into co-operatives and then bid for contracts for the work. So what has that got to do with A4e? These "mutuals" will need advice and help in setting up their companies. They may well find it useful to be attached to a private company. After all, even if they get the contracts the first time around, they will lose out thereafter to the likes of A4e.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Latvia and mutuals
Roy Newey's trip to Riga in Latvia got a write-up on a Latvian website which, thanks to Google Translate, gives us an insight into what A4e, and, apparently, Scottish employers, really think of the unemployed. "In his [Newey's] view, the main task is to teach the unemployed new skills, but to help them regain self-confidence and a belief that they can find work and be useful to employees. A4e even helping people clean up their appearance. [Newey] tells about some of the experiments conducted in Scotland, where a single action along been to bring together long-term unemployed and employers. 'Later, employers were asked whether they would like to employ these people, and if not, why not. Initially they said that those unemployed lack the necessary skills and experience, but after a few glasses of wine confessed that the real reason is the external effect - people are too fat, bad smell, he is unseemly tattoos, etc.. Appearance is very important.'" Well, well.