January 08, 2006

Prison Labour.

I’m slightly conflicted about this idea that prisoners should make minimum wage for the jobs they do in prison.

Inmates of a British prison are, for the first time, being paid the national minimum wage as part of an experiment to reduce the rate of reoffending.

Six prisoners in the south of England are taking part in a pilot scheme organised by the campaigning group the Howard League for Penal Reform under which they are earning at least £5.05 an hour for skilled work at a printing press - compared with the average prison wage of £7 to £12 a week - and are paying income tax and national insurance.

On the one hand, great idea. They earn some money which means they have some savings when they get out, learn a trade perhaps, build up self worth, all those sorts of good things.

But, aren’t we a little uncomfortable with the idea of buying things made with prison labour? Don’t we campaign against this sort of thing in China? Then again, buying things made by people in jail making less than minimum wage would be even worse on that score.

I think my confusion is partly driven by that Robert Redford film, Brubaker. All too easy for corruption to set in.

January 8, 2006 in jobs | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Wanna Be A Spy?

Here’s your chance to become Jimmy Bond. MI6 is recruiting.

The SIS Fast Stream (IB) recruits high calibre graduates with exceptional interpersonal skills and intellectual capabilities, who are interested in working in an international environment, with periods spent living overseas. Curiosity about political affairs is important, as is the resourcefulness, drive and creativity to produce solutions to difficult problems under testing circumstances.

The role of an SIS Fast Stream Officer is primarily to mount and run intelligence operations to promote and protect British interests and security overseas. SIS does not recruit specialist intelligence analysts – this work takes place under the auspices of the Joint Intelligence Committee in the Cabinet Office.

Successful candidates are likely to have a strong academic record coupled with evidence of interest in foreign peoples and cultures, positions of influence in extra-curricular activities and a commitment to public service. Applications are welcome from candidates with public and private sector backgrounds, those considering a career change, and university students. Age should not be a major factor, but most recruits will be under 35. Undergraduates should not apply until their final year.

Lots of other jobs, linguists, technical types (Q anyone?) and even those who did not progress that far in their education:

Grade 10 (A1 equivalent). A typical job at this level would involve data inputting, retrieval of information, organising meetings and handling enquiries. Minimum qualifications are 4 GCSEs and Grade C and above (including English) or relevant experience.

But most important of all:

Because of the nature of the work, potential candidates should not divulge to others their application to SIS. Failure to observe the confidentiality of an application may affect eligibility for employment.

So if you do send in your CV to P.O. Box 1300, London, SE1 1BD, just don’t blog about it.

October 13, 2005 in jobs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

Job Application Time.

Possibly it’s about time that I applied for a job. What do you think? 20 years experience of running small businesses around the world, making my own way. Know quite a lot about weird metals, a bit about economics, on a good day I can arrange words in pleasant patterns. Should be a shoo in for some important and well paid job, correct?

So, I’m thinking of applying for these two. Yes, both Chair and Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority for the London Games of 2012. Right up my street really, massive salaries and not a lot to do. I could do both of them, easily.

I’d practise what I preach, a bit of good economics, and outsource, even offshore the games. China will have all the necessary infrastructure in place and only four years old (so it might actually be finished).

So, the London 2012 Olympic Games brought to you  in Beijing. Very 21 st Century, don’t you think?

September 13, 2005 in jobs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack