Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Reviews of The Fairy Jobmother - or lack of them

I was steeling myself this morning to read reviews of that programme. But I can only find two.

There's a brief one in Metro. It talks about the "admirable empathy" of this "no-nonsense employment guru" and says that, "The combination of her pep talks and setting up interviews turned the future around for three of her volunteers. Even hopeless case Dave got a job in the end, but off his own bat. If Taylor could be rolled out across the nation’s Jobcentres, the benefits budget would be squashed in an instant."

The Guardian is dismissive. It's a tired formula, and the writer has fun with suggestions for more similar shows. The comments, however, are much more interesting. I particularly like one from someone called wishface.

It seems that this series is now old hat. Good.


  1. It’s been a long time since I shouted back at the television, but Hayley Taylor managed to bring out the worst in me. She’s the Yorkshire version of Jo Frost’s Supernanny, and not in a good way. What makes her a ‘Guru’, or even a ‘specialist’ in the field of the welfare-to-work industry?

    She worked for A4e, and hence she’s an expert. The programme was formulaic and at times unbearably cringeworthy. Did she really have to put those poor people into the embarrassing positions that she did? Did it really help with their low self-confidence, or did it make for good television viewing?

    Many people who are unemployed suffer from low self-confidence and worth, did making them do car washing, and town crying and worst of all give a presentation on themselves to invited guests and local dignitaries. The now former Lord Mayor of Liverpool was asked to come along, why put that amount of pressure on them. Did it help the participants on the show, or did it give the Lord Mayor the chance to get her fizzog on the goggle-box. They needed their confidence building-up slowly-but-surely, not be thrown into a force-lashed sea, and seeing if they could swim. Again for whose benefit was it for.

    One of the participants (with no work experience) was thrown on a till at a busy Home Bargains store, and then we had to heartbreakingly watch her crumble under the pressure of it all, and the pressure became too much for her to bear. And of course the cameras were there to catch it all. And why was Ricky Tomlinson/Jim Royle on the programme, masquerading as an out-of-work security man?

    Would these companies give the time of day to the participants on the programme if they had applied for the job through the normal job-hunting channels, I would probably think not. How do the job applicants that had applied for those jobs, but couldn’t offer these companies national television coverage on their job applications feel? How much work had gone on beforehand by the production crew to secure these interviews for the programme participants? It’s the Anneka Rice syndrome, stick a camera in somebody’s face, and then try to watch them say no to you.

    And finally, why if one of the participants was offered a training position as a supervisor for a cleaning company, did it at the end of the programme say that he was now working as a member of bar staff for Wetherspoons, without any explanation why.

  2. If Taylor were to be rolled out across the Jobcentre+ network, yes the benefit bill would be almost non exisitent for those who are unemployed - why? because every single one of them would have committed suicide. This woman is spiteful, fake, lacking in any empathy or intelligence. She cannot understand that she too is being maipulated by the programme makers.

  3. I only caught the tayl end ..... pun intended ..... but what I saw was more than enough!

  4. Well said lucy.

  5. This programme is stupidity itself. A bossy woman with very poor interpersonal skills and no real idea about the jobmarket. Typical of one of these goon 'providers' selecting people they can shove into poor jobs. Notice how (due to being on the tv) they are keen to look good and take the person on. Then how everything is rosy in the garden. This is so far from reality and a total cheap vulgar misrepresentation and exploitation.
    Typicval tv these days, everythings ok everyone a really disgusting littel ecxuse for a programme. No real difference in total tack to big brother

  6. Many did get jobs though so perhaps the bigger picture is more advisable and less anger and hatred towards Ms Taylor which isn't desperately helpful. Not sure why you are so angry or unhappy. A shame because if it's not your thing, switch channels.

  7. The "bigger picture" is that people got jobs because interviews were arranged for them and employers had the incentive of the cameras being there. The majority of job-seekers can't get interviews. The programme distorts reality.

  8. I didn't think much to that lad with a tatoo of a cannabis leave on his neck, no doubt this would have possibly prevented him from suceeding in interviews in the past, any employer with morals would not want that association. I don't know why the 'fairy jobmother' didn't seem to mentioned this too him. She thinks she is really clever but is so patronising and a bit touchy feely when there's no need for that she is just trying to make it look like she cares. All these people are in it for the bonus.

  9. The problem with any schemes introduced by job center plus is that they too have targets to meet and dont care If the job is suitable for the applicant which in the end returns them back to unemployment, as long as they have x amount in new employment this month they get their monthly bonus and the company get to keep the contract by dwp, thus making a false economy. Which makes me ask who really benefits from these schemes?

  10. Understandable confusion between Jobcentre Plus and the DWP, Makeveli, but don't blame JCP. And to be fair the Work Programme is designed to stop the revolving door by only paying out for "sustained" jobs.


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