Friday, 16 June 2017

All Change At Working Links

"Phil Andrew Chief Executive of Working Links was instrumental in its take over by Aurelius. He has mysteriously left Working Links after telling CRC staff that he recognised there were some 'issues to resolve' and would see to it that their views were acted on. So the Aurelius/Working Links coalition of chaos continues and we are supposed to believe it is strong and stable. Strong and stable my arse!"

Here's that internal announcement in full:- 

Senior Management Team Changes

Good afternoon,

I am writing to tell you that Phil Andrew has left Working Links after four years with the company. Phil came to us from Sodexo and during his time with the business he has overseen a great deal of change including our transformation and fit for growth projects, and the acquisition of the company by Aurelius. We wish Phil all the best for the future. 

From today the company will be led by two permanent Managing Directors:
  • Brian Bell - Managing Director of Delivery and Growth
  • Steve Moon - Managing Director of Development and Planning
Brian will have accountability for operational delivery, operations support, business development and our International Consultancy Services and will focus on strategic direction, growth, performance quality and external relationships.

Steve will have accountability for all corporate support services as well as strategic partnerships and joint ventures, strategic direction and and governance, new business incubation, and mergers and acquisitions.

Two other new permanent appointments have been made to strengthen the Executive Team:
  • Steve Jones - Chief Operating Officer (COO) replacing Brian Bell. The Probation Directors, Country Managers, Jen Lawton and Liz Watkins will now report to Steve.
  • Raj Patel - Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Gill Newlove and Julie Simpson will report into Raj, along with his current finance team direct reports. 
Raj Patel, Stephen Denton and myself will report in to Steve Moon with Steve Jones, Colin Scott and Scott Kennedy reporting to Brian. We will also be recruiting for a Business Development Director who will report to Brian once an appointment has been made.

This is a new chapter for the business with optimism around seven new bid submissions, growing stability in our justice business, opportunities around new ways of working with work and health, improvements with new technology, and a new future strategy. There are however still challenges to face, with new government ministers potentially bringing a new political direction, the wind down of our existing Work Programme and Work Choice contracts, fully embedding the new operating model within the CRCs as well as our continued efforts to drive our new fit for growth ways of working.

If you have any questions about this communication please speak to your line manager or a member of the Executive Team.  

Best wishes

Clare Davey
Chief HR Officer                


  1. Brian Bell has substantial first hand experience of helping disadvantaged people into work and this has motivated him to pursue a career which has enabled him to influence the national agenda in this field and be a leader in the practical delivery of initiatives and programmes aimed at securing greater social inclusion.

    He joined Working Links in April 2000 and was one of its original founders. He started as a director in the North East, taking the business there from start-up to a £25 million unit. In 2008 he became Chief Operating Officer and led the operation through an enormous growth phase including, critically, the introduction of Flexible New Deal, together with the initial diversification projects into Skills and Home Affairs.

    His personal remit is to ensure the business is positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities within the UK welfare to work space and internationally, and to continue to diversify the business into new markets, such as Skills and Offender Management.

    Brian spent his early career with Jobcentre Plus and so has considerable experience within the welfare to work market. Whilst working with Jobcentre Plus, Brian completed his MBA at Newcastle Business School, specialising in services for unemployed people. Outside work, Brian is a governor of Northern Counties College which provides education programmes for adults with complex disabilities.

  2. Stephen Moon

    Managing Director of Development and Planning

    Stephen Moon is an experienced director specialising in transformation and performance improvement for the past 18 years. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Whitworth Scholar.

    Stephen has a proven track record within private equity companies and his experience extends to manufacturing, engineering, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, food manufacture, machine tools, construction, IT services, banking and financial services and has held numerous board level positions.

    He is also a Black Belt in both Lean and 6 Sigma and is focused on performance improvements; he brings strong leadership, strategic direction, change management, team development, marketing, business development and reconstruction experience.

    His International work experience extends to USA, Europe, China, India, and Latin America.

    1. A 'black belt' in what? I had to look it up...

      "Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste [1] and reducing variation. It combines lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and Six Sigma to eliminate the eight kinds of waste (muda):

      Under Utilization of employees"

  3. Phil Andrew's WL page is now just blank, but here's his as-yet-amended LinkedIn precis which completely ignores the £multimillion investment in CRCs:

    "While our ultimate goal is to get people into long term sustainable employment, we see our overall role as much broader. Working across social spectrums, dealing with diverse needs and expectations, including those with disabilities, ex-offenders and those with other barriers to work, we offer valued and integrated services, in the UK and overseas, that truly meet the needs of our individual customers. In turn this gives them, and their communities, a positive economic future. Working Links has a unique structure, being owned 1/3 by the UK Government, 1/3 by a registered charity and 1/3 by commercial organisations."

