Is there any future for a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting?
In a response to an earlier article I suggested that the institutions offering Interpreter training in the UK should organise themselves and boycott Capita/ALS for as long as the FWA remains. Ultimately, is it not in their own interests to get rid of a contract which subverts recognised and respected qualifications such as DPSI and Met Police test?
After all, these were once seen as essential to becoming a Public Service interpreter, but by inventing the notion of unqualified Tier 3 linguists, hasn't ALS (with the connivance of the MoJ) made them irrelevant? How do Universities and Colleges entice would-be interpreters to enrol on their DPSI training courses when the alternative is to sign up with Capita/ALS, pass their bogus assessments, and start getting court and police assignments straight away?
Why would anyone want to invest a year or more of their lives in study and practice, and spend upwards of £6000 in tuition and exam fees, when you can register with ALS for free? What is the point in putting in all that hard work, just to be paid an extra £4 an hour? After tax, that is worth maybe £2.50/hour, so one would have to spend at least 2400 hours interpreting in order to recoup that investment. Consider also how much more difficult it would be to get assignments with ALS, when they can give the job to a Tier 3 linguist and make more profit?
If I worked in the Public Service Interpreting training industry, I would be concerned about whether my career has that much of a future.