Letters

This
week’s letters

Question:
was it a slip-up or set-up?

I
have noticed a discrepancy in the wording between the News Barometer question
in the magazine (News, 5 February) and the one published on personneltoday.com.

It
could be suggested this is no error, but a cynical attempt to manipulate the
survey to get the desired result.

In
the magazine the question asked: "Do you support compulsory arbitration in
disputes that affect the public?" On the website this was changed to:
"Would you support the introduction of compulsory arbitration in disputes
damaging to essential public services?"

These
two questions measure the views of two completely different issues and the
results therefore have questionable validity.

I
am a rail commuter currently affected by the industrial action. But I recognise
that this service is run to create a profit for its shareholders and not
because of a ‘public service ethos’. I therefore accept the right of the
workforce to engage in industrial action and, although unhappy at the
disruption, I would be against any attempt to enforce arbitration on the
workers.

However,
I support compulsory arbitration where a dispute is damaging to an essential
public service, such as the health, fire and police services. 

You
now have my views on the two very different questions.

Ian
McFadyen
Training officer, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Other
side of the SWT strike story

I
read with interest the front-page story concerning the strike action of South
West Trains’ workers (News, 5 February).

I
take the side of the RMT union. There is more to this dispute than meets the
eye. It must also be remembered the RMT is also protesting against the rail
operator’s disciplinary procedures.

HR
is reluctant to look into the complaints and the RMT is simply fighting for its
members’ rights. The bad management lies with the HR team – it is their fault
the problems have escalated.

Alice
Lotts
Leyton

Help
at hand for prime graduates

I
was glad to read there is still a growing market for graduates. (News, 15
January).

However,
I was surprised there was no mention of graduate employability. While Carl
Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, claims
that graduates need to be flexible in their choice of industry and understand
the skills needed, there is no mention of the Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme.

The
scheme is designed to enhance the employability of higher education graduates
by combining existing HE qualifications with work-based learning.

It
offers a viable alternative for organisations that lack the time and resources
to implement an internal graduate programme.

More
than 50 HE institutes and 36 NTOs have been involved in the initiative to date,
and employers such as Unisys are already integrating them into their
recruitment and training programmes.

We
are looking for more support from both employer and representative bodies,
through the Graduate Apprenticeship National Network. With this level of
backing, we can go on to develop a system that is more responsive to changes in
employer demands.

Professor
Simon Roodhouse
Chief operating officer, University Vocational Awards Council, Bolton Institute
simon@croodhouse.freeserve.co.uk

Testing
times for spoiled students

Exam
board Edexcel shouldn’t be castigated for providing students with unanswerable
exam questions. It should be congratulated by HR for devising a new style of
test more suited to the needs of the real world.

Further
ideas could include examiners refusing to hand over questions, or telling
students half-way through that they only have five minutes to go. Maybe one
favoured pupil could even be given the answers.

Such
developments would be a refreshing change to the current spoon-fed exam system
which fails to prepare students for our fast-changing times.

Andy
Green
Managing director, creativity@work

Comments are closed.