Wednesday, 9 October 2013

In defence of Call Centres

Some young people don't like Job Centres. There's a blog about it explaining why for Liberal Youth . This is one of those cases where I've listened very hard to people I disagree with in order to understand them - something Seth Godin advocates. 

I disagree - I don't think the problem is all down to the job centre. As other people on twitter - (@_TommyLong and @make_trouble) have agreed with me, there is the need to try jobs, even "crap ones" in order to get started on your career. 

We've found that we, and other successful people started in crap office jobs, or tried out different careers to build up skills. We can't just educate skills - and this is somewhat of a pup I think current graduates have been sold. It's apparent there is a huge skills gap - it seems odd to have the most educated workforce ever, come bottom of the table for literacy and numeracy, and also to have so many young people unemployed. I ask could all these problems be related?

I think call centre jobs are excellent places to pick up skills. I've also been told that people may not have been offered those jobs as they didn't have the right skills and experience - this contrasts completely with my own experience where I picked up many skills and got promoted - my CV was collapsing under the strain of the amount of experience I picked up - they are fast paced environments with much "support" work to be done. 

Call centre jobs are often called "modern day factories". This is probably a decent analogy.

Tho I went into the conversation thinking the problem was one of expectation (I've been told directly before, "I didn't go to university so I could work in a call centre" - an attitude which quite simply, sucks)  I think now perhaps it's also one of framing - somewhere has been bred an expectation that the system will find you the perfect job, rather than thinking you may need to try a few things, picking experience up along the way, until you find the right one for you, or pick up enough experience to apply for your perfect job.

After all, we definitely advise our kids that with respect to romance, so why not work as well? 

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