I thank those who sent kind encouragement. I am not back, but over 2 days, in short burst to save my eye, I had to write this because it was never viable, and the Billion will inevitably be diverted to other projects such as the iniquitous Olympics overspend, when the scheme fails; Money allocated and not spent is reclaimed by the Treasury and reallocated we know not where. I believe this could have been predicted in this case
18.01.08, I Just Can’t Believe This!
According to yesterday’s Jobs Supplement of the Daily Telegraph, a Mike Jackson has been installed as Operations Director of a Quango called Skills for Logistics with a £280m budget. ‘Logistics is probably founded in the military, and defined as ‘the practical detail of handling any large scale enterprise or operation’. With something like the Crimean War, building the QE2 or a Boewing, logistics are essential so people work efficiently with one another, because so many trades are involved concurrently. Jackson is talking about transport and distribution. I can’t see the likes of Tescos needing government help in getting the right people or shifting their stock. As for the the farmers, manufacturers, the hauliers, the middlemen, and the shopkeepers, they have been successful since I was a boy. He also proposes we ensure people have the skills they need and build it into a profession? In fact the problem seems to be that, lorry drivers and those in the supply chain are not skilled enough in the 3Rs to be efficient. The concept is crazy! They want to train people up to the equivalent of 5 GCSEs, instead of teaching them properly when they are at school. Some of my Gt Grandchildren were taught fractured French at an early age, why? In my day when kids left school at 14 and were trained on the job, there wasn’t all this outcry, our English, arithmetic, and writing were probably not of a high standard, certainly not at GCSE level, but adequate for someone working in a factory, in a shop, and as a van helper until old enough to drive, by which time usage had educated them.
If a man can’t read or write no sensible employer would take him on, so it would be up to him, the man, to improve himself, take evening classes, many of us have done it to achieve another standard. Writing can be improved with a postal course. How much arithmetic does the average person in the chain need above adding, subtracting and division. The problem is, in the 60s rote was abandoned as a teaching tool with the loss of that subconscious element which makes totting up a bill, working out conversions and ratios, child’s play. Map reading would help a driver, but that doesn’t need a class, his mates will guide him. What does he need a GCSE in English for? As long as he can make himself understood, fill in forms correctly and read whatever print necessary for his job, anything over that is a bonus and more helpful for his well being rather than his job.
Statements were made that our skills in this sector were among the lowest in the industrialised world. That statement alone invalidates Jackson’s premises. Who carried out such a survey? Were the parameters the same in different countries? Were the statistics checked, or is it just guesswork, justification for a proposal that, according to him less than 2% of the chain has taken up.
In what I have written above exposes a lack of reasoned thought which seems so prevalent in politics today. The UN has no teeth and much of its aid gets into the wrong hands. The EU is now so vast as to be unmanageable, with cliques doing the influencing, unnecessary legislation, borders open, corruption, and a deep hole into which our taxes disappear with little return. If a product is excellent, it doesn’t need the EU to make it viable. Bush, the alleged greatest man in the world, is merely a puppet with too much influence. Blair’s mismanagement coupled with Brown’s insecurity is failing us. How was it possible for the government to be allowed to under estimate the result of its actions concerning Northern Rock, still continue, and can we rely on it not to have equal misjudgement in the future? I believe the £750m Train for Gain and Skills for Logistics government programmes will swallow up another Billion with no noticeable results. The money should be revising the lower school educational systems, so we can recover the standards we had when teachers were allowed to teach, without pointless tables and targets. The end result is target enough.