Date: 10 September 2007
Careers need local delivery - not another quango - UNISON
UNISON, the union representing Scotland's careers staff, today
responded angrily to the announcement by Cabinet Secretary, Fiona
Hyslop, that Careers Scotland staff will be transferred to a new
UNISON Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said: "So much for a 'bonfire
of the quangos', 'decluttering the public sector', and decentralising
services, not to mention the SNP's own manifesto commitment to align
careers more closely with the education sector. Grand visions are
all well and good, but staff who deliver services want some practical
demonstration that the Scottish Government is really committed to
local delivery. The creation of a new quango is the wrong approach."
Careers Scotland staff, in a union survey, overwhelmingly backed
a careers service run by local authorities on a regional basis -
an option in the consultation. The front line staff believe that
careers is a good fit with the range of local government responsibilities
and wanted to emphasise the importance of joined up service delivery.
They would welcome the opportunity of moving to local democratic
control working with colleagues delivering similar services. Staff
specifically rejected the option of creating another centralised,
unaccountable quango, but opted for a co-ordinating body to maintain
the 'brand' and profile of Careers Scotland and to deal with strategy,
national standards, consistency of delivery and regulation.
Dave said: "We are particularly concerned that the Cabinet Secretary,
despite representations, made no effort to hear the views of front
line staff before reaching this decision. Her letter to staff talks
about engagement but only after the event.
"I am today writing to the Convenor of the Parliament's Education,
Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, asking her to set up an
enquiry into this plan to deliver careers services and skills development."
For further details of UNISON Scotland's preferred option for
Careers Scotland see: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/careersdemerger.html.
For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish
Organiser) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer)
07715 583 729 (m)