  4. Have I opened a wrong page? Have I been catapulted into the future? Or is the future NOW? This is all about business business business. What happened to probation officers, offenders, rehabilitation, supervision, support etc. I feel quite lost in another dimension.

    1. Me too ML but I am sure you are not taken in by their riciculous claims! If all is so rosy then why don't they tell where Phil Andrew has gone? The service is failing and the managers are fiddling while Rome burns.

  5. offenders are just a commodity through which we make money. your role is to simply process, record and log all 'events' so that we know where to send the invoice.

  6. Fuck off 7.42! Stability in working links justice business! You have got to be deluded or criminally insane to think CRC staff who actually do the job will believe your pathetic spin. The whole of South West and Wales is in meltdown and all you self serving twats can do is blow your own trumpets. Pathetic and cowardly when CRC staff are struggling under mounting presdure and cannot sleep at night for worrying about an SFO. The public are NOT safe in working links hands. Shout this from the roof top because at some point it will all be going up in smoke and working links will have blood on their hands.

    1. Calm down, 7:42 was simply quoting from the meaningless fluff that is the Wonky Lunks corporate website:

    2. Lol! Sorry, thought that was Mr Bell blowing his own trumpet on this blog..oops!

  7. The odd story of the incredibly talented Mr Andrews departure is a clear signal that nothing is well in the Working Links fiasco contract. Many have a clearer understanding of the invidious and devious nature of the senior managements desire to eat their own in order to survive themselves for another day and Andrews demise was just an example of the treachery he joins Hindson on the scrap pile yet ironically he might ask Working links to help hime find other sustainable employment along with two million bogus contacts they claim. The predation of the company is unparalleled. It is all about the money and profits nothing to drive the organisation or keep its staff and values safe at all. Soon as tories adopt the remaining labour agenda as they parrot style May has started perhaps they might repair some of mess. The starting gun is to see the contractors binned as soon as is possible and a freeze on their continued abuses to what was once probation.

  8. Enough x 10 is surely enough!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The summary highlights of the inspection by Dame Glenys Stacey into Suffolk Probation were in this morning's local newspaper under the headline "Probation Services are slammed". The report is damning (see link provided by 23.15 above). The best quote was "The Norfolk & Suffolk CRC, which is owned by Sodexo Justice Services, in partnership with NACRO, was said to have been "wrong footed" in the transition. For "wrong footed" we should read "totally ignorant of how Probation works, how rehabilitation should be organised and the need for qualified staff to carry out this work". Dame Glenys also condemned the interview booths which resemble a cheap restaurant seating arrangement. When Sodexo were told during their installation that they were totally inadequate they said they were good enough for the job centre so are good enough for Probation and that the MoJ had approved them. More evidence that the MoJ, Sodexo and all the other purchasers of CRC's are in collusion and no-one gives a damn about the staff or their clients.
    Maybe, just maybe, the enquiry into the operation of housing (outsourced to a management company) of tower blocks in Kensington & Chelsea, following the deaths in the tower block this week, will finally persuade someone that outsourcing is really dangerous and results in cutting corners, leading to deaths in the pursuit of profit.This works in the case of Probation also and making profit out of managing offenders is just immoral and may also (very probably) result in deaths. There is now a much stronger opposition in parliament so let us hope Labour politicians pressurise the Tories to stop the madness and take back control of essential services which should never, ever be operated for profit. Come on Jeremy and Co. - give the Tories a good metaphorical kicking and don't stop until they change their stance.

  10. A quick look at Phil Andrew's company listings would indicate that he moves around quite regularly and still chief exec or whatever in various catering companies and Russel and that shoes? Given that he resigned from Sodexo and now working links I can only assume that he has realised Justice side of things ie. Working with offenders is either just not his thing, doesn't pay or too compicated for him. Better to stick to catering and shoes I suppose. He has had more company registrations and resignations than I have had hot dinners. Basically you put someone in charge of what should be a public and not for profit service and no surprise that they run off atvthe first sniff of trouble, poor profit or a whiff of fresh bank notes. Good bloody riddance and the sooner they hand back the keys the better. Not sure what will happen when they decide to throw their cards in though?

    1. Not shoes but beer from what I can make out. However I think that company may have also dissolved! Very as I always thought he couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery! LOL

    2. Apt
      .was the missing word!

    3. Phil's a mate of mine. I can't say too much, because the ink isn't dry, but he's actually off to work for a charity to help people "rather than working to make someone else rich".