Monday, 9 November 2009


It has always been A4e's strength that it continually diversifies into new business opportunities. As welfare-to-work becomes a more crowded and less attractive business in the UK, A4e has spread into other areas such as education; and it's doing that in Germany as well. A German news report describes its certification as a vocational trainer.

Another new project is A4e Insight, slogan "Worldwide Business Experience you can Trust". "A4e Insight is the Research and Consultancy arm of A4e, a market leader in global public service reform and in the design, development and delivery of front-line public services that benefit individuals, organisations and communities" says its website. The four case studies it cites provide something of a puzzle. Two of them are in areas of business where A4e has a large stake. Money guidance is a new but profitable field for the company, and here it's presented as testing a pilot scheme for the Financial Services Authority. We also have A4e's contracts in "Invest in Skills" and "Train to Gain" described as work on behalf of the Learning and Skills Council of Yorkshire and Humberside. But the other two case studies seem to be departures for A4e. It did some market research for a Global provider of CAD/CAM software; and it provided help with the bidding process for "the country’s leading provider of civil enforcement services" which "has significant contracts with both central and local government." (If you're wondering what "civil enforcement" means, its the bailiffs.) So it seems that A4e's undoubted expertise in writing winning bids for government contracts can be sold to other companies.

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