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Careering ahead

Endearingly, the Government continues to pretend it cares about careers advice, following its establishment of an all-age careers service that doesn't cover all ages.

In the latest outburst, skills minister John Hayes launched new standards for careers advisers, saying: "I want careers guidance to be re-established as one of our most respected professions, with the same status in the public eye as doctors, lawyers and engineers."

Really? FErret is not convinced that such high-status professions would allow themselves to be patronised as much as careers advisers are in these new standards, which include a glossary defining such obscure and little-understood words as "aims", "plan" and "competence".

In case that is still too confusing for a profession on a par with those that produced Edward Jenner, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Tony Blair, they also define the word "defined".

FErret, of course, wishes careers advisers good luck and suggests they may want to warn teenagers off working at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Supermarket sweep

Sad news at Chesterfield College, which is considering selling one of its campuses in nearby Clowne to the local council because of recruitment troubles and funding shortfalls.

"It became clear in the economic climate we could not see a sustainable future for the campus, and with current restraints we came to this difficult decision," acting principal Trevor Clay told the local paper.

And who is the ultimate beneficiary of this unfortunate move? It seems that Bolsover District Council is only in the market for buying a site for new offices after selling its own buildings to a well-known supermarket chain.

But which one? Step forward Morrisons, which has accepted funding for 18,000 apprenticeship places, mostly rubber-stamping the skills of retail staff who are already in the job. At least someone is thriving in these difficult economic conditions: let's hope the people of Chesterfield like stacking shelves.

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