Thursday, 24 April 2008
The Joint Administrators of Carter and Carter Group PLC, Nick Dargan, Dominic Wong and Chris Farrington of Deloitte, the professional services firm, have announced the sale of the Apprentice Learning Division, part of the Carter and Carter Group plc (in administration), to the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).
Read the full article
Crimeware-as-a-Service brings ease of use and outsourced infrastructure to any criminal, anywhere. While I am certain that is comforting to the crook, it sure doesn't bring peace of mind to the average man or woman whose details are being bought and sold on the open market.
Read the full article
No comment -- just read it!
It is described by the publisher as:
this attractive and accessible textbook analyses and examines the policies, services and practice skills needed for collaborative, effective and equitable work with children.
Don't forget that the first title in the series, Connecting with children is also available. The final title in the series Changing children's services is due out in July.
I couldn't find a single review of this book but it has been out for only three weeks.
Methodology.co.uk provides a free resource to researchers, students and university teachers who are interested in learning more about anything to do with research methods.
Methodology.co.uk is run by SAGE and will be a vital resource for anyone conducting qualitative or quantitative research and statistics.
Ties in nicely with yesterday's post about OpenLearn.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
OpenLearn is a website produced by the Open University in the UK, that is making available free of charge thousands of hours of educational content to learners and educators interested in studying subjects at a higher education level. This section provides free access to an online course about using and interpreting charts, graphs and tables. It will be of most use to students who haven't used data in this way for some time and need to brush up quickly. The course is clearly outlined and includes online readings and exercises for self-paced distance learning. There is an extensive list of references for further reading. Topics covered include: making sense of data displayed in different formats and interpreting graphs and charts. There is a follow-up course that covers the topics in more detail.
Fifteen hours if you want to actually study the whole course but it is a useful skimmable reference for those of us who want to understand some of the confusing terms that get used by economists and labour market specialists.
I am coming to rely more and more on the information provided by Intute. Thank you, all of you un-named people who research the resources and then tell us about them -- in droves!
As in when I read the story by Cory Doctorow in Boing Boing on 21 April.
Personal info from UK traffic cams open to the US government
You know all those traffic-cams throughout the UK that capture your license-plate and correlate it with your identity? The British coppers have found a spirit of
sharing and will hand over their data to pretty much anyone:
Home Secretary Smith failed to mention the exception in a statement she made to Parliament less than two weeks later on July 17, 2007 outlining Metropolitan Police exemptions to the 1998 Data Protection Act.
Link (Thanks, Brady!)
Read in full and be frightened! There is absolutely no way I'm going to be the only one worried by this.
"All it needs for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke
But one does feel helpless, and hopeless when faced with this sort of thing. So is "do nothing" the best option? Is what is happening "evil"? Those are philosophical questions that can be debated until the end of time but it seems that the function creep of some of our laws is getting worse. The Freedom of Information Act has helped uncover some unsavoury practices but you need to know the questions to ask, and that only provides you with information not remedy.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Understanding finance is essential to any entrepreneur or small business. Three more information resources are now available in the Centre:
- Grantnet & Grantfinder: 4,000 grants, loans, awards and other assistance.
- Creditsafe: Information on 4.4 million UK businesses. Reports include credit rating, credit limit, three years of accounts, CCJ information and director information.
- MINT: Detailed financial information on 2.6 million UK companies. Search by geographic, financial, activity or many other options to create lists of companies or individual company reports.
No, this is not an "oops she's put it in the wrong blog" it's a "jobseekers need to research the companies that they are wanting to work for" item which properly sits here.
One of the ways to research a company is to look at its financial information. If the accounts are showing worrying trends then maybe this is not the right time to make a move from that safe but boring job. If, however, the worklessness state is getting too much then maybe a move into this company will be a good idea -- on the basis that anything may be better than nothing!
You as the adviser can help your client to reach a decision -- but only if you have the information.
Databases "held" at the British Library's Business and IP Centre are accessible only to Readers working in the Centre.
If you need me to find some information for you then you need to tell me what it is.
URGENT information can usually be obtained for you within 24 hours depending on my diary whilst non-urgent may take a week.
