Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

A4E: Are They the Only Ones to Face Charges of Abuse?

with 11 comments

Emma Harrison is again  in the line of fire.

A4E is accused of getting people on the Flexible New Deal (New Labour’s own launch into this sorry mess) to work in its offices (Guardian).

Let’s ignore, for the moment, the howls of laughter across the country at seeing Emma Harrison having to hold her own hand.

Was A4E  the only Provider to do this?

We find this hard to believe.

We have heard that other providers routinely did this.

In the Eastern Region, there should be an investigation into, to start with, SEETEC and the YMCA, particularly the former.

Investigations should be made across the country into every single one of these companies.

Now we are beginning to hear more about workfare for older people: the Mandatory Work Activity (MWA).

Ian Duncan Smith says that the present Work Programme is not open to abuse because companies won’t get paid for six months (???).

But let’s look at Mandatory Work Activity, which will be expanded to all thos out of work for over 2 years under the Community Action Programme.

The same SEETEC is cited in the Guardian today,

Seetec, which won two contracts to run the MWA scheme in London and the East of England told the Guardian that “community benefit” also includes private companies.

In a statement Seetec said: “There are occasions where people taking part in MWA would carry out a work placement with a local employer who may be a private company, but this would be a placement that does deliver community benefit.”

What exactly is ‘community benefit’?

Obviously SEETEC and the private companies are, community’ and they will certainly benefit.

The article continues,

The DWP has now clarified that private companies can also be included in the definition of “community benefit”. Official figures show that 24,000 mostly young jobseekers have been made to do MWA but since this entire scheme is administered by private companies, information on where worked has not been made public. In response to questions about mandatory placements from the Guardian, a spokesperson for Ingeus Deloitte, which administers MWA in the east Midlands and the north-east, said: “We have not sought the permission of MWA placement providers to publish their names so will not be able to issue you with a list at this time. However, I can confirm that our clients are placed with wide range of community-based organisations and charities which benefit the local community, in accordance with the provider guidance issued by DWP.”

Still,

Both Seetec and Ingeus said that they did not place jobseekers on MWA placements within their own company.

That is a mercy.

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

11 Responses

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  1. I am surprised that some providers, like A4e, allowed jobseekers to work at their own offices worried of information they might find. Of course, I am sure A4e, like YMCA Training, introduced safeguards where access to anything mildly important was restricted. Such as no access to filing cabinets and offices etc.

    Work Programme

    February 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

  2. that they did,reception was very common.

    the one that got me when there was a mix up with the appointments,i was informed.

    “we thought you weren’t coming”

    it turned out the person who said this was unemployed on the last batch flexible new deal.she wasn’t the only one at least two others were assigned this role.

    ken

    February 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    • Absolutely, I was thinking of Reception.

      Apparently some people think this was fine….

      Andrew Coates

      February 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  3. i seen it with triage, and the same place who has igneous and working links in the triage building, same when i was on pathways to work, they tried to get me to do this as well

    stephen

    February 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  4. the thing that does me about this workfare, if you have been in work for years like many have, they are giving you your own money back through the taxes you paid while working, and then making you work for it again it aint there money, its the persons that paid into the system. So why should you work for your own money all over again by doing unpaid work programme placements to help the goverment and tesco profits bigger

    Wayne green

    February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  5. “Both Seetec and Ingeus said that they did not place jobseekers on MWA placements within their own company.”

    Someone should ask Seetec and Ingeus if they put jobseekers on the Work Programme on placements within their own company.

