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To think this man is being unreasonable!

(24 Posts)
Lilygran Tue 04-Jun-13 14:38:37

James Caan ( the government 'social mobility tsar') says we shouldn't help our children to get jobs. Turns out he has found several work placements for his own daughter!

LizG Tue 04-Jun-13 14:59:16

'Don't do as I do, do as I say'.

Charleygirl Tue 04-Jun-13 15:17:01

Sounds a bit like the Labour Party, not wanting our children to be educated privately but it is okay for their children to have a private school education.

bluebell Tue 04-Jun-13 15:35:19

Perhaps Charley you could provide the reference for that statement? As far as I am aware, there is no Labour Party policy that says it doesn't want us to have our children educated privately. Not aware of any legislative changes over the 13 years they were in power.

Charleygirl Tue 04-Jun-13 15:44:25

Sorry, I should have stated one or two members, it is not a Labour Pary policy.

janerowena Tue 04-Jun-13 15:56:22

It's only part of the picture, as with all news stories. The schools are the ones that drive the work experience, not the parents. My son's school asks for parents to volunteer work placements every year, and they are always oversubscribed. They contact local businesses, all of whom are in the county, all are being harrassed by local schools wanting work experience. The feedback a teacher friend gets is that most of the teens are rubbish - lazy, boring, rude, skivers, untidy, a pain in the neck to have around and can't be trusted with anything but the most boring of tasks when of course the teens think they should be sitting in the CEO's office.

So when it came to be time for our son to do his work experience last year, my husband decided that we would do our own thing and contacted a friend who works for BT in a large office about 30 miles away. He said that they didn't do work experience there at all, but could put us in touch with the Head Office in London, as they had special schemes down there. We contacted them, they were a bit suprised, but very happy to slot our son in with all the London teens. I would have refused to let him go, but my husband insisted.

Then we had to work out how to teach him how to get there, how to use the underground, how he wouldn't get mugged, buy him a suit, buy him a rail ticket and an oyster card andbasically take him to London to show him the route to work and where to change trains etc. He had to learn to be a commuter.

The whole thing came as quite a shock to all of us, especially when his train was halted one night for about three hours in a siding somewhere, and there was a suicide one morning on the track which halted all the traffic to the station and made it impossible to get him to London and also prevented my husband from getting in to work, because everyone hearing that the trains were halted took to their cars and the M25 was jammed solid from our direction, as were al the roads leading to it.

At the end of his time, my son said that he would be bored rigid doing the same work every day, he did change departments every week but by the end of day two each week he was fed up but very polite and didn't let on. He, on the other hand, got a very good review and they would have been happy to offer him a job if he had wanted it.

I would say - don't bother. Leave them alone, let them find out in their own good time and save yourself a fortune and a lot of hassle.

MiceElf Tue 04-Jun-13 15:59:56

Mr Nazeem Khan aka James Caan, is clearly referring to those of us who advised our children to do voluntary work in the local hospital and nursing home so they could acquire an understanding of how hard some people's lives are and how hard some health professionals work.

Let's hope that be is proposing that if this stops then his ConDem government will pay at least the minimum wage to those who spend their time thus.

Oh, and outlaw the merchant banker, company law and financial services internships that his friends so generously provide for their gilded offspring.

Nelliemoser Tue 04-Jun-13 16:01:02

"Trying and failing" This is all very well for the confident child from a an economically successful household. For less confident less well provided for children who have problems with poor social status and self esteem it would be something of a disaster.

You need a heck of lot of self confidence in the first place to be able to cope with failure.

Apart from the hypocrisy of his statement, this is another example of a rich guy being unaware of the difficulties others face.

mollie Tue 04-Jun-13 16:12:15

I think if you look at the wiki page for James Caan you'd see that he has a lot of relevant insight and is (I think) speaking from experience. He might be rich now but he hasn't always been...

sunseeker Tue 04-Jun-13 16:45:28

It seems to me (as a non-parent so please tell me to butt out if you like!) that most parents would want to give their child every advantage they could. If that means helping them find their first job then why not?

I have to agree with the teacher friend of janerowena. Where I last worked we got involved in the work experience scheme for a couple of years. I knew that most offices were just giving the kids filing and photocopying type of jobs but I insisted if we were to be involved then we should give them an all round view of what it was like working there. In order to do that I would work through my lunch break to put together a list of things they could do. On at least 3 occasions the kids didn't turn up or telephone to let us know they weren't coming. In the end we stopped taking them

MiceElf Tue 04-Jun-13 17:06:23

I'm sure you're right but there's all the difference in the world between Year 10 work experience and the post graduate internships in Daddy's friend's bank or chambers. Those are the ones which confer real advantage.

Lilygran Tue 04-Jun-13 17:58:30

You're absolutely right, mice but I cannot imagine any parent who was able to help an unemployed child find a job not doing so! Are the Condems going to argue against family businesses? I helped both my DS find temporary jobs during vacations but fortunately they both found themselves careers no-one in the family could have any influence over.

MiceElf Tue 04-Jun-13 18:59:38

Well of course parents should, and do, help their children. And Caan / Khan is no exception.

What I object to is his hypocrasy, clearly, it's one rule for him and one for the rest of us.

As for internships, I think it should be mandatory for the firm to pay at least the minimum wage, and, more importantly, they should be available for competition to any young person who applies and fulfils the criteria for the position.

MiceElf Tue 04-Jun-13 19:01:43

Hypocrisy, that should be....

