Santa skills

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Santa, like God and plumbers, has to be everywhere at the same time. So you would think, with Christmas coming, there would be a huge industry demand for overweight men to play the part in the nation's department stores.

But it seems the noble occupation of being Santa has yet to attract priority funding, despite the new focus on vocational training for adults.

Weston FE college in Somerset is offering a Father Christmas course just in case the big man himself doesn't make it down to the West Country this year. But there will be a fee, of pound;42, and applicants will have to hope the necessary police checks prove a bit faster than those for some school teachers if they want to be in business in time to catch the Christmas shoppers.

But what should the training standards for Santas be? And how big is the skills gap? About time the Sector Skills Development Agency commissioned some research.

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