    The Thin Man

    February 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

  6. In answer to the above statement jhp and pertemps both have people off the dole working for them

    Wayne green

    February 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    • im with jhp and doing a 2 year stint going to sign my papers every 2 weeks at the jc and that’s it.

      not heard nothing from them for over 17 weeks now so ive not been parked ive been thrown in the bin. lol

      super ted

      February 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

  7. The company owned by David Cameron’s former ‘back-to-work’ tsar is at the centre of a new fraud probe.
    Detectives are investigating the alleged misuse of  thousands of pounds’ worth of Government vouchers meant to help the jobless back into work.
    Officers from Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit are examining claims that staff at employment firm A4e used the vouchers to boost their annual salaries instead of handing them to the unemployed clients they were  supposed to be helping.
    Staff at A4e – the firm built up by multi-millionaire Emma Harrison – are believed to have stolen the vouchers and exchanged them for goods in high street stores. The widening of the inquiry comes as a male A4e employee was interviewed under caution by Thames Valley detectives.
    The man, who attended a police station by appointment yesterday afternoon, is the second staff member to be interviewed since the fraud inquiry was revealed in last week’s Mail on Sunday. Four former employees arrested last month remain on bail until March.
    Mrs Harrison quit as chairman of A4e, which has received Government contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds, on Friday amid allegations taxpayers’ money was claimed for getting unemployed people into jobs that lasted as little as one day. She had earlier resigned from her Government role.

    The vouchers, available in £10, £20 and £50 denominations, are meant to enable jobseekers to buy smart clothes and stationery to make themselves presentable at job interviews.

    They are redeemable in stores and supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

    The exact value of the alleged fraud is unknown, but sources indicate it is in the region of ‘tens of thousands of pounds’.

    A police source said: ‘Detectives are examining the  various ways in which these vouchers were used. There are suggestions that some were given out as bonuses for getting unemployed clients into jobs and there are suspicions that some members of staff may have helped themselves to the vouchers without consent.

    ‘If this proves to be correct, there could be more arrests and further charges.’

    Emma Harrison, pictured with her husband Jim. Detectives are investigating a the alleged misuse of funds

    Until now, it was believed the inquiry related solely to A4e’s Slough headquarters after officers met managers for four hours on Friday, February 17, demanding that staff hand over documents and computer files dating back two years.

    But a source has confirmed that the four staff members arrested last month worked in the Thames Valley region. This means that they may have worked at A4e branches in  Banbury, Bracknell, Oxford, Reading or Staines.

    One of those arrested was Julie Grimes, 49. Ms Grimes left her junior role as a ‘client adviser’ at the firm’s Slough branch in November 2010  after an internal investigation revealed she was suspected of falsifying company documents, which were supposed to provide a record of clients who had been placed in full-time work.

    It is alleged that she claimed clients had found full-time work when in reality some of the positions lasted only a day. This would have allowed A4e to claim a bonus of up to £2,000 for each ‘successful’ placement, with Ms Grimes receiving £50.

    Ms Grimes was arrested on January 18 on suspicion of fraud. Two men, aged 41 and 35, and a 28-year-old woman were also arrested.

    A whistleblower who contacted The Mail on Sunday claimed senior management  ordered staff to chase targets ‘by any means possible’.

    Wayne green

    February 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  8. Seetec and the rest are parasites. They lock individuals into a cycle of despair. These private companies know they have a captive market, from which they can make a profit on. Heres an example of seetec fraud for you.

    I told my jobcentre advisor that I was the one applying, and looking for jobs, and that seetec did nothing. I said this being the case would seetec still get money if i found a job?

    They reply was yes! Even thought they had done nothing to earn it, and it was nothing to do with them. I said to him I found it disgusting, to which he replied “Thats government contracts for you”

    So fraud is systemic in the operations of seetec. Even the JC know it.

    Imagine you do all the work of painting a fence, and then someone comes along who is nothing to do with all your hard work and says “Ah, now I can have my fee!”, you would surely punch them in the face!

    Seetec are an evil and soulless group. I hope they go out of business!

    dave

    June 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

  9. tell um u will look for work and you want half if u find it or go on strike.

    just turn up sit there all day doing bugger all ,like the staff do then go home.

    if they say why you not looking for work say that’s your job m8 im just waiting for you to find me one ,try under the chairs m8 cos they hide them now.

    and then tell them to post ur cv to every company on company’s house web site.

    i think that might cost a few quid even 2nd class lmfao 🙂

    super ted

    June 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm


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