It’s much easier to be reactive than revolutionary and critiques by definition tend to be more critical than complementary. And so it seems today with the reviews of a new government guide – Parent Motivators: A parent’s guide to helping graduates find work.
It effectively encourages parents to show ‘tough love’ towards their graduate offspring and the most rational review I have read was by Graeme Paton in yesterday’s Telegraph but today the Telegraph are on the attack via Philip Johnstone. It is a very well written article. (I myself am spending the next few days working from home and oddly my mother seems to agree with its sentiment!). Johnstone is clearly well read (and as per a previous blog I agree with him on higher education policy) but surely the report is merely a guide – not a directive – and I suspect that some parents outside of the home counties (and even some within judging by my experiences) might find it useful.
I also stumbled upon the ‘Dude Where’s My Career ‘ (DWMC) blog response which is very amusing but like today’s Telegraph article it assumes that Peter Mandelson wrote it and that he should be concentrating on other things and wasting less money (NB: I am no fan of the government but let’s not forget that neither the Tories nor Mandy have ruled out working together when Labour are evicted from power on 25th March).
I confess, I haven’t read the report cover to cover and it might seem a little patronising but it was written by Denise Taylor (Award winning career coach and author of ‘How to get a job in a recession’) and not Mandy (though his Business Innovation and Skills department did produce it). Denise’s credentials as a chartered psychologist and MBA are substantiated by her experiences working with organisations ranging from Vodafone to Christian Aid. All this and from her Tweets (@amazingpeople), it would appear that she even reads NME so she can’t be all bad. In fact she’s probably better qualified than most to write such a guide and I suspect that BIS are merely endorsing it and giving her a platform.
The glaring omission from the report itself was obviously not to mention WEXO in the Useful links section. Joking apart though, the government’s shortcomings are better demonstrated by their failure to research and support private sector initiative and their tendency to try to do things (badly) themselves. We are actively promoting their BIS and LDA programmes to subsidise companies taking on interns and promote paid graduate endeavour (email email@example.com for more details). But their own vehicle for promoting it probably cost the tax payer unnecessarily. As DWMC says “First up, we had the much-slated Graduate Talent Pool (“Wow, a load of unpaid internships – that’ll help pay off my £15k of debt…”). This is the very vehicle that could simply have combined private sector initiatives and reduced graduate unemployment with the investment allocated to incentivising companies to open their doors and remunerate them.