So. farewell then Plotr……

I’m not sure if Private Eye magazine have the demise of Plotr in their investigative sights?  The website certainly consumed a great deal of taxpayer’s money and Civil Service energy.

The website has been taken over by a longer established rival / alternative / substitute / competitor.  Interestingly, the new owner (U-Explore) has as it’s CEO a guy who once had 3 Number 1 hit singles……… That’s right!  At the time Plotr was set up, there was already a company providing career support services, run by a guy who had historical experience of engaging a youth audience……. why didn’t the Government just give the Plotr money to the person, already trading, with a track record?

Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.  My personal view was that Plotr looked like a pretty decent product. In a busy market segment (careers support), there isn’t one, single solution, but Plotr could do good things for it’s target audience. As I’ve mentioned before…… one significant flaw in the careers provision is that there’s no school-based time (ring-fenced from the national curriculum) to use these resources.

The overwhelming pressure to adhere to an academic system means careers planning hardly gets a look-in. Allocating as little as 40 minutes per week to thinking about life after the end of exams could have saved Plotr (and the taxpayers investment) as well as done something useful for a generation of leavers. (I’m still waiting to hear back from the Department for Education on that initiative).

As far as I can tell, the Plotr business model was that adverts (paid for by employers / recruiters) would fund the website operation. Sadly, it would appear that there wasn’t sufficient traffic to satisfy the sponsors.  The real losers here are the Plotr audience who weren’t sufficiently aware of the value of Plotr……… they’re missing the chance to put in place meaningful career plans.

If a useful service, free to consume, is not being used, you need to ask why not? The only conclusion I can reach is that the usefulness of that service is not understood by the audience. This shines a light on the biggest gap in careers provision. The “supply” emerging from the education system doesn’t align with the “demand” from the labour marketplace.

When will our slavish focus on (narrow) academic performance as a basis for career progression end? The assumption / promise of career progression automatically following any qualification is both inaccurate and unfair. A mis-selling scandal awaits.