Letters of the week: political meddling

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article • As an engineering company with 150 employees, we have always tried tostart two engineering apprentices every year. In the bad old days, we recruitedone “craft” and one “technical” apprentice. We now need twovery capable bodies to satisfy the technical needs of modern manufacturing. Although its NVQ bureaucracy is painful, the Modern Apprenticeship structureanswers our needs quite well. It has taken five years to have reached our firstMA goal, working successfully together with a local college. So, please, nomore changes now. No more jargon. No more new acronyms. Just more efficientdelivery and genuine funding. I would like to pitch for more trainees – two “craft” ones who canlearn how to read a drawing and some basic engineering skills: they do not needgood GCSE results as long as they can read, write, divide numbers, understandnew information and be enthusiastic. Call them YTS, YT or national trainees but not any sort of “apprentice”.We need to boost the image of an apprenticeship, not diminish it by pretendingit is a small step up from a youth training scheme. The incentive we need tocreate in this work is a promise of sustained effort and sustained funding. Ittakes three to five years to train a young engineer. A new scheme every twoyears is no help at all.Henry BeakbaneQuality Assurance ManagerBeakbaneRoom for thinking man’s ad in RADs• You only need to look at the Recruitment Advertising Awards (RADs) to seethat the industry rewards highly creative advertisement design. But could it bethat, in the search for gongs, flash and gimmickry have taken the place ofconsidered communication?Don’t get me wrong. I love the recruitment advertising awards. I have won myfair share down the years and I have also been a judge. There is no doubt thatthey have had a positive influence in the recruitment advertising industry. But agencies have wised up to what wins. Let’s be honest, it is usuallysomething big, colourful and a bit clever, so why waste money on entering adsthat are small, subtle and monochrome? It is this “winning” formula that fills umpteen pages of theup-market broadsheets each week, and attempts to persuade the intelligent andtalented to take life-changing decisions. Little trouble is taken in preparingthese ads, and the results are the jargon-ridden, unimaginative and poorlyproduced offerings that currently form the shop-window for our industry. Thecost factor alone would seem to justify better treatment: not only are theseads a significant outlay for clients, but in a commission-based business,hugely lucrative for agencies.Recruitment advertisements that are well thought out, simple and honest,result in a larger number of responses from candidates of a higher calibre.Surely there is room for awards that celebrate such quality in communications,no matter what size or how short of bells and whistles. The judging process would need to be different, however. The currentthree-day marathon judging process for the RADs – stimulating though it is –has no capacity for another category, let alone one that demands high attentionto detail. Perhaps a “star chamber” could be asked to monitor the market,nominate contenders and consider submissions throughout the year. The resultwould be a real fillip for mainstream recruitment advertising. And it would addjust a little more gravitas to the RAD Awards.Bob Anthony Director Recruitment VéritéTraining faction feels IPD squeeze• I note with growing frustration the IPD’s latest move to marginalise therole of trainers and developers within the institute.I know that the part-qualified IPD members’ “subsidy” is to bediscontinued. But I didn’t know that, following the award of chartered status,I would no longer be allowed to use the IPD letters after my name to recognisemy professional – albeit part-qualified – status.I am studying for a PG diploma in management rather than one in HR, but theIPD does not seem to recognise this as a relevant qualification, so I am in theposition where I cannot upgrade. Is it any wonder that a separate body is being set up to represent trainingand development. Richard French Assoc IPDNHS Training ConsultantFood fuels healthy safety statistics• I read with interest your article about links between eating and staffproductivity and the reported scepticism of some HR managers (22 February).At Luncheon Vouchers we believe that providing staff with a targeted foodsubsidy can lead to healthier employees and better performance. It is not just the nutritional benefit which is important, however, but alsothe reduction in stress due to staff taking a break. Taking time out provides achange in environment and makes the working day more stimulating.Taking lunch more seriously can also encourage greater safety in theworkplace. Our studies show that the risk of industrial injury tends toincrease before lunch and before home time. So, in view of the current highcost of sickness absence, it is important to encourage lunch breaks. Steven StanburyAccor Corporate Services Letters of the week: political meddlingOn 14 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

EC launches sweeping reform of its HR function

first_imgEC launches sweeping reform of its HR functionOn 7 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Internal communications are playing a vital role in driving forward amassive reform programme at the European Commission, following allegations ofmismanagement and fraud during the 1999 scandal. Staff are being consulted on proposals to reform the HR function, includingthe modernisation of the pay system, changes to the career structure andincreased rights to flexible working. Restrictive categorisation of staff, based on educational achievement, madeit difficult for employees to progress. A new promotion structure will bedeveloped based on performance. Allowances are being increased to help with childcare, rights to flexibleworking, part-time working and teleworking are being extended, and family leavewill be lengthened. The commission aims to put a greater focus on equalopportunities and increase the training budget. The HR reforms are among a number of changes introduced after the previouscommission was forced to resign in March 1999 when an independent reportcriticised its working practices. David Bearfield, head of the internal communications group for the EuropeanCommission, said although huge changes had taken place in the commission, HRhad been untouched for 40 years. He stressed that internal communications were vital in facilitating thereform process. “We’re here to enable the reform process to happen and to allow it tohappen with staff and not just something that’s a top-down process that peoplefind out about through newspapers. We want to facilitate an open reform processwhere people can play a role,” he said. A reform site was set up on the commission’s intranet, which received160,000 hits a day. www.europa.eu.intBy Katie Hawkins Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more