Secondment between sectors would improve UK’s economy

The head of one of London’s leading universities says top business people,
government staff and academics need to be seconded between sectors if the UK
economy is to improve.

David Rhind, vice-chancellor at City University, London, told Personnel
Today he believes greater co-operation and movement between sectors, as happens
in the US, would dram-atically improve business.

"Getting people from one sector to come and work in another is a
crucial success factor for the British economy, and, beyond that, the nature of
society we are trying to build," he said.

"I am very keen on the idea that we bring in people from different
sectors and we bring our people to a sector, preferably on secondment."

In the US, this system is more common. Laura Tyson, dean of London Business
School, was a key architect of President Clinton’s domestic and international
policy agenda during his first term in office, and was appointed to the
position from an academic background.

Rhind said working out a system to facilitate movement in the UK was
difficult, and he welcomed input from Personnel Today readers.

He said there are obstacles to overcome; academics are generally paid far
less than business people, and many business people are out-of-touch with what
modern universities are like.

He invited business people to come to City University, either for a visit or
to do some research, and said he is looking for workplaces for academics.

"It would be of benefit to all of us," he said.

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