Contact is best on my mobile 0779 627 3792 and then we can discuss what is wanted -- and the cost! All things are negotiable (well, nearly all) but basically for urgent requests we're talking about three hours at £10 an hour plus travel costs. Non-urgent (i.e. I can fit it in to my normal trips to the British Library which are usually weekly) £10 per successful query (which could be less if it's easy to find but won't be more).
Monday, 21 April 2008
A business-world under cyber attack, the United States withdrawing from the world economy and employee behaviour controlled by implanted micro-chips are all possible scenarios for business in 2018, according to a study published in March by the Chartered Management Institute.
Read the full article which provides a link to the report.
From looking at the extract above I had originally placed this in my business information blog but I now realise that it's much more useful here.
What is the world of work going to look like in ten years?
Far more important that careers and educational guidance practitioners understand this than that I tell business people about it.
The introduction of Diplomas for 14-19 year olds represents a major innovation in educational opportunity in England. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide policy makers and practitioners with systematic and robust evidence enabling them to make informed judgments about the outcomes of the Diplomas for different stakeholders and to make improvement to design and delivery if appropriate.
Read the full article
This recruitment site includes a searchable database of construction industry jobs. There is information for recruiters on how to post vacancies as well as information for candidates. Links to related sites including advice on constructing CVs is provided.
I couldn't remember whether I'd included this site before on this blog -- but I thought twice was better than not at all. The "Just" series of vacancy sites provides a clear sectoral divide for people who know where they want to go and the pages are clearly set out with several search options.
This particular one seems to cater better for the high-level jobs: clerk of works, site manager and surveyor all came through well with no false positives; chippie failed completely whilst carpenter produced one carpenter, one electrician, one site manager, one handyman and a technical officer. That's an 80% failure rate.
I believe that I'm now fully recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic. I was astounded at how long it took for this to wear off -- nearly four months -- and can only appreciate how unwell I was now that I'm no longer in that state (if that makes any senses).
This is the tricky one. The graft (actually three pieces of plastic not one) which replaced parts of the femoral arteries at the groin and the bottom of the aorta have worked wonders. I have a good blood supply to both legs and can walk and stand with ease. Brilliant.
The not so good bit is that when the clips came out of the wound in the left groin part of the lymphatic system was damaged and is leaking into the leg tissue. One leg is normal size the other looks like a tree trunk! One consequence is that I'm still not allowed to drive which prohibition is going to last at least until December when I have my next checkup.
The other consequence is that sitting at the computer is still my least comfortable position and I have to keep getting up and moving around -- think about a tennis ball in the groin when you sit and you'll get some idea! Further consequence of this is that blog posts are relatively easy to write in half-hour stretches and editing documents is not too difficult but writing anything which requires uninterrupted thought over a longer period is nigh-on impossible.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Social Trends draws together social and economic data from a wide range of government departments and other organisations to provide a comprehensive guide to UK society today, and how it has been changing.
National Statistics chose the two examples I have used in the title in drawing attention to the whole report and data.
but marriage is still the preferred partnership model.
Household net wealth doubles in 20 years
and I want my share that someone else must obviously now have!
Under-employment -- doing a job for which you are over-qualified -- can lead to poor health and low levels of motivation in recent graduates
Read the full article
One is tempted to say "I told you say" but it wasn't only me saying it and it seems that saying anything to this government is rather like pissing into the wind. It should have been obvious that an increase in the proportion of undergraduates should have been followed by an increase in the proportion of jobs for graduates. Now we seem to have a generation that is either educated to degree level or completely uneducated. Yeah, I know that I am exaggerating but the situation lends itself to exaggeration!
FlowingData has a chart of the ten largest data breaches since 2000. In each of the cases listed in this "top ten", the number of people whose data was involved ran into the millions. Perhaps it is useful to look back to the wording of the seventh data protection principle as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 - "Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data."
Makes for very interesting reading -- and oh how nice it is to have Paul Pedley "back on the circuit". I really missed his insight into all things pertaining to the legality of information management when his newsletter ceased and before I found his blog. Incidentally, Paul is about to launch a KWTL subscription service encompassing all the issues concerned with information and the law. I'll keep you up to date on that one.
The FlowingData article has a link to a database of data breaches which, if you aren't horrified already, will make you think twice or three times about letting anyone have your data.