JessM Tue 04-Jun-13 19:58:02

Politicians are not going to get rid of internships because they are the worst offenders. hmm

FlicketyB Wed 05-Jun-13 08:16:55

Why not? Parents tell children about opportunities at work from every level from labouring to management. I have had workmen who have come round to do anything from building to decorating and bring a son or daughter with them to help and learn the job.

What I really object to are unpaid internships. The only people who can benefit from these are the children of the rich and privileged. I think it should be illegal to employ anybody for more than six weeks unless they are paid at least the minimum wage. The six weeks allows for work experience. To stop abuse it should be mandatory that any work experience trainee should be paid if they return to the same employer within six months of completing their work experience.

When DS had to do work experience in the sixth form I had no compunction in using my contacts to arrange his fortnight's work. He wanted to be (and now is) an archaeologist and since this was one of my interests I was able to contact someone who gave him a fortnight of walking the high downs of Wessex in all weathers surveying ancient monuments. DD was doing theatre studies so relied on her college to arrange her work experience as nobody in the family could help.

Movedalot Wed 05-Jun-13 12:51:32

I would be worried about any parent who didn't do all they could to benefit their children. I still advise mine when asked and have helped a friend's grandchildren to get jobs. I don't think it is fair to legislate against it. It is a fact that better educated parents are more likely to have better educated children, such is life. I told mine from a very early age that life is not fair - get over it.

Argument Fri 07-Jun-13 21:41:46

The fact is that James Caan has been drafted in by the coalition, as a 'social mobility Czar' .....! Have folk seen the irony yet....?.....Czars were hardly noteable in history for their commitment to progressive politics!! He also joins Alan Milburn and Simon Hughes who have had similar briefs....the outcomes of which in the form of well considered reports, Cameron has studiously ignored. Careers advice and support must be crucial.

I wonder if there are any Grans or Mums out there who are as seriously concerned as I am re the decimation of the Careers Service, with a frankly cavalier attitude to the need to put anything remotely professional, supportive or developmental in its place. Matthew Hancock the minister responsible said in the June Parliamentary debate on
Vocational Education, simply that the Internet is 'littered' with information for young people....and that Schools are now charged with the responsibility to provide careers advice and guidance (with a zero budget of course!). In other words the chance that your grandchildren will receive face to face professional guidance in a key decision making area of their lives, is virtually none existent ( unless of course Gran is prepares to cough up for a professional's expertise....and this doesn't come cheap I assure you!)

Be aware that many,if not most, teachers have little experience of the outside world of work or indeed the requirements e.g of different Universities for their various specific need expert support and guidance through what is a rather impenetrable maze.

goldengirl Sat 08-Jun-13 12:26:06

As a business woman I used to help out at a secondary school with 'interviews'. The pupils had to prepare a CV, dress appropriately for interview [!], and then I conducted an interview based on their aspirations. It was a real eye opener and apparently the pupils in their feedback to the teacher found it really helpful.

I agree that teachers have little experience of the outside world of work. One school I know of used to send teachers out on work experience and they found it very helpful. There should be more of it.

Careers advice? A difficult one. Getting representatives from colleges / unis to talk to pupils I think more appropriate than teachers trying to keep abreast of all the changes. Similarly getting business people in from a wide variety of backgrounds [NOT 'celebrities'] would also be useful. Some won't be perhaps be good at presentation but they can prepare and answer questions.

JessM Sun 09-Jun-13 18:57:42

Argument interesting re the careers service. Connections, I thought, did not really do a great job (I am speaking as ex governor of secondary school). One interview seemed to be it, with someone who did not know you. "Oh you wanna be a hair dresser - well this is the qualification you need and this is the place to do it."
I could be doing it an injustice I will admit.
But also in my experience a busy secondary school, with an already packed curriculum, under huge pressure to meet "floor targets" is going to be hard pressed to deliver good careers education. And many teachers do not "get it" . They have very little awareness of the kinds of careers that are out there. There is consequently a tendency to encourage their best 6th formers to do their own subject in Uni... I have one young relative who was urged to do a Maths degree by the maths teacher, on the basis of a projected B grade. Disaster. He failed his first year and had to re-start degree doing a subject he could handle. Another one, in the absence of any help at all from school, did the same degree as her mother. hmm
Can't see Gove taking anything "out" of the curriculum to make room for careers education though sad

Greatnan Sun 09-Jun-13 19:13:44

There used to be Employment Exchanges where there were advisors who could give information about qualifications, job vacancies, and help for study. Now, when my grandson attended the Job Centre, he was simply told to look for jobs in the local paper or on line and told when he could sign on.
It is quite true that many Careers Teachers in schools have little experience or knowledge of the world of work. I was able to help my pupils because I was a mature entrant and had worked for several years before becoming a teacher.

feetlebaum Sun 09-Jun-13 19:27:44

First employment exchange was situated in Egham High Street -- I have no idea how I know that...

Greatnan Mon 10-Jun-13 22:25:05

I lived in Egham for a year and it didn't seem the sort of place that would need an Employment Exchange!

absent Tue 11-Jun-13 06:27:38

I did my BA at Royal Holloway College in what we students referred to as Egham Under Staines, although, strictly speaking, it was in Englefield Green. I reckon the only way you could tell the college and Victorian asylum apart was that the college had two quads and the hospital had only one.

The only careers advice I ever received was that I should join the then women's army - me who revolted constantly against authority, orders and uniform. When I said I wanted to work in publishing the moron who was supposed to be advising me said, "Publishing is a closed book to me". In fact, she said it twice because I didn't laugh the first time.