LettersOn 15 May 2001 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersLetter of the Week Disability does not make me special Further to the “note of interest” regarding the Year of theDisabled Citizen (Eurowatch, 18 April), I felt it necessary to write. As a personnel professional, I am often disappointed by the way in whichfellow professionals rant and rave about giving opportunities to people withdisabilities, as if they are more deserving than people without disabilities.Such attitudes are patronising and only highlight the supposed”difference” we are trying erase. I am a person affected by disability, but do not want any specialopportunities. I just want to be given the same fair chance that every otherperson is given. After all, at the end of the day, we are all just human beings– with or without the disability. Even in the 21st century, discrimination is very much present, and ifallowed to be, it is the most debilitating part of disability. I do not wantpersonnel professionals to think they are special, but surely they should besetting an example to the rest of the organisation. Finally, I think, naming 2003 as “the year for the disabledcitizen” really highlights how far we have to go in terms of achievingequal opportunities in the truest sense of the word. If the authorities thinkit fit to name 2003 and really reinforce the “difference”, then I wasvery naive to have thought they really knew better when they clearly didn’t. Name and address withheld Support for local government plan We were disappointed by the headline attached to your story about the LocalGovernment Workforce Development Plan 2001-4 (News, 24 April). We have had tremendous support and enthusiasm from most local authorities indeveloping the plan. Huge numbers responded to our survey, attended our focusgroups and commented on our consultation document. Their contributions helpedto focus and prioritise key elements of the plan. Only three were at all negative about its proposals. The plan was alsowelcomed and commended by the Local Government Association’s HR executive. Local government is facing many major challenges: – The requirement that all services are provided electronically by 2005 – The new requirement that authorities promote economic, social and environmentalwell being for their area – Increasingly complex organisational structures and an imperative to work inpartnership with other agencies – The need for better procurement and contract management skills – New equality legislation and guidelines – Increasing pressures to improve customer relations and provide services moreeffectively and more flexibly. There are increasing difficulties, too, in attracting and retaining staff towork in local government. We need a national strategy for tackling thisproblem. It is also vital to develop the skills of all local government’scurrent employees if we are to develop a high-performance culture and providebetter services to our communities. Some authorities may have already begun to address these areas, but othershave not. The plan aims to focus the effort of all authorities and theorganisations that support (or could support) workforce development in localgovernment. We hope Personnel Today and its readers will applaud this documentand encourage its implementation. The plan is available on the Local Government National TrainingOrganisation’s website: www.lgnto.org.uk or from Patricia Carby, tel: 020-72966692 or e-mail: [email protected] Stocks Chair, LGNTO board of directors Ageism wake-up call for CIPD These frequent articles calling for employers to wake up to ageism costs (1May) always cause me to smile wryly. Employers? It’s CIPD members who should wake up and stop being prejudiced.Who recruits? Personnel officers. Who sifts through applications? Personnelofficers. Who invites candidates to interview? CIPD officers. The wake-up is needed in personnel departments. The sooner application formsstop asking for date of birth, gender and so on, and rely on qualifications andabilities, the sooner we will be able to say we have recruited the bestapplicant for the vacancy. I sympathise with Anne O’Neill’s letter about her difficulty in obtaining afirst personnel post – it’s just as difficult to move jobs even when you’re inthe system. Vic Bohanna Exeter Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.