Glasgow City Council hires motivational guru to help ‘demoralised employees’

One of Scotland’s largest councils has been rebuked for spending taxpayers’ money on buying the services of a motivational guru for employees of small businesses.

Glasgow City Council is to pay up to £50 a head for firms in the city to send demoralised employees (the phrase used by the Scotsman.com) to see Jack Black, a motivational guru for employees of small businesses.

Black’s events cost more than £650 for two-day sessions focused on positive thinking techniques.

Glasgow CC, has scheduled a £120 per head session later this month with small businesses or members of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce able to attend for £50, paid by the council out of its pot for business development grants.

The biggest room in the Glasgow Thistle hotel, where the event will be held, will accommodate 900 – leaving Glasgow council with a potential bill of £45,000.

Unite said the money would be better spent on safeguarding jobs. “If they are investing sums of money in this motivational speaker quite frankly we would rather see the money directed to staff who face difficult conditions now”; said a Unite spokesperson.

“The money could be used more effectively to keep people in jobs. I’d rather be looking at things like that rather than some psychobabble telling people how to live their lives and motivating them to do so. The most important motivation for the workers in Glasgow city council right now is being sure their jobs are safe.”

A council spokesman declined to confirm how much was earmarked for the subsidies and did not confirm how many tickets it expected to sell. He said: “GCC has partnered with the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to offer Glasgow-based companies the opportunity to attend motivational speaker Jack Black’s ‘Time for Positive Change’ event. Usually this type of event is normally only available to large corporations.”

The event is not the first time public money has gone into supporting one of Jack Black’s sessions.

In March, Black held a motivational seminar for more than 2,000 Glasgow children and university students at the Royal Concert Hall, an “experiment” designed to counteract what organisers believe is an “endemic lack of confidence in Glasgow”.

Yet another popular motivational speaker?

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