Non-job of the week

Guardian_nonjobs_10908_2With an eye-watering 720 jobs on offer from government this week, I think it breaks a record for the amount of vacancies in government.  Some of the highlights include Durham County Council offering six figure salaries for heads of directorates, assistant chief executives making the £100k limit that will definitely qualify them for our next Town Hall rich list and then we come to our non-job of the week from Luton Council:


Parenting Co-ordinator
£ 27,594 - £29,728 p.a. plus an essential car user allowance


37 hours per week


We are seeking someone who is innovative and enthusiastic to coordinate the provision of services to parents and families of young people known to the Youth Offending Service. As well as working closely with parents, families and young people this post will also include close liaison with the local community, professionals and agencies within the Borough of Luton and voluntary organisations.


You will have a relevant professional or degree level qualification associated with one of the partner agencies, along with substantial experience of working with adolescents and their families. Knowledge of issues relating to parenting of children and adolescents and an ability to work outside of normal office hours (approx 40%) is essential.


You will be responsible for devising, developing and facilitating regular parenting skills courses, parenting contracts, a parent mentoring service and other interventions for parents and families of young people. You will also undertake parenting assessments and co-ordinate our already established systemic family therapy scheme. There is also an opportunity to represent the service within various settings including the criminal courts.


Closing date: 23 September 2008.


Ref: 08/1312.


To apply online visit


As one of the area's leading employers, we offer excellent benefits and consider our employees to be our greatest assets. To find out more please visit, email us at [email protected] or phone (01582) 546621.


Applicants must be willing to undergo child/vulnerable adult protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Criminal Records Bureau.


MINICOM users only (01582) 546296.


The Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff to share this commitment.


We value equality because quality services need the best people - from the whole community.”


If – and this is a big if – I thought government should regulate the family and I were advertising for this job from my wonderfully expensive desk deep in my Town Hall, I would put in big type, bold, luminous letters (hell, spare the expense, in this scenario it’s not my money I’m spending) that the person we were seeking must, I repeat, must be a parent of some years.  Yet this ad, in typically bureaucratic style, doesn’t require any parenting skills because government knows best after all.  It seems all you have to do is have ‘knowledge of’ parenting. 


I can now here the chorus of execration from the objectors – “oh why won’t you think about the children”.  But I am, this job is completely unnecessary.  The ad concedes there are voluntary organisations out there for people to turn to and, you know, volunteers aren’t tempted into their role with the option of an ‘essential car user allowance’.  Families, if they feel they need help, already do turn to voluntary organisations to help with their problems.


If a family needs help, it’s there.  This post, however, tried to link family problems with anti-social behaviour, which is a very spurious claim.  Not all families with problems resort to anti-social behaviour, after all.  On the wider issue, the solution to anti-social behaviour shouldn’t be nannying from government; it should be punitive because guess what - you broke the law. 

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