Category Archives: Farragoes of UK incompetence

How to use the apostrophe.

Question: What’s the best way to use the apostrophe?

Answer: Randomly. At least according to one store on my local high street.


The ‘Right to Train’ – a right royal mess

Oh dear.

Has it really come to this?

After bold claims that employers would be forced to provide training to raise the UK’s skills base, after the Accounting for People Task Force (2003), the Leitch Review (2006), after the effort put into the ‘Train to Gain’ scheme (2007 onwards), and this April’s setting up of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, what do we have?

The ‘Right to Train’.

A right that is no right at all, and use to neither employer nor employee.

As a hodge podge of compromise it couldn’t have been calculated to introduce any more confusion while doing less to address the UK’s skills needs.

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Clear instruction. Almost.

Could you repeat that emergency number, please?At a conference that I was chairing on Wednesday I was asked by someone why I had been so slack about blogging recently. I gave the only answer I could: now that I know that at least one person is reading, I shall make a better effort.

One reason for the gap – a recent holiday in Norfolk. Great place. Not so good on clear instructions to the public. Can you see what’s wrong with this photo?

Monday is a public holiday in the UK. I’ll be back with another entry on Tuesday.

Heathrow Terminal 5: Training or Systems to Blame?

Skills and systems have made the headlines in the last few days – for all the wrong reasons. Heathrow’s Terminal 5, opened to great fanfare on Thursday, and promptly ran into trouble.

A fifth of flights were cancelled and some 28,000 pieces of luggage not loaded, having to be matched to owners, often in far-flung locations, at some point this week.

The key problem: apparently staff at the £4.3 bn facility were inadequately trained, At least, that’s according to the mainstream media including the Daily Mail and the BBC.

Usually, the people element gets left out of these stories, and ‘IT’ or ‘systems’ are blamed. So, as an advocate of the importance of skills and development, shouldn’t I be pleased that training is getting the limelight?

No, it’s being made a scape goat.

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Highly Professional British Workforce

Thank goodness we’re working in a highly-skilled, professional, knowledge economy.