Thursday, 2 June 2011

Andrew Dutton and income

We're used to A4e sprinkling PR stuff all over the internet, but this piece is unusual in that it names Andrew Dutton as the "mastermind" behind A4e's growth to "an international, £250m-turnover powerhouse". The piece is in question-and-answer form, and Dutton has all the right phrases (like "social purpose company"), but there are some interesting figures. He says that welfare-to-work contributes 60% of their global revenue, but they have diversified into various other areas. He'll get some applause for saying, "Over 90 % of the people we come across want to work and have a job. They see it as part of what gives them identity. There is a tiny minority of people that sees being on benefits as a lifestyle. They are few and far between. But it's also part of our job to persuade those people that working has more benefits to staying at home. I do not subscribe to the view that a large proportion of our society is happy to sit on benefits." And in talking about competitive tendering he says that "the contracts currently under tender are worth £3-4bn collectively. Two years ago, competition was stiff but there was a multitude of relatively small players. We now turn over a quarter of billion pounds a year." He cites India as the biggest growth market for A4e, and is interesting on the subject of bringing in outside investment and the possibility of floating the company on the stock market. "The ultimate plan is to be a half-a-billion-turnover business by 2014, and generate revenues of £1bn by 2020. Being privately owned, we can take a long-term view. How we do that in terms of equity structure is still up for debate. I do know we'll have to open up the company to enable that level of growth, so we'll never rule out the option for an IPO."

So all this competitive tendering has, in reality, driven out the competition.

Now that the government is publishing a complete breakdown of its monthly spending we can see just how much A4e is getting at this site. I started to tally up how much they'd been paid already this year, but decided that life was too short. Suffice it to say that it's a lot!

1 comment:

  1. £155,907,701 (estimated) paid out by the DWP, and just a mere £9,214 paid back by A4e - Both figures are disgraceful. When the full effects of "payment on results" finally kicks in, hopefully the first figure will plummet and the second will rise.

    As for Dutton's claim of supporting people once they are back in work, all I can say is [deleted]. Local office couldn't shut the door and cut off communication fast enough after I signed off.


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