A Glenn come to judgement

4th November 2005 at 00:00
Daniel knew just what to expect when he ventured into the lions' den. He was therefore very pleasantly surprised when they refused to devour him.

Glenn Robinson, from the Learning and Skills Council, was not quite as lucky when he ventured into a workshop on "Brokerage" at the annual conference of the Association of Learning Providers in rain-sodden Hinckley, Leicestershire.

This was his chance to update the redoubtable bosses of the training companies on the role brokers could play in linking training providers with employers desperately in need of help to improve the skills of their workforce.

The national roll-out of the employer training pilots - to be called Train to Gain - should benefit immensely from the service. "I'm really excited by this brokerage system," he told the assembled masses.

"We're not!" they retorted. "We don't need them. We can do it ourselves."

Unmoved by the handful of cynics at the back of the classroom, he called for a show of hands from those who really wanted brokers to act asgo-betweens on their behalf. Sadly, not a single raised paw was to be seen, though the claws clearly were out.

When he failed to turn up for the second afternoon workshop, people asked whether he was too embarrassed to show his face. Apparently not. Conference organisers said it was a genuine oversight and Mr Robinson would appear the next day.

And he duly did. Only this time he entered the den with far greater caution.

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