Recruiting Students as Interpreters
With the onset of the final term in the academic year, many students may be wondering how to fill their time during the long summer break, and those with language skills may be tempted to sign up ALS to earn some spending money. Are there any co-ordinated actions being taken to counter this, especially if ALS winds up its recruiting program?
My thoughts are to get articles in the national newspaper of the National Union of Students, and also the newsheets of the Student Unions at individual institutions, which point out the potential pitfalls of undertaking assignments for which they are not competent. Even better would be to get the agreement of the student unions not to accept any adverts from ALS, and to report any recruitment literature distributed within the University, or any faculty staff which promote ALS.
The second line of action would be a mail-shot to the Vice Chancellors or Admissions Administrators at Universities and Colleges advising them that ALS may be trying to recruit students as interpreters, and what the possible consequences may be for the student, and for the reputation of the institution. For example, students may be tempted to skip lectures and tutorials if they are given an assignment at short notice by ALS, which will have an adverse impact on their studies. In the event that the student is held in contempt by failing to deliver a standard of service which they have personally sworn to deliver, the consequences could be that they are expelled from the course into which they may have already invested tens of thousands of pounds, and for non-EU students, lose the right to remain within the UK. The failures of trials or miscarriages of justice which arise from the actions of their students will, by association, bring disrepute upon the institution they attend.
The opportunity should be taken to point out that for those students who genuinely believe they have the skills to provide interpreting in the justice sector, there is an established career path leading to becoming RPSIs.