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Saturday, 11 March 2017

A new subject to be taught in schools

We need to introduce a new subject in the curriculum of Comprehensive, Grammar and Free Schools, from the age of 13.

The purpose of this subject is to prepare our young for the tough world of employment.

The subject should consist of
  1. Research
  2. Negotiating
  3. Job Hunting
  4. Money handling
Searching for research
This should be the first subject to teach, as it will assist on all the other subjects.

How to use libraries
  • This is the most important area for research as it is more reliable than the Internet.
  • Showing that choosing a few books on the subject can help get a better overall picture.
How to use the Internet.
  • Searching Google will throw up a lot of unreliable information. However, a lot of it can point you in the right direction for using libraries.
  • Searching Amazon for books on the research subject so you know what to ask for when you visit your local library.
Outside influences
  • Listening to Television News and learning how to treat what you hear with a sceptical view. Look for other sources to confirm news that is important to your life.
  • Reading newspapers and learning how to recognise the slant your newspaper puts on the news.
  • The benefits of reading more than one newspaper so get to know how newspapers can bend the news with different slants depending on the political views of the owners and editor.
  • When you hear news from friends and acquaintances, it is not wrong to verify sources as your friends may not have been taught the importance of verification.

Our first experiences of negotiating comes to us when we are one day old. We quickly learn to negotiate for milk by using noise. Alas, afterwards it all seems to go downhill. We must learn the science of negotiating. In particular for:
  • University, to get the most out of our tutors.
  • Job interviews, how to get picked for the job, and how to negotiate a good remuneration package.
  • How to negotiate a mortgage package from your bank or building society.
It should be born in mind that your University tutor, potential employer and banker are all skilled negotiators and without a fundamental knowledge of this subject, you will be like babes in the woods and will always get a raw deal.

Job Hunting

There are good ways and bad ways to do this. The subject needs to explain various methods to you so you can choose which one will suit you.

Writing your CV

Going from College will make it difficult to do a good CV; you need to learn the value of doing part time jobs whilst at University rather than partying all the time. A couple of part time jobs will give you a better CV than the party goers.

When preparing your CV, keep it short, and easy to read. Use bullet points. List your part time jobs and underneath, list the skills you have.
  • Skills learned from your part time jobs
  • Add skills you learned from hobbies, providing they will be of help at work
  • Add skills you may have received if you were good at sports. (Football: working with a team); (Tennis: A quick eye and fast reactions).
But, there’s another point to bear in mind when writing your CV. Your prospective employer will sift through the CVs and put them into three piles.
  • Bin it
  • Acceptable
  • Interesting, we need to wheel him in to find out more
Think carefully, out of the second two piles, which one do you want your CV to be in? Which one stands a better chance of getting employed.

Searching for jobs
  • Read the newspaper adverts and apply for an interview.
  • Get taken on with an employment agency
Both the above methods will have you fighting against hundreds of other people. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do this. However, there is another way.

I will tell you a story of what I did when I was younger in 1963. After the army. I lived on the Central Line in Notting Hill Gate and wanted to work in the City. I didn’t want to spend my life changing tube trains, and wanted to work near the tube station so I didn’t waste time walking. I took my voice recorder, travelled to St Paul’s and looked around for large companies and recorded the address in my tape machine. Then the next station and so on. I eventually got my first job at a South African Gold Mine company called Union Corporation in the Shares department. I worked there for two years and every morning I walked through the doors at exactly 9am (got in early and had a coffee and read the newspaper at the coffee bar next door). But my punctuality got me a fantastic reference when I left. All my army reference said was, this man smiles and whistles under all difficulties! Not enough to get a good job.

Nowadays with a voice recorder available on every telephone and everyone having a computer, it should be a doddle.

The additional Benefit
When I wrote and posted my letters, they arrived out of the blue. That same moment the Union Corporation boss received my letter, he also received a resignation and he decided to wheel me in before going to the expense of finding an additional member of staff.

Money Handling
The interest rates on savings are so low that many people think it’s not worth it to save.

I don’t. And now I am in my seventies I am benefiting from years of savings.

I put away money into a savings account every pay day and when it built up to a sizeable amount, I started an insurance business. I would insure myself against loss of my valuable items. I would get quotes, take the best quote, and increase my savings by the payments recommended. I had to pay out on one or two items over the years but my savings grew at a good rate. After many years, I insured my cars; expensive ones, such as an E-type and Mark Ten Jag, for third party only, and added the difference from the full insurance to my savings. Then the account really took off.

This is just one way of increasing savings, but it shows how you can make money once you have a reasonable amount saved up. And, remember, you’ll never get on the housing ladder unless you start saving money from your first job.

I am not suggesting the teachers teach the following; it is merely to give some idea of how it is possible to make money work for you. Adam Faith, the 60s rock ‘n’ roll singer made his real money because he was good with his hands. He bought a cheap dilapidated house, renovated it to a high standard, sold it, bought a house twice as large, did the same. He did this four times over the years, then moved down to a size he wanted, renovated it, and kept it for his home.

The Money handling section should also teach you how to use a bank account, how to invest your money wisely (half in a low risk venture, three quarters of the remaining on a medium risk and higher returns [I get 6.45% now from LendInvest] and the remainder on a more high risk strategy).

It should teach you about credit cards and the importance of paying the balance off, automatically, by direct debit every month. Then find a card which pays you for using it, my Barclaycard two card system gives me an Amex card with a 1% rebate and a Visa card for those who don’t take Amex, which has a 0.5% rebate. I use credit cards for everything and get a very sizeable present from Barclaycard every year.

Finally, before building up the course notes, a questionnaire should be sent to all captains of industry asking for their ideas on each of the four items.

Have I left anything out? And should there be just one period a week set aside? Remember, I suggested starting at age 13. Any ideas in Comments, below will be answered.



Porgy Tirebiter said...

Excellent suggestion! In some US States, there is already a similar course required for graduation. Albeit, it is only started in the final year, so it does not have the depth which you mention.

Working backwards from the current abilities of school leavers, certainly shows the need to have such a requirement in place!

Andrew Ampers Taylor said...

Porgy Tirebiter

I can't help feeling that governments on both sides of the spectrum are really only interested in turning out cannon fodder and prefer Private Schools who do this sort of thing anyway, to prepare for our captains of industry.

If I were a younger man I'd seriously consider starting Saturday morning classes for those pupils who have loving parents who want to see then getting on.