Out Of Work? Hate School? Get A Free iPod!

from the incentives? dept

Not quite sure what sort of message this is sending, but a British job training school is offering free iPods to unemployed kids who take their classes. You can kind of understand the rationale. These are often kids who aren’t interested in going to any kind of school — but getting them in could help them find a job, which would be a good thing. However, as some critics point out in the article, this is basically bribing them for being lazy. Shouldn’t the fact that they don’t have a job be incentive enough for them to go to a program designed to help them find a job? Meanwhile, the people who actually do work hard in school and actually have found a job don’t get rewarded at all. It seems to be sending the wrong message.

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Comments on “Out Of Work? Hate School? Get A Free iPod!”

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Block Sheep (user link) says:

Punished by Rewards?

worth a read:
Punished by Rewards? A Conversation with Alfie Kohn

Both rewards and punishments, says Punished by Rewards author Alfie Kohn, are ways of manipulating behavior that destroy the potential for real learning. Instead, he advocates providing an engaging curriculum and a caring atmosphere “so kids can act on their natural desire to find out.”

dorpus says:

Paradox of Education

Truck drivers, hair cutters, farmers, or construction workers tend to have more secure jobs than the average college graduate. Engineers, marketers, etc. are very vulnerable to economic downturns.

Although English-language media reports only the booming economy of China, the reality there is that Chinese college graduates still find it very difficult to get jobs. I saw an article which interviewed a new female college graduate, and she said that her family had invested their life savings in her college education, but she can’t get a job and she would have been financially better off as a housewife or factory worker.

In today’s world, unless you are extremely good, many jobs that require advanced educations are insecure/unrewarding.

GunGeek says:

It's NOT an incentive to get them a job

I’m willing to bet that this is not REALLY any sort of incentive to get unemployed people to get jobs. It’s just another way to get people to sign up for highly overpriced classes.
Back in the day, General Motors employees could take classes in order to help them gain job skills. Up sprung schools that would give them a free computer as part of their computer classes. The school was, quite coincidentally I’m sure, charging exactly the maximum amount that GM would pay for a class, which was WAY more than what it cost them to run the class, including their cost of the “free” computer.
There was a waiting list to get in a class. Everyone just wanted the free computer.
I’ll bet this is the same kind of deal. They charge the government/student an inflated price for the class and then give them an iPod as part of the package. The school makes big bucks and the students don’t do anything with their training, other than listen to music.

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