Almost 500 government jobs are featured on the Guardian jobs site this week, with a particular rise in the number of positions advertised in local government.
Not sure ‘spoilt for choice’ is really the right term, with a Benefit Maximisation and Take Up Manager in Liverpool in the running for this week’s non-job, alongside yet another Equalities and Diversity Officer at Lambeth Council, but this week’s dubious accolade goes to a position at Tower Hamlets Community Housing:
“Community Development Co-ordinator
£42,000 per annum
The East End is proud of its community spirit and its amazingly diverse heritage, our one community is home to many communities. But working in the East End is also a challenge - a challenge that we have decided is best met by us working together.
We are looking for someone who can create links, networks and delivery models to meet our communities' needs first and foremost. Someone who can bring people together to increase understanding and promote harmony. Someone who understands the issues of those who live in social housing, someone who can create opportunities for improving health and wellbeing, for improving opportunities for employment and training and for improving educational attainment not just for our young people but for the whole community.
You will need to be an adept negotiator, able to align key community development strategies for the three Housing Associations and also build strong and effective partnerships with a whole array of key stakeholders.
Consequently you will need to have high level communication skills, the ability to balance conflicting needs and priorities and be able to meet the demands of a challenging workload”.
The vagaries of public sector job descriptions are somewhat notorious, but “someone who can bring people together to increase understanding and promote harmony” has to go down as an absolute classic. Whichever wordsmith put this one together clearly missed their calling as a lyric writer for Eurovision entrants…
In all seriousness though, this is a hefty salary for such an ambiguous facilitator role. “Creating opportunities for health and wellbeing” - well don’t we already support council-run leisure centres and pay for healthcare on the NHS? “Improving opportunities for employment and training” – erm…Jobcentre Plus? “Improving educational attainment” - schools/teachers/Learndirect anyone?
So £42k per year to act as a signpost, pointing individuals to other organisations, bodies and institutions, oh , and all whilst retaining the spirit of the East End of London, so presumably it helps to whistle ‘My Old Man’s a Dustman’ as you work.
In truth, the almost impenetrable verbiage used here makes it nearly impossible to decipher what this position involves on a practical day-to-day basis, and if you think you’re suitable for the role, then the chances are you’re already working elsewhere, co-ordinating/spreading harmony in some other community. How ever did we survive without you?