Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Former A4e boss bungles interview on C4 news!

What a ghastly spectacle it was watching former A4e boss, Emma Harrison, trying to riddle off the hook as she was grilled by the channel 4 news presenter, Khrishnan Guru-Murthy, last week about A4e's abysmal performance running the government's Work Programme.

It seems that during the first year of the Work Programme, A4e have only been able to get four out of every one hundred (4.0%) of their clients into a job and have failed to meet their target of 5.5%. The government say that if no action was taken to help the unemployed into work, they would expect five out of every hundred (5.0%) to obtain a job.

Despite A4e's appalling performance, Emma Harrison, has become very wealthy due to her majority shareholding in the company. Earlier this year she was paid an £8m dividend and recently despite resigning as the Chairman and a Director of A4e, she received a further £250,000 payment. All the company's UK turnover is derived from government contracts and money from the British taxpayer. The government have given £46m to A4e to get people on the Work Programme back to work and are expected to publish their own figures on performance next month.

When questioned by Guru-Murthy about the figures which were obtained by Jackie Long, the social affairs editor for C4, Harrison could only say the figures were wrong but was unable to provide any figures herself. She did however, claim that she had been caught up in a 'political maelstrom' and had been used for political reasons. She also added: "I have been bullied, my staff have been bullied, and because of your reporting my children were bullied. Bullying entrepreneurs like me, is not good for the UK."

Despite her protestations, Emma is laughing all the way to the bank. As one former A4e employee once told me, company employees used to joke that A4e really stood for 'All 4 Emma'.

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