Friday, January 09, 2009
This report by Jim Pickard on the FT.com/Westminster blog contains a quote from that very self-confident John Denham, Secretary of State for Skills only last December: "We know that companies that invest in training are two and a half times more likely to survive a recession than those who don’t. I would urge any company, large or small, which is considering short working to follow the example of Nissan... to talk to their local FE College or LSC to see what training they can offer their staff during downtime. Companies like Nissan...tell me that they can already see improvements in their business as a result of the training.”
Not wishing to minimise the devastating effects that the announcement by Nissan will have on individuals and families in Sunderland and those supplier companies that will be put in jeopardy, I have to say that the Labour Government seems to be more concerned with protecting their electoral prospects by plying the line that the Conservatives did nothing in the early ’90s recession to get people back into jobs.
I was made redundant in that recession and was overwhelmed with the support I was given to get back into work. I had training opportunities coming out of me ears as well as advice about how to 'market' myself and build up a network of contacts. Needless to say I was back in work within a few months with a better salary and a career ladder.
But it must be remembered that a feature of that recession was that there were still major structural changes going on in the old ’smoke stack’ and heavy engineering industries. Now, the world is a very different place and yet it is still necessary for McDonalds to offer so-called “apprenticeships” (at a £1,000 subsidy per employee by the Government) simply to get them through GCSE English and Maths! Why should it be necessary to spend taxpayers' money on giving these young people the education they should have received while at school? Why? Because this Labour Government has created a web of deceit and concealed the truly devastating destruction of our educational system whilst they have been in power.
If there was any justice in the world, Gordon Brown (and Tony Blair) would be swinging on a gibbet in front of the Houses of Parliament whilst the baying mob chant “Education, Education, Education”!
Some day soon that other Labour disaster, Ed Balls, should also be left hanging by a particular part of his anatomy. A bit extreme? So what!