Some years ago a group suggested that people might want to spend 11 hours on the Number 11 on the 11th of the 11th month-starting at 11:00 and finishing by 23:00. I don't think it caught on for some reason even though participants were encouraged to take pictures and post them..Strange, I thought it was a winner!
Today on the Andrew Marr Programme, hosted by Eddie Mair, the newspaper reviewers considered how the return of Saturday Jobs would help young people to understand the importance of turning up on time, looking the part, knowing how to serve people and how to take instructions and so on: you get the drift. It was suggested that this would make them more employable.
Anyone remember these? They were part of a family of ultimately largely deceitful acronyms that suggested that if you went on one for 6 months you would be more employable. You weren't, you were eligible to do another.
This one looks far more exciting because there's a robot involved!
...and young people, fine young people went on them: there were some really good ones. The majority however failed to deliver.
When on the programme some improvements were noted particularly in mental health and well-being only to be followed by a return to a less-robust place if there was no job as an outcome of participation.
When I look at the academic expectations made of our young people I find it hard to understand where the hours doing part time work will be found from, particularly as their availability coincides with years 10 onward in school, a time when they are generally "a bit busy".
There are ways forward that must involve locally led and funded community partnerships with some well devised learning processes and outcomes. There's always a chance to break the mould but I fear that like the Number 11, we'll just keep going round and round but without the entertaining creativity of the (I'm guessing now defunct) 11-11-11 group. Pity.