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Mon 22 Nov 2004

Staff have no confidence in Careers Scotland management

UNISON - the union that represents Scotland's careers staff- today released details of a staff survey that paints a bleak picture of the confidence and morale of those staff working for the Scottish Enterprise attached Careers Scotland.

The most damning figures of the survey reveal that 88% of staff have no confidence that senior management is competently developing the service as a professional organisation, and that 98% feel they do not value contributions and views from staff.

Peter Veldon, UNISON's Regional Organiser for Careers Scotland said "This members satisfaction survey highlights concern that staff have in a range of areas. There is a great deal of anger about the unfair and unequal performance related pay system that has been imposed on Careers staff by Scottish Enterprise. 95% feel that this will not improve performance, either of themselves or of Careers Scotland as a whole."

The survey also asked Careers staff for their views on the 'inclusion agenda' and whether it should be part of Careers Scotland's remit. Despite the public stance of Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive, Jack Perry that 'inclusion' should not be part of SE's remit, 85% of Careers staff think that it should.

UNISON has written to MSP's describing Jack Perry's statement as 'Ill-considered and regrettable' and claiming it 'served to undermine the work of hundreds of careers staff'. UNISON members are also concerned that the threatened removal from careers staff of the vacancy-handling function - where careers staff play a vital role dispensing advice on such things as qualifications, entry requirements and equal opportunities - is a precursor to an attempt to close Careers Centres and withdraw from areas of Scotland.

Neil Cruickshank, UNISON's Scottish Enterprise Branch Secretary said "In addition to the unilateral imposition of pay deals, and the overall lack of confidence in the direction of Careers Scotland under Scottish Enterprise, the threat to a core part of our function causes grave concern. 94% of staff think that this function is an integral part of the service to clients, and should be retained. If this is stopped, and clients are lost, it may be used as a justification for closing Careers Centres."

UNISON has sent the survey (available on the UNISON website - http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/secd) to all MSP's with a warning that the developments that are causing the concern, could lead to a second-rate careers service, demoralised and ill-equipped to deliver effective advice and services in the 21 century. They are seeking a meeting with Ministers.


Note for Editors: Careers Scotland was created in 2001 attached to the two public enterprise companies. UNISON represents over 80% of the staff. The survey attracted a 60% postal return. This was higher than the recent on-line survey staff survey by Careers Scotland.

For Further Information Please Contact: Peter Veldon (Regional Organiser) - 07969 478254 (m) Neil Cruickshank (Branch Secretary) 07906 520 577(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)