Friday, 31 December 2010

Websites and a new year

As 2010 closes, A4e's prospects of profits look good. But I can't help wondering whether the cult of personality is going to be detrimental to the company in the long run. There's yet another website, Working Families Everywhere, spreading the word about the new opportunity (and with, of course, a video of Emma Harrison). This latest enterprise gets its own Facebook page to go with Emma's own page (which 169 people apparently "like"). I've lost count of all the websites devoted to A4e and Emma Harrison; and she's become the face of welfare-to-work for the Daily Express and, apparently, for David Cameron. But when you court publicity you draw attention to your shortcomings. A4e's results will be under scrutiny as never before.

And Emma has competition in the publicity stakes. Ex-A4e employee Hayley Taylor is back from the USA, where she was called an "international careers expert", and is preparing a new series of The Fairy Jobmother whilst appearing on ITV's Daybreak.

But let's be clear. There are only so many jobs that you can fix up with your personal contacts and with employers who want to appear on the telly. And pushing people into "volunteering" doesn't count. A huge amount of public money is going into the Work Programme and into all those other contracts which A4e has. Time to show that we're getting what we're paying for.

A follow-up to the Private Eye piece on Jonty Olliff-Cooper is on the Blood and Treasure blog. Well worth reading the comments!

A good 2011 to everybody.


  1. Happy New Year, Historian! All the best for 2011!

  2. A Happy New Year Everyone.

    I had a look at that new website and it does look really amateurish both in content and look. She could have employed me to design it ..... and in fact "us" to run the scheme, or not .....

    I wrote to both Ian Duncan Smith and Chris Greyling a few weeks ago with my views and suggestions based on personal experience.. The e-mail seems to have fallen on deaf ears for as yet I have not had a reply.

    I\m so frustrated at the lack of help for me, to the point of desperation, I think a further e-mail to the Prime Minister himself is due - if only for my self satisfaction.

    As for this latest scheme and one’s “rights”, here's a useful link. I don’t see any law pertaining to an “Emma” visit. Would the Government then have to pass one ...... ?


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