FRAUD! No more A4e (Action for Employment)
- Posted by Leanne Marie
Have A4e stopped from wrongfully claiming funding from the Government.
7 people signed the petition
A4e (Action for Employment) is a training company based in the UK. It has been running since 1991 to provide training and employment for those who are seeking work. It is part of the New Deal service designed for those receiving Jobseeker's Allowance in 1997 and is one of the biggest New Deal services in the UK, with contracts worth up to £80 million.
Over the years A4e have been involved in a number of high profile controversies including failure to meet targets, loss of personal data and the most common being fraud:
June 2009, The Observer disclosed information regarding a fraud investigation into A4e which was instigated after the DWP uncovered discrepancies in its "confirmation of employment" forms, which centred upon the falsification of employers' signatures by a number of recruiters.
March 2012, A Council inquiry found that learners' signatures had been forged to exaggerate the number of vulnerable people the project had reached. A4e was forced to withdraw from this part of the project.
January 2012, four former employees of A4e were arrested on suspicion of fraud dating back to 2010. The alleged fraud was uncovered by an internal investigation by A4e. The four were bailed until mid-March 2012.
February 2012, The Guardian revealed that A4e had forced job-seekers to work unpaid in its own offices, had been investigated nine times by the DWP since 2005, and had been forced to repay public funds on five separate occasions after government investigations found 'irregularities'.
February 2012, Thames Valley Police's Economic Crime Unit was revealed to be investigating the alleged theft by A4e staff of 'tens of thousands of pounds' worth of vouchers meant to help the unemployed back to work.
May 2012, Exaro News published an audit report highlighting potential fraud by A4e. The audit and risk department examined 244 of the company's job placements and found that "potential fraud/irregular activity is not confined to one geographical area of the division". Auditors also discovered that A4e sent an unemployed job-seeker to work in a lap-dance club.
Many allegations have also been made by former A4e employees. One report in Edinburgh stated that A4e did not provide the training they were paid £950 to provide. It also stated that when the DWP arrived to inspect the training, A4e staff were instructed to deceive them by borrowing people from other courses and instructing them to lie about what course they were on. In Manchester it was reported that pressure to meet quotas made fraud commonplace. Staff felt they had no choice but to forge signatures after it being made very clear to them that they would lose their jobs if failing to meet targets.
As of February 2013 A4e continue to operate and still receive funding from the Government. Many continue to fall victim of the company's fraudulent operation, many feeling bullied by the company and many losing their benefits as a result of A4e's "mistakes". It is time for the Government to provide a reliable and trustworthy service for those seeking employment and make such companies as A4e accountable for their actions.
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