A personality clash

Let's face it, bookkeeping isn't the most exciting thing to learn and courses showing you how to use spreadsheet software or keep up with the latest health and safety legislation are hardly designed to send the pulse racing. Which is why FE lecturers worry that they are less valued than other, more dazzling parts of the education system.

But we are glad to report that business people can still spot the difference between the practical stuff they need and the fancy stuff they don't, and that means plenty of work for FE colleges.

Spare a thought, though, for the poor old University of Gloucestershire, which has tried to lure business by offering something altogether more intellectual: a Myers Briggs personality type indicator workshop.

For those of you who don't know, Myers and Briggs "pioneered the use of profiling techniques to allow us to understand and value each other's perspectives", or what used to be known as learning to get on with people.

For a mere pound;295, plus VAT, the one-day course offers some "specific outcomes", helping the participants to "explore the characteristics of your own type and others", encourage "the valuing of individual personality differences" and "promote opportunities to work more effectively with others", which sounds suspiciously like three ways of saying the same thing.

The course was brought to the attention of the Federation of Small Businesses by the Gloucestershire Enterprise Network. Terry Morgan, secretary of the federation's Bristol and Gloucestershire region, has expressed his displeasure at the "utterly meaningless" language, adding that such workshops are considered "utterly worthless".

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