Over half (53%) of organisations say their learning and development work has not yet been influenced by the government's post-Leitch skills agenda.
Read the full report
Now customary for me to add a comment but there's really not much to add. A "grain of comfort" is the number of organisations that have signed up for "Train to Gain". It must be a very small grain as so much of that training seems to me, from talking to colleagues in the local networks, is about filling the gaps left by formal, compulsory education. Young people leaving school should be able to read and write adequately whatever else they can't do!
Jobsgopublic.com: Linking disabled job seekers with recruiters
The latest statistics released in the 2008 NORAS (National Online Recruitment Audience Survey) shows that Jobsgopublic’s commitment to disabled talent has been recognised by the target audience. Reporting double the national average of job seekers who declare a disability, 6% of all Jobsgopublic jobseekers are sufficiently confident of Jobsgopublic software, and their clients’ commitment to recruiting disabled talent, to declare their disability on application.
Read the full article
I remember reading, a while back, a leaflet aimed at disabled graduates which discussed the issue of whether or not to disclose a disability to a prospective employer. In the end the author concluded by leaving it up to a person's own decision having set out the pros and cons. I assume that the disadvantages are still there having looked at the figures for unemployment among disabled people as compared to other groups of people. Jobseekers and employers are becoming clearer about discrimination law and what is or is not permissible under the law.
Friday, 18 April 2008
Dan Pink is the author of two very important books on ideas around careers - Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind.
If you own a small business, that's your current career -- but I wonder how many small business owners actually view it that way?
I caught up with him for a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast to discuss his latest take on work called The Adventures of Johnny Bunko - the last career guide you will ever need. One of the most intriguing elements of the book is that it's written in the Japanese comic style known as manga - a book style known in the US primarily by teens, but widely used to communicate every possible topic to kids and adults in Japan.
Read the full article
Manga is not the style I would choose for a careers advice book but I was always more into reading longer stories than comics even as a child. I haven't grown out of that. However, only yesterday I spent some time with the 20-year-old son of a friend who is heavily into manga and there is no doubt that he would just love this approach to deciding his future career. It may be that this is one to persuade your local public library to stock or perhaps the school library although that does remove from the orbit of interested adults. The original article from John was intended to be a call to small business owner/managers to see their current role as a career -- I think it's more useful reporting it here in ADSET's information weblog rather than the business one.
A web-based resource to help school librarians advocate the value of their services to head teachers.
Read the full article
This is an initiative of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). My understanding is that many people working in school libraries are not CILIP members so I hope that this support is available to all regardless of membership status.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
via Latest Internet resources added to Intute: Social Sciences Research Tools and Methods gateway on 2 April
This site has been created by the European Journalism Centre. It provides free access to news feeds of the latest headlines and news stories from over
If you want 400 national and local newspapers here's where to find them. But that is across Europe not just in the UK for which there are 28.
I just learned that if you want to strikeout text then you have to edit your HTML
Monday, 14 April 2008
Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson said the move is aimed at supporting online collaborative communities, exploring how government can work with them and encouraging the wider use of public sector information.
Alongside Watson's announcement, the Cabinet Office published an Interim Progress Report on the Power of Information.
Source: Kable's Government Computing Copyright (c) 2008 Kable Limited 1 April 2008
She said this would play a significant part in promoting social justice through the education system, and help to strengthen the link between the science of teaching and what goes on in the classroom. Morris was speaking at the launch of a handbook, Designing educational technologies for social justice, produced by the charity futurelab which promotes the use of technology in education.
Kable's Government Computing http://www.kablenet.com/ 2 April 2008
“The number of Bar Vocational Course (BVC) graduates invited to take pupillage has dropped by 20 per cent since the turn of the century, with less than a third of graduates securing pupillages last year.”
Full story The Lawyer 31 March 2008
Less than a third of graduates? What happened to the others? You need to read the comments following the article to understand that many people taking the course are not intending to apply to join the Bar. An interesting take on getting legal qualifications.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has strongly criticised Hounslow Primary Care Trust (PCT) for failing to meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). The PCT failed to respond adequately to FOI requests, refused to provide all the relevant documents to the requester, missed several key deadlines for responding to both the requester and the Information Commissioner, and has committed numerous breaches of the Act.
