Saturday, 13 February 2010


There's a fascinating example of spin this week in the tale of our favourite minister, Jim Knight MP, and his visit to Plymouth. The local paper, the Plymouth Herald, reports it in a straightforward way, no doubt aided by a hand-out from the minister's press secretary. There is something called a "Backing Young Britain roadshow" which is "touring Britain's cities, encouraging employers to give jobs to people aged 18 to 24." There is no mention of Flexible New Deal or A4e.
The local MP, Linda Gilroy, has her own spin on this event on her website. Here we learn that "the Minister also called in to A4E Plymouth." To prove her interest in the topic of young people and unemployment she cites a speech she made last year and provides a link to it. The only mention of A4e in that speech is: "I want to mention the work that the local strategic partnership has developed, bringing together the public, private and voluntary sectors to identify our strengths and to develop action plans that play to them. The DWP values its work. Partnership working between the DWP and organisations such as Working Links and A4e in my constituency is important, and making common cause with the Learning and Skills Council is also part of the recipe."
So far A4e is hardly central to the story. But the company's own website sees it differently. Mr Knight, we're told, had a brief meeting with Paul Dingle, A4e Pathways operations Manager, who said that, "The Minister told local A4e bosses he was very positive at the work being done across the region & especially Pathways to Work." Then Linda Gilroy is quoted: “A4e are delivering some fantastic programmes in the city and I wanted the Minister to hear directly how unemployed people are being helped to find sustainable job opportunities through training, educational and work placement schemes being organised by A4e.”
Same story, slightly different interpretations.

1 comment:

  1. I suppose with so few success stories to point to over the years, A4e have to spin, just like Labour. And just like Labour, they've become increasingly unpopular over the years


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