THE BLOG

Open Letter to Esther McVey: Who Coaches the Coaches?

04/08/2014 11:09 BST | Updated 01/10/2014 10:59 BST

Dear Ms McVey,

Congratulations on your new appointment. Your recent interview in the Telegraph caused quite a buzz here at Geofrey Wadhurst Coaching Limited. Of particular interest is your idea of coaching people out of welfare, something - as you rightly point out - usually available only to those at "senior levels in indurtry" - what we would call C-suite executives.

My first thought on reading this was - being an entrepreneur - to seize on the opportunity and offer up my coaching services (at a suitable day-rate of course). August is looking rather quiet so let me know which slots you'd like to take up for welfare claimants.

Thinking about this further, I realised that I am already providing coaching on a pro bono basis to my friend Keith who has been out of work since his ill-advised leap from corporate safety-up to an ill-feted internet start-up. Between us, as an innovative so-called "mash-up" of social networking and personal finance, kerching.com was never going to get beyond the concept stage but my focus right now is to help Keith to get back on his feet. You're so right in what you say about restoring confidence and building self-esteem. My own personal approach with Keith has been to get him to work on his goal-setting mind-map. Keith and I were due to have a coaching session via Skype this afternoon as it happens but he's just emailed me to tell me he's decided to go down the pub instead.

On further reflection, Keith has not responded all that well to my coaching and it is quite a challenge to break through his deeply entrenched cynicism. In fact, far from being a poster-boy for coaching welfare claimants back to work he's rather a poor example so let's just leave him out of the discussion for now.

Back to the general principle, though, of using coaches in the way you suggest, just to reaffirm that we're all for it here at Geoffrey Wadhurst Coaching Limited. However, I should point out that some of us coaches are finding things a bit tough at the moment. There are a lot of us about for one thing. Particularly in St.Albans where you can find a score just in Starbucks on any mid-week morning. And budgets for executive coaching - even at the C-suite level - remain decidedly patchy, even with the odd green shoot flourishing here and there. In fact, one or two coaches in the area have had to do the unthinkable and find salaried jobs for themselves.

So I don't know to what extent your policy chaps have thought through the detail of how this might work in practice but I should make you aware that more than a few of us are in need of a bit of help with confidence and self-esteem on our own account.

I appreciate that I'm throwing ideas about "on the hoof" somewhat but I've just had something of an epiphany. If you're really serious about securing the coaching talent to fulfil your ambitions for the unemployed, what you really need is: welfare for coaches!

I appreciate this might be a little radical and creative at this point but I'd be happy to inform the debate further. And do get in touch about those August coaching slots.

Yours

Geoffrey