Full press release
See also: PCT threatened with court over fight for information Health Service Journal
Watchdog hits out at NHS trust Financial Times
Basically there's not much to say here, is there? Yet another public sector organisation has "got it wrong".
I hope that regular readers are getting the hang of what I'm about after a year and that those of you who are new to this "news" service realise that I include anything that I think will be of interest to careers guidance practitioners (particularly those managing a mountain of information) and/or will help you understand the world in which you are giving information and advice.
You will rapidly realise that this is a somewhat odd not to say eccentric mixture of topics and much of it isn't "new" news.
If you think I'm missing something out then please let me know either by commenting on any blog posting or by emailing direct.
Best to use my AOL email which is: adsetenquiry AT aol DOT com
You do, of course, understand that AT = @ and DOT = . and that you don't put the spaces in
Here's to the next year -- with no health scares if possible.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Fashion provides a way to now and again liquidate the accumulated dross of consumer lifestyles. The "cleansing effect" is good for us all... more from Policy (a journal of the Centre for Independent Studies, Australia)
Viscosity - create modern art, easily
from Red Ferret Journal by Nigel
Viscosity. Nice little tool for creating modern type art. Simple but varied toolset, some great effects and lots of flexibility.
Hazel's comment: Yet another wonderful time-waster for you!
People love hierarchies. When anarchists get together to form an anarchist association, the first thing they do is elect a governing committee... more
Arts & Letters Daily 13 March
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
from Librarians' Internet Index: New This Week
Background about this seed vault (opened in February 2008 in the permafrost in the mountains of Svalbard, Norway) "designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe. ... If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard." Features news releases, photos, and videos. From the Norway Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Women in History: Historical Figures
from Librarians' Internet Index: New This Week
Profiles of famous American women, such as Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, Rachel Carson, Isadora Duncan, Sally Hemings, Dolley Madison, Annie Oakley, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Profiles vary in amount of information provided about the individual. A good starting point for ideas for school paper topics, as this listing includes women from a variety of time periods, professions, and fields of accomplishment. From Lakewood Public Library, Ohio.
Growth by itself is not enough. Seen from a moral standpoint, we must assess how growth, globally and within most countries, affects the economic position of the poor... more
Arts & Letters Daily 15 March
Hospital patients with a view of trees have shorter stays and need less pain medication than those without. Virginia Postrel on the patient's environment... more
Arts & Letters Daily 22 March
Search War Diaries online (UK)
from ResourceShelf by resourceshelf
From the site: Wouldn’t it be fascinating to discover what your First World War ancestor’s army unit actually did? War Diaries are official daily accounts kept by individual units. They give reports on operations, intelligence summaries and other material. They can help you piece together your ancestor’s life in the army in the First World War. Search the diaries at the National Archives, UK.
The student unrest in Paris and London 40 years ago filled Tom Stoppard with revulsion. The protesters were free: they had no idea how lucky they were... more
Oops -- probably Arts & Letters Daily but I picked up the remnant without acknowledgement.
Oldest recorded voices sing again
via BBC News Technology UK Edition on 28 March
An "ethereal" 10 second clip of a French folk song has been played for the first time in 150 years.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Gerry McGovern has written an article on resisting redesigns. To quote:
Your website is working. But it's four years old. What should you do? Leave it alone. Or focus on making it work even better. But let me tell you this, making it work better has rarely anything to do with its graphical design.
Think of all those beautifully designed "look-lovely" websites that are a pain in the butt to actually use and you will realise why it is so important to get the functionality right before worrying about design. Sure, a website needs some design or it will simply be a mess but PLEASE work out what you want to say before looking at whether a) should be in green and b) in blue.
PS This is definitely a case of me in my glasshouse throwing stones -- at no-one in particular since I wouldn't want anyone to come back at me and say "but your website in a dreadful mess". Yeah, but ...
I haven't really got an excuse.
Read the full article from WIPO Magazine
I spent long hours trying to develop a workshop on copyright that would be fun -- ar at least enjoyable -- and now it's the subject of popular film! Such is life.
At least the message is getting into the wild -- intellectual property is valuable.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
Web page is provided by the UK government's Directgov website and offers advice for over 50s who want to get the best out of work. There are sections on learning, benefits, health, care and discrimination.
