Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Two bits of news

Two small news items including A4e.

The first is a piece in the Sheffield Star about the city's most profitable companies. A4e has moved from 12th place to 4th, it's profits having increased from £5.6m to £9.9m.

The second is a report on the BBC's news website about the young unemployed. It cites A4e's Vox Centre in Brixton (which the piece calls its "flagship centre") which trains youngsters in vocational skills for "entry-level" jobs. Since opening last June they haven't had any success in getting these youngsters into work.


  1. How many entry level jobs are there for unqualified bricklayers, hairdressers, and bar-keeps ?
    With one of Europe's biggest construction project in full swing (Olympic stadium & village), one would have thought that at least one of these "trainee bricklayers" would have found employment in the east end. I feel sorry for the poor youngsters getting minimal training for non-existant jobs that would have been poorly paid at best (O.K. There are some well paid brickies, but they have to work damned hard for it).

  2. Trainees take time to learn the trade and are slow. The Olympic Stadium has a deadline to be completed by, so I am not so sure they would want to take on trainees.

    I am just back from signing on, with five weeks to go to State Pension. New lady advisor hellbent on me finding work.

    I thought I was about to be referred to Ingeus but the Work Programme does not start until June 2nd, and she did not know whether I will be called up given my circumstances.

    Interesting/strange name given to this transitory period. Conversion Stage!

  3. Brixton Brickies

    There seems to be loads of courses out there to train as a Brickie.

    Quote from this website

    To become a bricklayer you do not need any formal qualifications, you may however find it difficult to get any work these days without having a qualification such as a NVQ in bricklaying or at the very least a City & Guilds Bricklaying certificate.

    I see though from this link, a4e VOX courses do lead to these qualifications, although the level is minimal, naturally, for entry into the job market.

    And actually Is there enough work in the construction business these days (apart from building more VOX Centres!). Construction workers including Brickies I would imagine, tend to come from Eastern European countries, especially to London, who are very unlikely to have City and Guilds or NVQ qualifications or even the equivalent!

    These migrant workers plus minimal City Guilds qualifications by a4e young clients probably account for the zero success rate in Brixton office which probably should have been forseen, These migrant workers are on temporary contracts. Construction companies employ very few people in comparisan, like Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers etc.

    I wonder then if a4e will continue that particular centre with the same courses or accept they have wasted resources and change the structure. Interesting!

  4. That is very interesting that the VOX center hasn't managed to get a single student into work. Students study twice weekly which amounts to about 9 hours. I believe that many of the students are coming to the end of their term with the VOX so I would give this another 6 months before really being able to say that the venture was pointless

  5. In response to Simone's comment:

    There is a world of difference between providing courses that lead to an NVQ qualification and actually providing accredited NVQ courses. It is my experience that A4e does not provide the latter and will only facilitate the former IF it can be provided at zero cost (to A4e) and with little regard to the quality or suitability of the "course".


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".