Action 4 Employment

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Action 4 Employment (A4E) is an agency which in 2009, secured a five-year, £800m government contract to help run the government's Flexible New Deal scheme. According to The Guardian:

Under the latest government push to get those unemployed for 12 months or longer back to work, participants have to work with private contractors such as A4e, or risk losing their benefits.[1]

The Guardian describes the work carried out by A4E:

A4e's promotional literature is tremendously upbeat. "We're taking our customers on a journey, a journey back to work. The way they get there is up to them! It's a big statement to make, but we put someone into employment every 10 minutes of every working day. Yes, we really do!" There are a lot of exclamation marks in the pamphlets. And a hippyish theme illustrates the journey back to work concept, alongside a cartoon of Harrison's trademark wide grin.
This cheerful tone masks the fact that the regime is tougher than before, and those who do not comply risk seeing their benefits cut for up to 26 weeks. "We have a responsibility to make it slightly more uncomfortable for those on benefits, to make them want to get off it," says Jim Knight, minister for employment and welfare reform. "They are not entitled to just spend their life on benefits."[2].

Department of Work and Pensions Contracts

In April 2011 the Guardian reported that A4E had won 5 out of 40 contracts from the Department of Work and Pensions for getting people back into work.[3]


Emma Harrison | Hayley Taylor | Sara McKee


Department of Work and Pensions | Centre for Social Justice

Lobbying firms

Former lobbying firms


  1. Katie Allen, Recruitment boss feels the benefits of getting unemployed back to work, The Guardian, 30-April-2010
  2. Amelia Gentlemen, Work in progress, The Guardian, 30-September-2009, Accessed 06-July-2010
  3. Tom Helm & Daniel Boffey, £1.4m-a-year welfare entrepreneur picked by Cameron to get Britons off benefits and into work, The Guardian, 3-April-2011
  4. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  5. Register for 1st September 2013 - 30th November 2013 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015