Tuesday, 18 August 2009

And now America - tomorrow the world

The Yorkshire Post today carries an uncritical piece about A4e's proposed expansion into the US. "Training specialist looking to US" reports that the company is talking to the Obama regime - at their invitation, apparently, but note the name-dropping - "about providing training for the long-term unemployed in the US. Ms Harrison said she hoped to have a "substantial" presence in the US within two years." The rest of the story simply gives Emma Harrison's version of A4e, even quoting her statement, "Our number one priority is to improve people's lives." And she says, "Globally, the plan is just starting. In Poland we exceeded all targets. In Germany we are working with whole families. That's the next step for the UK. We must get three delegations into our London office from foreign countries a month." The DWP fraud investigation is faced and dismissed by the article, and Emma's line is now that A4e were the victims of a fraud by a single employee.
Of course, the Yorkshire Post is reporting on a Yorkshire company but, as with other newspapers, they don't bother to look behind the A4e version to such vital issues as performance (way, way below target) and client experience. This article seems to be part of a PR offensive linked to the Benefit Busters programme (don't forget, this Thursday), and it's to be hoped that the Observer won't be the only paper to look below the surface.


  1. Just left a comment on the Yorks post article page. This is what I intend to do whenever I see any pro A4e articles pretending to be news. I urge others here to do likewise.

  2. America invented workfare, and as far as I know it is still a requiremet in some states for getting benefits. So what can A4e teach them I wonder?


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