THE EDUCATION Training and Membership Committee is in agreement with local association chairmen on ways of improving schools liaison.
The assertion of the LA chairmen's Task Force, that the Civil Engineering Careers Service should take more of a leading role in co-ordinating efforts, was fully endorsed at the recent ET&M meeting.
'The Service has got to establish itself more strongly in the regions so that best practice can be exchanged between local associations,' said CECS head Lesley Snashford in support of a report which urged that information be shared on the best initiatives in the regions, such as East Midlands' Schools Competition.
The report, which was carried at the meeting of local association chairmen on 12 June, described an anonymous approach made to CECS to test how effectively it could cater for schools. The report stated that CECS responded 'very well and in a friendly, helpful manner,' but admitted the information given was too complex and 'not suited for a younger age group'.
The report recommended that CECS be provided with coloured posters, display photos, leaflets and videos better tailored to the under 14 age group. The most recent of the current crop of videos dates from 1990.
'Getting to school children of primary school age would be a completely new service for CECS to provide. We would need more resources allocated by Council,' said Lesley Snashford.
Other initiatives recommended by LA chairmen and ET&M include: paying for the professional schools liaison work currently done by volunteers, most of whom can ill afford the time; ensuring that all representatives sent into schools are under the age of 30 so as to relate better to the children; and getting employers more involved to work in partnership with local associations.
An ET&M paper on schools liaison will be considered by Council in September.