“Let’s Talk” a message to Employers in the Digital Age!

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Kudos to Bell for the “Let’s Talk” campaign.   The issue of mental health is a very serious one.   While the amount of tweets, texts and discussion about Mental Health has been wonderful, it took CFRB Host Jim Richards to bring up the issue of employers  and their roles as it relates to mental health.

How many employees are given pink slips after years of loyal service?   How many employees are bringing their work load home, and spending more time on laptops/smartphones than they are with their families?  How are today’s workplaces handing sexual, racial and age discrimination and harassment?   bell

While many organizations are saying all the right things, what are they actually doing about mental health?   There seems to be an air of hypocrisy.    One can not say they care about mental health yet demand that employees work 18 hours or day.  One can not say they care about mental health yet shut down conversations about flexible working arrangements.  We only have to look at the recent storms in the Greater Toronto Area to see this.   How many of you were forced to be in the office on time while your kids school was closed, and while you had to travel in snow and ice?

I am not a mental health expert, however we all know work related stress can do to an individual and to a family.  “Let’s Talk” is the first step, the next step is “Let’s Listen”.    Our families, quality of life and economy requires this urgently.

 

Blog Post by Radcliffe Dockery

 

Is Our Education System failing us?

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Is Education failing us?

Fortunately, I had a fantastic teacher in Grade 11 who taught me how to think, challenge authority and focus on critical analysis. Our Education System needs to be reformed!  Click on the picture of an interview we conducted with a student in 2010 about her challenges with the education system!

 

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

Rob Ford vs. VMWARE – What happened to our balance?

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Mayor Rob Ford continues to provide great material for late night talk show hosts.   Another video, another rant.  This time the Mayor attempts to invoke my Ancestors by practicing Jamaica Patois.  I just watched the midday news and every second word was “Ford” or “Jamaican”.  While it is fair to cover this story and posts an array of photo memes of Rob Ford, we have to remember that the world keeps on spinning. vmware-large-logoToday, software cloud vendor VMWare announced that they are purchasing mobile security company Airwatch for $1.54B US.   This does have implications as it relates to jobs in Canada – in particular in Southern Ontario.   BlackBerry is beginning the process of transforming itself into a true mobile security cloud vendor.   If BlackBerry succeeds, we may see solid job growth for the company again.  Also note that these are high paying jobs, that will benefit everyone directly or indirectly.  Let’s see how the media applies what seems to be an only a ‘business story’ to its potential impact on our communities.

So what’s my point?

Maybe the debate should be about how a Mayors behaviour impacts the ability of a city or region to attract investment from a firm like VMWare.   And to be honest, we are seeing some of dialogue via social media.

While the Rob Ford story is interesting and does deserve some media attention, we also can not lose focus on the core issues facing many today.   The VMWare could be great news for companies like SOTI – based in Mississauga.

I am not asking for anyone to avoid or downplay the Ford story.   What I am asking is for more of us to maintain balance and remember, the world keeps on turning!   Because end of the day, “A su life gwan”  *Translation – “That is how life may go at times”.  🙂

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

Spending scandal catching up with Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell

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Spending scandal catching up with Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, pollster says

Article from today’s Brampton Guardian.

This poll is way too early.  However, the spending scandals out of the Mayors office is starting to catch up to her.  10 Months is along time to politics.   Never count out a Mayor who has a solid campaign team.    This will ultimately come down to voter turn out.   If voter turn out increases – we are going to see some change at City Hall in Brampton.    If not, this poll may be rendered useless.

cifennelpollBlog post by Radcliffe Dockery

Is there a skills shortage or a shortage of common sense?

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Many can relate to this image

Many can relate to this image

I will not disclose names to protect the privacy of the individuals mentioned in this post.

We see the common refrain from business leaders and governments worldwide – “We need more skills, we have a skills shortage etc etc”.

In particular job functions this is probably true.  It is not easy to find a Cyber Security Expert.  However, there appears to be a disconnect between skills shortages and common sense.  Let’s look at two cases:

M has over 15 years of experience in Fabrication and also has skills in advanced graphic design.   He has worked in the Auto sector, for major parts suppliers yet also has diverse skills in graphic design.  He has designed brochures for major condo, real estate developers.   M recently was let go from his job (a job provided via an agency).   M has a wife and 2 young children to support.   M decides to engage the Canada Economic Action Plan to see if they can help.  After all, look at all the ads on TV.    M gets in touch with a firm saying they need his skills as they are hard to find.   However there are two problems. 1) This is yet another agency not the actual hiring firm and 2) They offer him a job that pays $11.50/hr working full time.   How does a 40+ highly skilled male with a wife and 2 children support his family making $11.50/hr?  Especially when his previous role paid him well over $20?   This makes no sense.  Who is really benefiting from the Billions spent on the Economic Action Plan?

Person D has over 6 years experience in the Sales & Marketing field in Southern Africa.   She later obtains certifications and enrolls for a Masters program while maintaining her job.   She hears that her country requires more Sales people in the Information Technology and Telecommunications fields.   So she obtains another certification in Telecommunications.   She meets all the criteria but when she applies for a job with her own firm or 2 others – they tell her; that she doesn’t have the skills.  The firm instead overpays for an outsider when she was already qualified for.   Yet as recent as two weeks ago, a business association in the region claims that youth are not prepared for the job market.  

Where is this disconnect coming from?   On one hand, industry says we need more skills.  Yet at the same time will pay someone the salary that a teenager would make.   On the next hand, a young professional does everything industry tells her to do yet is told – tough luck.

In North America, many highly skilled people are wondering what on earth is going on.   In Africa and the Caribbean who both have very high rates of youth employment – young professionals are wondering , what else do I have to do to make a decent living?

Yes, every nation needs a skilled workforce with modern skills.  However, every nation and hiring organization also needs COMMON SENSE!!!

 

blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

Martin Luther King speaking on Black Pride

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Martin Luther King speaking on Black Pride

Fantastic short video clip from Dr. King, speaking on Black Pride and the real meaning of Black Power.   Note Scholar Manu Ampim regarding Martin Luther King Jr.

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http://www.manuampim.com/king_bp.html

Dr. King’s Statements in Support of “Black Power”:

Black Power, in its broad and positive meaning, is a call to black people to amass the political and economic strength to achieve their legitimate goals.  No one can deny that the Negro is in dire need of this kind of legitimate power.  Indeed, one of the great problems that the Negro confronts is his lack of power.  From the old plantations of the South to the newer ghettos of the North, the Negro has been confined to a life of voicelessness and powerlessness. …The plantation and the ghetto were created by those who had power both to confine those who had no power and to perpetuate their powerlessnessThe problem of transforming the ghetto is, therefore, a problem of power – a confrontation between the forces of power demanding change and the forces of power dedicated to preserving the status quo.”  (Where Do We Go From Here, pp. 36-37).  Emphasis added.

We cannot speak about the contributions that Dr. King made to humanity without acknowledging that he also saw the need for Blacks to have pride in themselves.  No individual can expect to gain respect when they do not respect themselves.

We will not bridge racial divides if those who are feel oppression, refuse to demonstrate pride and respect for themselves.   In addition,we will not realize “the Dream”, if some refuse to acknowledge the feelings of those who feel oppression.

The media needs to pay more attention to the Dr. King in this speech, not just the Dr. King that makes them feel ‘comfortable’ when it comes down to speaking on race!

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery