Wednesday, 17 August 2011

More income, and shifting the focus

The government's faith in private profit for curing society's ills is limitless, so there's more money for A4e and the others. We were told yesterday that from next March everybody coming out of prison will be met "at the prison gates" by Work Programme providers who will subject them to “ a tough process so that they find work and they stay on the straight and narrow” (reports Total Politics) This is daft on at least two counts. They certainly won't be met at the prison gates. The provider will probably arrange an interview in the jail before the offender's release. And note the assumption that putting them on the WP guarantees them a job. Most of the providers are operating a triage system; some clients need virtually no help to get a job; some need quite a bit of input and support; and a third group are pretty hopeless. Which category will the ex-cons be put into?

But that's not the only new source of income for A4e. Quietly, something called the New Enterprise Allowance has been rolled out whereby the unemployed can be financed to start up their own businesses. In 36 districts various organisations will be paid to run this scheme. A4e has secured the contracts for 5 of them. This fits well with Mark Lovell's recent stress on self-employment as the solution to lack of jobs.

Maybe it's been decided that it's time to take the spotlight off Emma Harrison and show that the company is not a one-woman band. The Yorkshire Post has published an interview with Mark Lovell. He talks about the history of the company and his part in it. No doubt the interviewer, Lizzie Murphy, thought she was being hard-hitting in raising "issues" like the fraud investigation and the lost laptop. She fails, however, to raise the real issue, the consistent failure to meet targets.

1 comment:

  1. There is so much being said about work, jobs and how every one and their aunt should work. That there is nothing about creating work for all.

    I have just been with a "back to work agency" and I have no job.

    I am constantly doing courses and volunteering to keep active and busy but do not even get a response most of the time when I apply.

    I am fit active and ready to go but can not secure work.


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