Austin Typing School
Mrs J E Glover
Open your paper at the 'Vacancies' section, and there you will find them-jobs, jobs, jobs, for good shorthand-typists. You might think business revolves round the executive, or the man on the shop floor, but somewhere in between there has to be the axis of competent typists who deal with the flood of paper that attaches to modern mass production. A good shorthand-typist today can be assured of a steady job and excellent prospects.
We can probably give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back for realizing more than two years ago that the typist market would in a very short space of time be unable to meet the demand imposed on it by factories and business houses. The solution? If Austin’s can manufacture cars, why not turn out competent typists as well?
The idea has proved itself, for two years ago Mrs. J. E. Glover was appointed to run a typing and shorthand school contained entirely within the Works, and many are the departmental heads who have cause to bless her work, and the young ladies who pass through her hands. 'The typing course lasts for four months, where each girl is expected to attend for 11/2 hours a day, except Friday,' Mrs. Glover said. 'When the girls have reached the required, standards they can take the three stages of examinations in the Royal Society of Arts which are recognized qualifications.' The school is quite rightly proud of its successes - 99 per cent. passes in RSA. Stage One and innumerable credit passes.
For the girl who has ambition the school offers shorthand instruction up to 80 wpm. and the school is recognized as being a centre for Pitman examinations. The girls who find their way up to Mrs. Glover's school may join as office juniors, files clerks, or ledger clerks, and in their everyday work show that they have the common sense and determination that will make commercial training a worthwhile investment.
With a gramophone to help them, the girls type to music, developing a rhythm that will mark them out as good touch-typist. Kathleen O’Connell, has a point explained by Mrs Glover. Kathleen is at present a files clerk in the Export Department.
It is not just a pretty face and good dress sense that makes the perfect shorthand typist. 'If I could pick one asset needed for the girl who comes up for training I would say common sense, declared Mrs. Glover. Of course, a girl has to be able to concentrate and keep her mind on what she is doing, but if she has the ability to think for herself, she's the kind of girl we want.'
It was pure chance that brought Mrs. Glover, who has both RSA. and Pitman teaching certificates, to Longbridge. 'I taught commercial subjects in a technical school in North Wales,' she said. 'Then my husband was offered an appointment in Birmingham and that meant a job here for me.'
I do have one regret in that that the school is only for girls. 'I think that is rather a pity. A bright lad who is taking up a career here would find a shorthand course with typing a tremendous advantage to him. Girls from the school have gone to excellent positions in the Works, and a young man with our training would find the opportunities far greater.'
The girls who go to the school have their own goals. Elaine Hickin, of the Engine Designs Office, taught herself a little typing and found the school just what she needed. 'I think with night school the temptation is very strong to let it slide,' she said. 'Here you are not giving up leisure time, which is a tremendous incentive to work. I just want to leave the school a really good typist.'
The newest member of the beginners' class was 16-year-old Jane Oakes, of Jig and Tool Design. 'When you can type there are more opportunities. she explained. Night school would be a terrible rush for me I don't get home until fairly late.'
‘I did night-school training four nights a week, and I found it a bit too much for me,’ said Cynthia Raybould, of Purchase Accounts. I do a filing job in my department, and my boss sent me to the Typing School. I expect to take my first RSA. examination in November. When I have completed the course I hope that I will be in a position to take up a more advanced job.