Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Its all OVER for A4e… and Emma Harrison!

with 25 comments

As more revelations arise over a second criminal fraud inquiry under way on A4e, the fact of DWP investigating the company 9 times in recent years, (they say a cat has 9 lives) and more scams entering the limelight… can Emma Harrison out run the Government and Police to a safe haven?

There is speculation that A4e will have all its Government contracts suspended, that their Work Programme contracts will be terminated, that the sum paid to A4e to terminate the Flexible New Deal contracts will be paid back to the treasury and possibly Saint Emma’s CBE to be annulled.

Some Work Programme prime contractors (mentioning no names) are even considering terminating A4e’s Work Programme subcontracts to avoid them being brought in disrepute.

The question we are asking is, What will Emma Harrison and Co do next? Its increasingly difficult to hold on to her company, and although fraud investigations before especially that of New Deal didn’t stop the success, its near impossible that A4e will get away with it this time… A4e seems to be hanging from a thread.

David Cameron will be trying to rescue the deal, but can even the Prime Minister pull enough strings to keep A4e’s contracts and brush this under the carpet?

Her rather recent dividend payments were bad timing and so is the witch hunt against wealthy people to forfeit bonuses.  A4e Emma Harrison CBE is becoming a big hate figure, even amongst MPs, which isn’t helping the case for A4e.

Of course, most MPs do not seem too bothered about the fraud of taxpayers money especially at such times of major budget cuts. It is up to us, constituents, to remind our MPs and encourage them to take action.

Even Saint Emma isn’t sitting pretty (no pun intended), her large wealth, if found to be more than an owner of a company going bad, is actually at stake under police powers to recover proceeds of crime – this could mean she looses almost everything and the taxpayer is paid back for the fraud.

Of course, we have a traitor in our sights… a Government that endorses this behaviour by wealthy middle classes. Where MPs should be ensuring Emma’s A4e business never trades again, and for prosecutions to occur; there is so many contacts that Emma Harrison CBE and Co has in current Government officials, that MPs including the Prime Minister will be attempting to clear her name and restore order.

Even as you read this, they are probably working out, with legal and PR support, a way of ensuring (like previously) someone can be made a scapegoat, for some payments to be paid back and that A4e can continue to trade.

Lets not forget its not some training business, it is an appendix to the British Government. So much effort has been made pushing A4e in regards to overseas, the consequences of justice (prosecution etc.) would stick the Government in an embarrassing situation…. but us Brits don’t care, David Cameron amongst others in the cabinet, already shows us in that light.

If we choose to allow this process to cycle (Do you remember New Deal, A4e staff were tracing signatures and fake job outcomes? I do, I recall writing tens of blog posts on the techniques used… now they are using zero day fraud) A4e will survive, keep its contracts and gain new ones in future. Is that a price you are willing to pay by doing nothing?


Written by Universal Jobmatch

February 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

25 Responses

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  1. David Blunkett’s involvement with A4E: (2009)

    “David Blunkett, the former secretary of state for work and pensions,

    He had travelled with another person last September, on behalf of A4e, a leading employment and training firm that is bidding for multi-million pound contracts in the UK from Blunkett’s former department and is expanding its interests around the world. Blunkett consulted the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and was told: “The registrar suggests that for the avoidance of doubt it would be advisable to amend your entry to make clear that you do travel on behalf of the company.”

    The advice was given in the week that has seen parliament engulfed in controversy and under fresh scrutiny after claims of conflict of interest and sleaze.

    Rejecting all suggestions of wrongdoing, Blunkett, who is being tipped strongly for a return to the cabinet, made a forthright attack on a Commons committee which concluded recently that it was “unacceptable” for former ministers to profit from their experiences and contacts in government while they were still working and being paid as MPs.

    Blunkett was a supporter of opening up the welfare system to the private sector when in government and has praised James Purnell, the new secretary of state, for carrying on reforms that were started when he was heading the department.

    A4e, which is based two miles from Blunkett’s Sheffield home, is currently bidding for a series of multi-million pound, five-year contracts under phase one of the government’s flagship welfare reform programme, the flexible new deal. It has already been shortlisted in 12 of 14 regions of the country.

    Under the welfare-to-work plan, one of Gordon Brown’s most radical policies, private companies such A4e would be paid according to the number of people they get back into employment.

    Blunkett registered earnings of between £25,000 and £30,000 from A4e in the December 2008 Parliamentary register of members’ interests under the heading “remunerated directorships”.

    But there was no separate entry for his South Africa trip in October last year under the “overseas visits” heading. During the visit he addressed leading South African businessmen and politicians on behalf of A4e, which is keen to expand its work there.

    Blunkett said last night that he made an honest mistake in not registering the South Africa visit and rejected suggestions that it was inappropriate to be working for a company that is in line to profit from the department he ran just over three years ago, and which set up the flexible new deal.

