Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Letter To The People Responsible For Employment

Dear jobs market/education system,

I have noticed a slight problem and, if I'm honest, I don't know who is to blame so I thought I'd just drop you this note to ask whether we can fix it. In recent months I have noticed that it is quite difficult to find a job and I'm not sure who started this difficulty but one of you needs to fix it. Could someone please leave me a voicemail to let me know whether the issue is -

a) Jobs market - you started requesting very, very, very specific qualifications for your precious positions and so eduction system had to step in and start producing a plethora of ridiculously focused degrees.

b) Education system, you got bored and started churning out degrees with incredibly spurious links to intelligence and the ability to hold down a job because you have a wide range of skills including common sense.

The problem is, both of you, that I don't have an NVQ in Stapler Safety, so I can't apply for 84% of office jobs, but there isn't a way to put in the little boxes on the Guardian Jobs Website that "I have completed a degree and survived 24 years without a stapler in my eye so I can probably do that for you with minimal training."

One of you is going to have to become more open minded if this is going to work because otherwise we are going to have a workforce who can all do one thing very very well but have no transferrable skills. Anyone with a good head on their shoulders that's capable of doing a lot of things (maybe even at the same time) isn't going to be specific enough to get a job. Then, Britain is going to have an army of highly organised and motivated hobos. This isn't going to work? Can you see that?

I think what we're going to have to do is start being a bit more open minded? For example, Education system - if a degree is realistically not going to get anyone any work once you've charged them for it, shall we stop getting people in to study them?

And, jobs market - don't think you're getting off scot free - how about you stop asking for 9,000 specific bullet points of experience? Feel free to request a degree, but maybe don't request that the degree was completed on the back of a jackdaw with one eye closed and a soundtrack played by Simon and Garfunkle? No one wants you to continue in your high maintenance fashion because you're going to end up single and alone. Please think about it.

If you could both have a think and get back to me about how sensible the current situation is, I'd really appreciate it. I can't help but feel we're on a slippery slope to their being a specific 4 year degree for every potential job position and once you've done that degree you have lost any hope of ever doing anything else. Perhaps someone could accept that if you've done one job, you're brain is agile enough to pick up another one with relative ease? If you continue to look only for people who have already had this job at a previous company, you are going to continue to employ people who don't really like the job, hence their desire to move in the first place, but can't get anything else so continue to do it whilst bitching and moaning.

Good. Glad we got that cleared up. Now, about your day...


(This may well end up being my new cover letter...)

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