Investing in human capital

Yes, OK, we\’re in the knowledge economy, investing in the education of our young people is essential (add any other currently fashionable buzz words to taste) but might this now be going a little far?

The news comes as MPs debate plans for a new mandatory code of practice (…)and new compulsory qualifications for bar staff.

You now need a licence to pull a pint? Pass a government test?

Still, I suppose they\’ve got form in this area. You need an arts degree to be able to ask "you want fries with that?" these days.

12 thoughts on “Investing in human capital”

  1. My first student job was as barman in a country pub. One of the regulars walked in: “Are you the summer student?”. He looked me up and down. “Engineer or vet?”

  2. I looking forward to walking in to a pub and asking for a pint of bitter only to be told that the barman/woman is only qualified to pull pints of lager (lager being easier to pull).

    Then we will have final proof that we have been cowed in to submission and the authoritarian tendency (left or right) has won the day.

  3. Having run a bar (and worked in a great deal of them) I personally would like to know that the person serving me when I’m a customer has actually passed some sort of test or completed some training. Nobody seems to bother these days with actually training the staff.

    I’ve recently seen; dirty glasses re-used (yuck), wet glasses used (kills the head), hot glasses used (froths really badly), pints of bitter served without a head (and I wasn’t in Bristol), pints of Guinness with a three inch head (to be told “that’s how it’s supposed to be served”) and passing over of three pints at once – with a finger in each one.

    When beer was cheap, I didn’t mind quite as much – although I would think twice about going back to any bar that gave bad service – but now it’s over £3.50 for a decent pint in London, I resent it being less than ideal.

    I don’t think it should be compulsory, but I would like a voluntary scheme to be promoted so I can see before I enter a premises whether the bar staff are competent or chimps.


  4. It won’t be that kind of training. Instead it will b a course made up of the following modules: disability awareness, health issues, underage awareness and transgender/equality issues. The bar person will probably have to pay £295 for their Door Safe certificate, including a CRB check. So bloody predictable. As for any training on washing glasses or pulling pints… I don’t think so.

  5. So, once you need an academic ‘qualification’ for even the simplest jobs, and your local college doesn’t run the course because there’s ‘no demand for it’; how in the name of Satan’s trousers do you get the otherwise unemployed working?

    Apologies if this isn’t a rather obvious question.

  6. Credentialism is the best way of increasing unemployment. It’s the modern equivalent of the closed shop. Okay… so you need it for some things like medicine, but a good education should mean you’re fit for almost any job that doesn’t require excessive specialist skills or where absence of training could be hazardous, I’m thinking here of brain surgery or gas maintenance. It’s madness and currently fuelled by the greed of the further and higher education sectors.

  7. How about the idea of requiring MP’s to get a qualification in a practical job – such as pulling pints – before being able to become politicians? 😉

  8. Pingback: Liberty Alone » Blog Archive » In other news:

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    And then, no doubt, they will make it a University level course with lots of exams on Foucault, Deconstructionism and Bar Work, the Geography of Beer and Third World Colonial legacies of alcohol making. By which time said graduates will be too grand to pull a pint, and so they will have to get Bar Maid Assistants, probably from the Philippines, to do it for them.

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