    Blunkett said he only worked for A4e in relation to its interests overseas and had at no time interfered in the flexible new deal tendering process or lobbied the government on the company’s behalf. “I have registered my interest with A4e and what I am doing for them,” he said. “It is as open and simple as that. I have never hidden it. I have never asked questions. I have never approached ministers. I have never emailed or written letters and nor would I, because I would be absolutely stupid to get involved in that. Even if it was legitimate I wouldn’t because it is too near the mark for me to get involved in it.”


    Andrew Coates

    February 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    • David Blunkett can stand trial too!

      Work Programme

      February 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      • Well, he certainly had a whale of a time when he was on a roll:

        Andrew Coates

        February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

  2. Id like to think she won’t come out of this sitting pretty, but I can’t see her going down with the sinking ship.


    February 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm

  3. Note how Labour aren’t exactly going for the jugular over this. They were in cahoots with A4e and Saint Emma themselves of course. And I know from a former senior civil servant that the work programme was already being put together during Gordon Brown’s period of government – it isn’t purely a ‘Tory’ policy as many seem to mistakenly think.


    February 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    • Not to mention that Lord Freud, former key adviser in the Flexible New Deal, is one of the architects of the Work Programme.

      Andrew Coates

      February 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    • To ‘weareontoyouslaves’.: Any person who says “Nobody likes a Tory” is showing their ignorance about the fact they were never worse than New Labour. If anything, at least the Tories are honest about where they stand while New Labour is not.

      Nalik / Junis

      February 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      • I quite agree, Nalik/Junis. Unfortunately I do still know quite a few of these “Nobody likes a Tory” types, who have been in full-on “I told you so” mode and are adamant that the antics of this government disprove those of us who say there’s no significant difference between the main parties. It does feel like banging your head against a brick wall sometimes.


        February 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  4. Quite a headline there! Over for A4e?

    What a lovely idea!
    However, until the place is closed down and no more people are persecuted by the company I think it’s a little premature.

    Emma will escape, perhaps a little egg on face, but still rich.
    I cannot see that it’s over for them. At the most a few head cheeses will maybe step down.
    Maybe a change, or rather a swap around of some management, promise Dave C that they’ll be good, or rather more careful and they’ll carry on with the slave trade and policing the unemployed as usual.

    It’s rather encouraging all the media attention that they are getting. This in addition to the more general slave labour issues. But it’s early days in my opinion.

    Mr No

    February 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

  5. A4e Emma Harrison CBE leaves “Family Champion” role as a desperate bid to flee public scrutiny, to rescue A4e.

    This seems a clear admission of guilt.

    Do real life champions walk away at the first sign of trouble?

    Emma appears very shaken up about this whole ordeal.

    Work Programme

    February 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  6. Yes, mandatory volunteering is conscription. In a civilian workplace that is forced labour.
    I thought forced or compulsory labour is illegal under Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in England, and section 47 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.
    Remember “forced or compulsory labour is defined as:
    It is therefore of paramount importance for all Jobseekers to declare themselves to be non-volunteers – beware if you are asked at any time if you would consider voluntary work.
    That old military adage is right: NEVER VOLUNTEER!

    Wayne green

    February 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

  7. 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 5:17 pm

  8. Emma Harrison has left A4e.

    Work Programme

    February 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  9. Really? In that case… Bye bitch!

    She never ran the show anyway, she was just the annoying face of A4e.

    Can we confirm the dozy bint really has left the company?

    Mr No

    February 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

  10. super ted

    February 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  11. My reaction when I heard of Ms Harrison’s resignation as Camerons adviser and then again when hearing of her resignation from A4e:

    I’ll bet you her resignation from A4e has got something to do with something starting with m.


    February 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  12. see first sign of a problem and its of like a missile, i mean the hole bushiness model is based on fraud so im sure they will find a lot more.

    super ted

    February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  13. Emma Harrison quits as chairman of A4e welfare-to-work firm

    Emma Harrison has stepped down as chairman of her welfare-to-work firm A4e, she has said in a statement.

    t comes a day after she quit her role as the government’s “family champion” amid a police probe into irregularities at the Slough-based company.

    As part of its work, A4e handles millions of pounds worth of government contracts for welfare-to-work schemes.

    Meanwhile A4e announced an independent audit of its procedures in a bid to reduce “speculation and uncertainty”.

    Its chief executive Andrew Dutton said he had commissioned global legal firm White & Case LLP to review the company’s procedures and controls following several negative media reports.

    The announcements come just hours after Employment Minister Chris Grayling claimed some activists were trying to “destabilise” firms involved in a controversial unpaid work experience scheme.

    ‘Tough decision’

    In the statement, Ms Harrison, who is also one of the company’s five shareholders, said: “This has been a very tough decision for me, as I have spent my entire 25-year career building up this business and I believe so strongly in the importance of the work it does.

