We’ve had some sterling contenders again for this week’s (belated) non-job, and many thanks to those of you who’ve sent in candidates for this dubious weekly accolade. If anyone does come across a pointless, questionable or needlessly costly vacancy supported by the public purse then please do email over the details to [email protected].
Last week one TPA supporter noticed that Liverpool City Council had published a tender for a ‘Totem Pole Artist’, and another was angry that his local authority in Suffolk were was hiring for a ‘County Advisor for Teacher Recruitment’ on around £50k when recent redundancies have meant that there are a surplus of teachers who’ve already passed the litmus test waiting for redeployment in the area.
This week’s non-job however, comes from Transport for London who appear to have come up with a novel title for a marketing exec whose primary role is to promote cycling:
“Head of Behaviour Change Programmes
£75,000 - £85,000 + excellent benefits
How do you encourage more people to take up cycling? Increase awareness of road safety issues? Reduce the environmental impact of travel and transport in the capital? Are you a true marketing talent capable of influencing behaviour across a diverse portfolio of high profile consumer and B2B programmes? If you’re up to the challenge of solving a number of complex transport challenges through marketing communications, whilst developing your career with the European leaders of cycling and road safety, this is the role for you.
Our Better Routes and Places team has already encouraged more children to cycle through the use of materials for the national curriculum. Reduced the environmental impact of commuters by suggesting car sharing schemes within businesses. And commissioned an award-winning TV campaign to address the issue of cycle safety. Yet the potential here remains as exciting as ever. Our bottom line is about driving improvements in transport and the environment, not sales. So, you’ll enjoy the rare opportunity to stimulate major change and work on a broader spectrum of campaigns than almost anywhere else, as you lead this influential team.
With experience of the public sector and the inner workings of a complex organisation, you’ll win over people from all areas of our business. And, as we’ve a direct link with both London’s boroughs and national government, you’ll play a key role in responding to any changes in the wider policy environment. Responsible for much of London’s transport network, we’ve the opportunity for you to make visible headway on some compelling issues. And crucially, even in these constrained times, the resources you’ll need to make a genuine difference across the Capital”.
This is a pretty hefty salary for someone – essentially a marketing director – to invent flashy campaigns to (unusually) discourage consumers from using TFL’s services. But then of course, the Head of Behaviour Change Programmes needn’t worry about generating the revenue to sustain their substantial remuneration as they’ll always be subbed by taxpayers…
Even in the cases where this marketer is called upon to bring new punters in, let’s not forget that London is a city where people largely have no choice over their transport provider.
Even if you believe it’s healthier and more environmentally friendly for people to ride a bike than jump on a bus, you must concede that we’re in danger of serious over-emphasis here. Firstly, we’re already having the ‘healthy lifestyle’ agenda (including recommendations to walk, run, bike, hop rather than put keys in the ignition) forced upon us from every conceivable direction (schools, local authority, central government, NHS) – do we really need the people who run the buses and tubes to pitch in too? And secondly, isn’t money tight? Are we really in a position to be throwing wads of cash at someone recruited to discourage custom and drive down returns?