Archive for April 5, 2011

Non jobs – What exactly are they?

April 5, 2011

Bob Neill - Non job basher in chief

Yesterday, a guest poster described in quite some detail what it was like to be the occupant of what Eric Pickles would describe as a ‘non-job’. It was a moving piece and one which I felt deserved some further research.

Although Mr Pickles and his colleagues have made relatively little effort to explain precisely what a non-job actually is (we do know that they’re not keen on ‘twitter tsars’) there have been rumblings in newspapers and on the internet.

Figures utilised by Bob Neill during a recent attack suggest that of the 2,907,000 people employed by local authorities in Britain 741,702 of them are not in traditional “front- line” jobs such as (according to the Telegraph) “those in education, social services, recreation, libraries, planning, environmental health, culture, heritage or trading standards.”

This is a lot of non-jobs. But maybe not that many; 741,702 staff is 25% of the total number. Out of this 25% we need to find all of the back office functions that are crucial to the running of any organisation, even a council. Within this we’re talking about legal, HR, finance, payroll, policy, research, communications (but only a small team?!) etc; these jobs could be described as the classic back office function.

Customer services, council tax collection and benefit calculation are probably easy to add to this list but I was finding it hard to believe that these jobs made up 25% of any council or that anyone in Government would really be upset by these staff being employed by our local councils.

So what is left? With my mind unable to get a better grip of where the rest of these ‘non-jobs’ came from I took a deep breath and typed ‘local government non job’ into Google.