    “But it is precisely because this work is so important that I do not want the continuing media focus on me to be any distraction for A4e, for its more than 3,500 employees, and for the tens of thousands of people across the UK and globally that look to this company to give them hope of finding employment.”

    On Wednesday it was revealed former workers at the company – two women, aged 28 and 49 and two men, aged 35 and 41 – were arrested last month on suspicion of fraud and bailed until mid-March.

    A4e said the alleged case dated back to 2010 and had been uncovered by its own internal investigation.

    £11m dividends

    There currently remains two police investigations into allegations of fraud linked to the company, although the latter probe is believed to involve a subcontractor.

    Mr Dutton paid tribute to Ms Harrison and said she was “devastated” to be leaving.

    He added: “A4e would not exist but for the passion and ambition of Emma Harrison, who has helped improve the lives of thousands of people, and has been an inspiration to all our staff and customers for more than 25 years.”

    He said the audit he had ordered would be in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other organisations which fund the company.

    In a statement, the DWP said that it welcomed Mr Dutton’s decision to carry out the audit but how A4e was run was up to the company.

    It said: “Anything that ensures increased transparency in relation to their government contracts is to be welcomed.”

    ‘Value for money’

    Margaret Hodge, Labour chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said questions still remained despite Ms Harrison’s decision to step down.

    Ms Hodge has been at the forefront of criticism of the company after it was revealed that its shareholders were paid £11m in dividends while all of its £160m-£180m UK turnover last year came from government contracts.

    She welcomed the news that A4e had appointed the legal firm to carry out the audit, adding that her committee’s criticisms of the firm had never been about individuals, but about whether the company offered the taxpayer value for money.

    A4e started in South Yorkshire more than 20 years ago to provide retraining to large numbers of Sheffield steelworkers who became redundant when the industry started to decline.

    Ms Harrison stepped back from her government role late on Thursday. The prime minister, who had appointed her to the position in 2010, thanked her for her work.


    A4e’s history

    A4e, which stands for Action for Employment, was established in Sheffield in 1991.

    Emma Harrison was one of its co-founders.

    It was set up to provide redundant steelworkers with the training they required to get jobs in other industries.

    The company then steadily expanded across the UK, before entering Germany in 2009, Poland in 2008, and Australia in 2010.

    Ms Harrison has in the past described the company’s growth as “doing well by doing good”.

    Emma Harrison quits as chairman of A4e welfare-to-work firm


    February 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

  14. Having been treated rather shabbily by them, this news has actually cheered me up a little.

    Imagine how that might make her feel, that her resignation has made so many unemployed people smile today.
    I really hope she is devastated, though I doubt it somehow, but if she is… Then welcome to the emotion that is very similar to finding out you have been referred to A4e. Except without the millions!

    Of course, she knows full well about the underhanded way her company operates. A rather strange woman. Always thought so, she exudes bullshit from every pore.

    She thinks that ‘stepping down’ will ease the pressure on her company? I hope that this makes people even more determined to show her and her company up for what it really is.
    I mean, we knew all this stuff years ago. There\s only so much that the controlled mainstream media can ignore. Until they cannot.

    See ya Em, wouldn’t wanna be ya Em. Even with your millions!

    Mr No

    February 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

  15. Keep up the good work people and if anybody calls you an anti-capitalist trot, go out and hug-a-toff


    February 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

  16. so if the jcp refers you to a4e id point blank refuse my personnel information be sent to a company that is being investigated for fraud.

    a4e are history this time 🙂

    super ted

    February 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  17. Boycott Workfare
    If you can’t wait til next Saturday and you live in north London – here’s another chance to voice your disgust at workfare.

    Friday 2nd March anti-workfare protest at IDS visit to Haringey, 9 AM outside Tottenham Town Hall

    The government workfare schemes of forced labour for benefits (pushed by Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling) are starting to collapse under the pressure of protest and recent bad publicity.

    On Saturday 3rd March there will be a national day of action against workfare, with protests in 20 towns in the UK. But we have the opportunity to show our opposition locally when IDS visits Haringey on Friday morning. He will be spinning the government nightmare at a lecture ”Building for the Future” at the Dream Centre in Tottenham Town Hall (9.30 am to 12 noon).

    Join the 9am picket/protest outside Tottenham Town Hall (5 minutes walk up the High Road from Seven Sister’s tube station) – called by Boycott Workfare

    Willam smith

    February 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

  18. Seems the pressure is on Emma Harrison and A4e.

    Work Programme

    February 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

  19. Mr Pink has issued a statement on Saint Emma’s resignation: http://t.co/JoGs5EMz


    February 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    • Hey, its Mr Black, what’s you think I’m a fucking faggot?

      Mr Black

      February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

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