Friday, 9 July 2010

The Fairy Jobmother - previews

I saw a trailer for this programme tonight, and my heart sank.
The various TV listings magazines offer different opinions; the Radio Times says:

"Last year Benefit Busters offered an eye-opening look at Britain's unemployed and those who steer them back into work. The surprise star was formidable employment coach Hayley Taylor, who combined ruthless positivity with a whimsical line in neckerchiefs. Now she has her own show. Hayley descends from the TV heavens to sprinkle fairy dust on the little people. First in line is a jobless couple in Middlesborough with a debt problem. Hayley teaches them basic life skills, like how to shake hands, but what could feel condescending doesn't, thanks to the emotional warmth. She really cares."

If that isn't enough to put you off, the trailer is. The three episodes clearly deal with the sort of unemployed people who need those "basic life skills", thus insulting the hundreds of thousands who have skills, qualifications and experience which would leave Ms Taylor standing, and are desperate for work but who simply can't find it. I hope I'm wrong; but it seems set to reinforce the hugely dangerous stereotype of the dole scroungers and the dependency culture. And I have one question which I hope the programmes will answer: what are Ms Taylor's qualifications for this work, particularly for debt counselling? It may well be that she has the appropriate qualifications, but I'd like to be sure.

(It does seem that the programme Emma Harrison made for the channel has been shelved. What a shame!)


  1. Y'know, that's what I thought when watching ep 1 of Benefit Busters. What skills and qualifications does Ms Taylor actually have to offer people who may need genuine help?

    One woman on Beneit Busters for example was £75k in debt. She should have been given directions to her nearest CAB, given the phone number of a debt charity or told to go for an IVA. She should not have done a back of envelope calculation with Ms Taylor.

    Offering basic life skills is fine. However, as the previous poster says, what many need is proper training, qualifictions and work experience, all of which I'm sorry to say most "training" providers are not geared up to offering.

    If Ms Taylor is such a great motivator, where did SHE learn her motivational skills I wonder? Seems a bit too "Motivation for Dummies" for my liking.

  2. Hayley is someone I worked with, let me inform you and possibly answer your concerns.Hayley Is I.A.G trained, as we all are and always signposted clients to the relevant areas. The lady you refer to on Benefit Busters was already under an IVA arangement therefore Hayley could not do anything about her situation other than try to help her live a little easier financially than she was.Hayley is very experienced and qualified to do the work she does, having worked with her over several years I can say she is honest and dedicated, the staff and clients alike loved her. I believe that the familys in this series are not all sterotypical, and would say it is very easy to criticise someone whom you do not know. Hayley always mentioned the mentors she had in her life, and had some very difficult times in her life also,she has excellent people skills and life skills. My last comment is SHE IS DOING SOMETHING TO HELP can you say the same?

  3. What a pity that you had to end a perfectly reasonable and informative comment in such a way. Let's be clear, all that the viewing public have to go on is the image of Ms Taylor which comes across in the (no doubt highly edited) television programmes. There are many people out there doing similar work but without the TV coverage, and with different approaches. Criticism is inevitable if you seek stardom. As for your last sentence - don't make assumptions.

  4. Re: Anonymous posting above - Wouldn't announcing someone is on an IVA a breach of client confidentiality and/or Data Protection Act ?

  5. She should get a knighthood for her services to the unemployed, whom she champions and seeks to remove the barriers to free them from worklessness.

  6. Historian you say 'dont make assumptions' but it seemed a clear question to me that you simply chose to avoid answering. Also interesting that you attempt to demean an ex employee of A4E on a web blog called 'Watching A4E'.

  7. I bet she doesn't do the Welsh Valleys.


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