A4e work experience “bending rules to boost profits” – PCS

by - 24th February 2012, 10.44 BST
Unions are adding their voices to growing concerns over the Coalition government’s embattled unpaid work experience scheme for unemployed people.
Commenting on the continuing pressure on employment contractor A4e and its chair Emma Harrison, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We have consistently opposed the use of private companies to carry out the now even more urgent and vital task of getting people back into work.

“Back in 2009, when A4e was investigated for fraud and bad practices over contracts with the previous government, we warned that staff would come under increasing pressure to bend the rules to boost profits.

“But instead of facing sanctions – like people entitled to benefits are constantly threatened with – A4e has been handed even more contracts under this Tory-led government’s work programme, while its head Emma Harrison creams off millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

“We support the call from the chair of the Commons public accounts committee to suspend A4e’s existing multi-million pound government deals pending the outcome of the police enquiry. And if any wrongdoing or criminal behaviour is uncovered, the company should be stripped of its contracts with the work returning to the public sector to be run on behalf of people, not profit.”