Personally I wouldn't use the learning section which links to the learndirect database via a slightly different interface.
This paper aims to investigate whether academic reference librarians, archivists, catalogers, distance education librarians, public librarians, records managers, school librarians, special collections librarians, and systems librarians differ in personality traits measured by the Personal Style Inventory: i.e. adaptability, assertiveness, autonomy, conscientiousness, customer service orientation, emotional resilience, extraversion, openness, optimism, teamwork, tough-mindedness, visionary/operational work style, and work drive. It also aims to investigate whether personality traits of those in person-oriented library specialties differ from those in technique-oriented (technical) library specialties.
A total of 2,075 librarians/information professionals were surveyed in non-random sample. The Personal Style Inventory is a normal personality inventory assessing important traits for the world of work. It was used in a two-step cluster analysis for the data analysis.
The paper finds that distinct personality traits were associated with the different types of librarians. There was also a “unadaptive” cluster composed of individuals from all specialties. There were distinguishing traits associated with person-oriented and technique-oriented specialties.
Results were not generalizable due to the non-random sample. Gender was not collected. The research has implications for career counseling.
There have been few studies of personality traits in library specialties, none measuring both narrow work trait and broad personality trait variables.
Link to Emerald Group Publishing Ltd if wish to purchase the full article (£13 + handling charge + VAT)
In some circumstances maybe but not in this case. The Open University's World of Work provides pages of learning materials as well as useful mini case-studies on human resource management and work issues, eg. living in other countries, working mothers and motivation. There are also links to many other OU management pages.
Not intend, as far as I can tell, as a careers information site that is certainly what you could find yourself using it as. You'll need to take time to explore the different options and evaluate the information for yourself -- what I saw looked really useful.
Quite how I've had this hanging around from November last year I really don't know but "better late than never".
Thanks to Intute: Social Sciences Business and Management gateway
Recent media attention on information loss has made the British public more astute Two thirds (66 per cent) of British adults have less trust in the government institutions that look after their information as a result of recent stories about data breaches.
So I wrote and then thought: "There must be a better way to describe this". There is. I found it on the Typepad blog (not a place I normally go but hey ...)
3 Quarks Daily is primarily a filter blog -- one that captures interesting flotsam and jetsam from around the web and re-publishes excerpts, commentary, and links to the original. But on Mondays 3 Quarks Daily is something very different. The group behind the filter -- an erudite cadre of scientists, artists, and philosophers -- each take their turn penning regular columns on any subject they choose or, in some cases, regular subjects such as politics, poetry, and art. The site's title is a reference to the sub-atomic particles that emerged from a turn of phrase by literary legend James Joyce, and the blog itself hopes to span the breadth of culture -- from science to literature, from politics to philosophy. Judging by the success of this blog at drawing readers and contributors of keen intellect, they're found a winning formula.
Blurb over -- here's the story from 3quarksdaily by Azra Raza
Scientific literature has been littered with studies over the past 40 years documenting the superior language skill of girls, but the biologic reason why has remained a mystery until now. Researchers report in the journal Neuropsychologia that the answer lies in the way words are processed: girls completing a linguistic abilities task showed greater activity in brain areas implicated specifically in language encoding, which decipher information abstractly. Boys, on the other hand, showed a lot of activity in regions tied to visual and auditory functions, depending on the way the words were presented during the exercise.The finding suggests that although linguistic information goes directly to the seat of language processing in the female brain, males use sensory machinery to do a great deal of the work in untangling the data. In a classroom setting, it implies that boys need to be taught language both visually (with a textbook) and orally (through a lecture) to get a full grasp of the subject, whereas a girl may be able to pick up the concepts by either method.
Stunning -- and explains a lot.
I actually preferred the comparison between information and wine.
A little is good,
None is not enough,
Too much causes a headache, memory overload and feelings of anxiety.
Whatever or whichever I was ashamed to realise that I've been cheerfully posting to my DRAFTS folder without transferring anything to "published".
How many times over the last year (yes, it is very nearly a year now since I started this) have I promised to be good and post regularly? How many times have I failed to keep my resolution?
You do not need to answer those questions -- the answer is "too many".
I'll try again now to clear the drafts which will mean far too many posts over the next couple of days and then get back onto schedule.