Trying to get a Culture job


I was delighted to see an advertisement some weeks ago for Cultural Programmers as part of the City of Culture programme. Having worked in the arts sector for several years now, I immediately attempted to apply. However, despite the fact that the posts had been advertised both locally and nationally, the website with the application forms was not yet working.

We were also informed that we would receive a confirmation email on receipt of our application - something for which I am still waiting.

A date of early May was given for interviews but, on May 20, I received an email to say that, due to the number of applications, we would not receive any further information until early June. On June 17, I received an email thanking me for attending the interview panel but informing me that I had been unsuccessful. This was immediately followed up by a second email apologising for the first and telling me that I had received the first message in error and that I should have received one telling me that I was not being shortlisted for interview.

Consultation with colleagues in the community organisation where I work showed me that we had all received identical messages - including those sent in error.

My question is not how I failed to be interviewed, despite relevant experience, but how the Strategic Investment Board - an organisation which, according to its own website, “supports the Northern Ireland Executive and Government Departments in delivering the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland” - can make so many basic mistakes in what should be such a straightforward process.


Judith O’ Brien,

(Name and Address supplied)