Worm, Inch - 12.06.09 - Futures Delivery Taskforce

12th June 2009 at 01:00

WHITE PAPER. Our main task this week is to "sex up" the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill. The Department wants to make a big final splash with a hefty lump of legislation before it all ends in tears and Team Gove move in. Our task is to make the Bill seem interesting. "For starters," says Sandra, flicking through a Farrow Ball catalogue, "they could upgrade the colour of the White Paper. Why not print it on Wimborne White, give it a bit of class. Or Clunch. Or Elephant's Breath?" Sandra is both an idiot and a genius. We huddle round the catalogue and decide on New White. It has a fresh "carte blanche" feel.

APPS. We're proposing they call apprenticeships "apps" from now on. Focus group feedback on the word "apprentice" suggests images of a bristling, prune-faced git with status anxiety in stack heels and cufflinks. The concept of "apps" is much more easily absorbed by the iPhone generation. "Download an APP to your, er, LIFE!", offers Max, by way of a slogan. We freestyle some thoughts through to lunch. They could maybe do Apple-style adverts, demonstrating how you could get a plastering app, say, along with fun stuff like the pretending-to-drink-beer app etc.

SKILLS. After lunch we turn our attention to Skills. Not the old-fashioned skills involving grim-faced men in boiler suits and flat caps doing something very specific with spanners on a car assembly line, telling racist jokes and smoking. No, we think the new image of Skills should be promoted by Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity, breakdancing to the Beastie Boys classic Skills To Pay The Bills. Let's face it, street dance is a more viable career choice for young people than car assembly, and there could be modules for popping, locking, krumping, hair management and somersaults. Owen attempts his "take" on street dance, catching his shin badly on a filing cabinet.

CHILDREN. Redefining children for the digital age isn't easy. They grow up so quickly these days, don't they, sometimes into horrible little shits. "Little people" has an unfortunate resonance with leprechauns. After some rumination over tea and biscuits we decide that Children exist up to secondary school level, when they become Kids. Or, if taking GCSE Streetdance, Kidz.

LEARNING. Another fluid concept these days. Learning could be anything from the irrelevant memorising of Latin verbs - now confined to the bleak wastelands of private education by the Human Rights Act - or looking fun things up on Wikipedia. Of course, Nobody's saying Wikipedia's better than teachers. Even though it's available 24 hours a day, requires no salary and doesn't clog up the pub with all its teacher mates at four o'bloody clock. Inchworm.

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