Much of A4e's "news" i.e. PR output is focussed on Plymouth at the moment. They are part of something called "Plymouth Works Plus" which has an interesting website homepage. Under "Who we are" they say, "Plymouth Works Plus is a European Social Fund (ESF) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funded project. The organisations working together to provide this support are A4E, The Neighbourhood Learning Consortium, Pluss and RITE Associates Ltd. Our Team consists of trained advisors, consultants, employment engagement advisors and trainers." Fine. But the next paragraph, "What we do", is not reassuring. "Plymouth Works Plus are here to help imporve the employability of unemployed people. We do this by tackling barriers to worked faced by people with disabilities or helath conditions, lone parents, people aged 50+, ethnic minorities, those with no or low qualifications and anyone over 16 not in education., employmnet or training." This is copied and pasted directly from the website. So, a little exercise for you - how many mistakes can you spot in those two sentences? Why has no one from the organisation spotted them?
However, A4e's PR exercise in this area seems to be to associate themselves with the success of people who overcame handicaps to become stars. First we had AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT TEAMS UP WITH A4E. I confess I'd never heard of Sue Torr, but her story is told in the Guardian. What does it have to do with A4e? Well, “A4e has teamed up with Sue to promote help for people to improve their basic skills in literacy and numeracy where A4e runs our Employability Skills programme in Plymouth and across the rest of the South West region.” What does that mean? “A4e is helping Sue with business support on her US tour by organising business cards, literature, and a Dictaphone courtesy of Apex Core Training.” So they have "organised" business cards and literature (the dictaphone, note, was supplied by someone else). Yesterday we got the story of A GENIUS PAINTER WITH A DIFFERENCE. Here we have an even more tenuous connection with A4e. They have "helped Eddy with displaying his works and with help and advice guidance on how he can develop his great talent for painting.” (I know that's not grammatical, but it's what's on the website.) I'm sure Eddy, and Sue, were grateful for A4e's support, but I can't help thinking that it's the publicity that matters. And in my treasury of A4e slogans there's a new (and ungrammatical) one from Carol Boyd of Plymouth A4e: "A4e has a talent of nurturing people’s dreams what ever age or barriers."