Well, Actually, Fatima Should Retrain As Something Other Than A Ballet Dancer

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Much opprobrium being heaped upon political heads about this ad telling a ballet dancer that perhaps she should retrain into cybersecurity. The problem here being that she should. Retrain that is.

A number of reasons for this too:

A government-backed advert that encouraged people working in the arts to reskill by turning to a career in cybersecurity has been scrapped after the culture secretary described it as “crass”.

On Monday morning Oliver Dowden distanced himself from the Cyber First campaign, which resurfaced on the same day his department was celebrating awarding £257m in funding to struggling venues and organisations.

Dowden tweeted that the ad campaign, which is backed by the government and promotes retraining in tech, did not come from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), while reiterating that he wanted to “save jobs in the arts”.

That first and most obvious reason being that at present we desire fewer ballet dancers than we used to. Some who had that mapped out as their life path are going to be disappointed. Yes, OK, bit of a pisser but there we are. There are journalists around the country now having to learn how to do something else because the newspaper business is dying. No, not because of coronavirus but because economies do change. And we’re entirely shit out of coal miners and rightly so given that we don’t want to broil Flipper.

Tempus mutandis and all that and all that eheu fugaces means that plans gang aft agley. It is only entire stasis that allows static job choices.

A fair criticism is that suggestion of cybersecurity. We’ve all had fun taking that government job test (my suggestion was information security architect which had the wife guffawing loudly) and that just shows what a disaster a planned economy would be. The matching of skills and abilities with jobs that need to be done is more than a little awry.

But the biggie here is about being a dancer:

Charlotte Bence, from the Equity trade union, said: “Fatima doesn’t need to retrain – what Fatima needs is adequate state support as a freelance artist, support that so far she has been lacking. Freelance workers deserve better than patronising adverts telling them to go and work elsewhere.”

Ms. Bence needs to understand the working lives of her members rather better. The dance world has a voracious appetite for young things to be in the corps de ballet, chorus line, the tap routines and the rest. It has a very limited appetite for women beyond the age of 30 – even 25 to be callous – except as known and big time stars. Even then past 40 there’s little work. And no, not because of sexism, happens to men too. It’s a physical thing, the body just won’t do the work at older ages.

Therefore every dancer needs to have something up their sleeve for when the ankles just won’t take it any more. Very few indeed will make enough cash in their stage work to not work for 40 years afterwards. Another job is a necessity.

Telling dancers to have another career skill in mind? Just plain good sense that.

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Commander Jameson
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Commander Jameson

We desire fewer ballet dancers?

Really?

Are you sure it isn’t the global fascist coup telling us You vill have less ballet, and less football, and you vill not travel, and you vill not see your grandparents, or you Vill be Shot!

aaa
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aaa

Lots and lots of people complaining, but when was the last time any of them went to the ballet?

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

“And we’re entirely shit out of coal miners and rightly so given that we don’t want to broil Flipper.” I hope that’s just a misplaced attempt at sarcasm on Mr Worstall’s part. Because the ‘CO2=Danger theory’ started out as a theoretical hypothesis with little actual data support, and when further study found that the main pillars of the theory could not be proven, turned from a theory to an obsession, thence to a lie, and by now is a complete fraud. Incidentally, I tried the quiz. Under the Health heading, I answered a final question: “Do you care about the… Read more »

John Galt
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When I answered “No”, it suggested that I should be an NHS Health Trust Manager.

Pretty accurate assessment to be quite honest.

Sam Vara
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Sam Vara

Let Fatima keep dancing for as long as possible. Annabelle, Victoria, and Fiona should retrain for cyber-security. Should anyone called Fatima apply for cyber-security, the security vetting would be far more expensive.

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

Actually, Alice and Bob should be trained for Information Security (God knows what cyber-security is, and I speak as a specialist in this).

The people you want to avoid in this field are called Craig, Eve, Grace and Mallory. Sybil and Trudy should be avoided as well. Faith, Ted and Peggy probably already know enough.

The key to this post can be found at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_and_Bob

(A little in joke from the security profession)

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Nice one! As a fellow practitioner, I wonder if you’d agree that ‘retraining’ as an Information Security specialist is a waste of time. In my view, to be effective you need considerable practical experience in a range of IT roles – attending a few courses, or even taking an MSc, won’t get you there on its own.

jgh
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jgh

Ditto doing any sort of programming course at university. If you haven’t already been coding at home as a hobby for the previous six years, it’s pointless.

Briny
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Briny

After 45 years in all the IT related engineering fields as well as teaching same, the only people I’ve found suitable for IT, especially programming, security, and the like are people that like doing puzzles. The best are obsessed with solving them. Usually artists aren’t that sort.

jgh
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jgh

Programming (and engineering in general) *is* puzzle solving, of a specific and methodical kind.

Matt
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Matt

There’s a good argument for getting artsy types into UI/UX. Having a bunch of software engineers decide what is “intuitive” “user-friendly” etc. — especially for stuff that’s end-user facing — is a recipe for disaster that includes ingredients such as “use regex in the search bar” and “we’ll publish an API”

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

My background was Classics and Philosophy. I found that if you were brought up to understand the structure of a Latin sentence, you had no problems with coding.

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

I’m probably not a good person to ask – I’ve never been on an Information Security training course in my life. I have given quite a few… When I started there was no such thing as ‘computer security’, and since I was working in a secure environment we had to develop the basic ideas from scratch. I stayed with the small team continuing this work, and eventually our work became BS7799 – which then turned into ISO27000. There are all kinds of ‘information security’ positions. I find that for what I do, one needs to have a good working knowledge… Read more »

jgh
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jgh

When I worra lad, I lived down the road from a footballer. He was being put through college by the football club to learn proper skills so he had something to live on once his football career was over. Think he became a car mechanic.

Spike
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Spike

There are vastly more Americans trying to become major-league baseball players than we need, and than open positions. This does not call for gov’t money, either to bankroll their fantasy or to gently “retrain” them toward realistic careers.

The budget for either gov’t program assumes clairvoyance as to the right number of every type of job, just as we see more clearly than ever that no one in gov’t is interested in accurately measuring anything.

TD
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TD

If you’re in government, likely you do believe you are clairvoyant, so there’s no need to measure.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

99% of those who seriously pursue (beyond school) the career of a ballet dancer, are doomed to disappointment. That figure has now risen to 99.5%. [shrug]

Snarkus
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Snarkus

Ballet ? Isn’t that a French court derived activity to damage feet, ankles, knees etc in a similar manner to footbrawls of all kinds. \

Snarkus
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Snarkus

Assessment seemed shallow. Mostly superficial personality assessment. At 7th choice it did suggest an area where I excelled for decades. However, this is better than Oz commercial and education aptitude tests done decades ago which were totally inept, suggesting careers in rapidly dying skill sets or areas I would do badly, while loathing. In short, Tim seems right. Again.

John B
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John B

Yes Socialist way in a command and control economy, not only what we get is determined by The Committee, but also what we do. We’ve got enough accountants but we need workers on the production line in the tractor factory.

And the Conservative Party and Government is nothing if not Socialist.