Public sector sexism and the lost generation
It’s unusual for me to write about political issues, but last week I heard what in my mind is one of the worst cases of potential sexism in an institutional organisation for many years. I’m sure you have other examples, but here is mine.
Is there Public sector sexism? Is it institutional?
2 years of her life wasted?
“B” is 18, She has just completed a 2 year college course in animal management (diploma level 3 extended). She attained good grades. She has a passion for animal of all sizes and off her own back has worked with animals from llamas down to mice, mammals, reptiles & invertebrates, in zoos, small holdings, farms (urban & rural) as well as vet practices.
Over the summer she has been looking for work in or around the sector without much luck – she is prepared to travel and live away.
Last week she had to sign up at the local job centre. One of the things they need to do is sign people up for 3 categories of work – no problem there..
So why insist on these categories:
- Customer service
- Vet assistant?
There are many, many other categories that would have been appropriate:
- Farm worker
- Animal husbandry
- Animal care
So why retail & customer care?
Is it Public sector sexism or was it because they are “easy vacancies” to fill? To get her (another job seeker) off the books? Was it because they do not think a girl/woman should be doing “manual work” on a farm? – I know that she can carry a bail of animal feed around easier than I can!
The lost generation
Sure people need to work, and they should do any work available. But when the “system” expects them to go into college/ education, but then completely ignores their passion and area of expertise, well that is just plain crazy.
We will end up with many, many young people that are completely disenfranchised. This has signioficant long term implications for us all.
The future & Public Sector Sexism
Now I know quite a lot about “B”. She is my daughter.
We are “fast tracking” her driving licence, as many jobs require this. We are also looking for long term residential work experience places, both here and overseas, where she can get the experience employers need beyond qualifications. So if you know of any great wild life projects that want a brave, courageous, motivated and highly skilled person please let me know.
The x-factor experience & Public sector sexism
But for the rest of her generation…. we need to get this sexism out of public sector life.
We need to support young people in their passions. They realise they will not become rich following their passions – but that is not what drives them. Give the food, shelter and the opportunity of gaining REAL experience and they will become the great performers we want. The alternative is to have what we see on TV shows like the x-factor, where people from call centres are climbing the walls to get out. Don’t get me wrong, there are many, many people that love this environment, other want to be in the outdoors in the rain & mud!