There’s nothing wrong with an Essex ‘working class’ twang

Reports have said that around 70% of business leaders in a recent poll would have ‘serious doubts’ about hiring someone who spoke with an Essex ‘working class accent’, but people ba

Reports have said that around 70% of business leaders in a recent poll would have ‘serious doubts’ about hiring someone who spoke with an Essex ‘working class accent’, but people based in Scottish and Home counties have an accent that promotes ‘hard work and success’. I’m sad to say that I’m not totally shocked by this news, but I still completely disagree with these opinions.

With the increase in popularity of the county, Essex finds itself in the media and in the press much more now than it may have done 5-10 years ago. With TV shows like TOWIE, a stereotypical image of Essex girls, and also the boys to some extent, has been portrayed, but my opinion is that this image is not entirely true.

Yes, some people in Essex enjoy a spray tan or a session on a sun-bed.

Yes, some people in Essex will have hair extensions, fake eye lashes and fake nails.

And yes, some people in Essex do speak with this typical accent that you hear from the likes of Amy Childs and Sam Faiers.

But – you could find this anywhere! Take a look at Geordie Shore, Desperate Scousewives etc; all of these programmes feature the extreme characters of the region who fully portray the stereotypical image that adheres to the entertainment needs of the public. But take a look further into Newcastle and I’m sure they’re not all like the characters from the hit MTV show. Similarly, in Essex, if you branch out, you can find some really beautiful areas that highlight the opposite side of the county that the public never get to see.

It must be remembered, that in TOWIE, a show well known for fitting into the ‘dram-ality’ genre, many of the scenes are set up for entertainment purposes. Whilst the characters are real people whose lives are fully documented in the show, many of the things we see would not happen in real life if it wasn’t for the producers asking certain questions and placing them in certain situations. (This isn’t to say that the show isn’t an entertaining and a hugely interesting watch on a Sunday and Wednesday evening.)

If somebody asked you, what comes to mind when you think of Essex, you’re likely to answer with the orange tans and hair extensions that you witness in TOWIE. It is debatable whether anybody would consider the top-class education available in Essex. Colchester County High School, King Edwards Grammar School and Chelmsford County High School are three of the country’s best schools, with the highest attainment on the League Tables. The latter two, based in Chelmsford, have become so popular that they’ve had to enforce a tighter catchment area, as so many people across the wider areas of Essex and into London have been applying for places and attending the schools.

So why is it that businesses are feeling reluctant to hire people from Essex? With the best education available across the whole country, businesses should be recognising the intelligence that Essex holds and should be revelling in the talent available to them.

If you take a look at the huge successes that have come out of Essex, it is clear that the county boasts an enormous amount of talent that shows the large capability of people from Essex, that is not being fully understood by these companies:

Olly Murs, Pixie Lott and Jessie J are three of the biggest names in pop in 2012 and continue to progress in the music industry with #1 singles and albums.

Richard Madeley, Ben Shephard and Dermot O’Leary are three of the country’s most successful TV presenters, with Madeley being part of one of the nation’s most successful TV duos and O’Leary hosting arguably the most popular and successful British TV show.

Everybody knows Jamie Oliver, one of the country’s most recognised and best-loved chefs, as well as being Britain’s second biggest selling author.

And Essex is even progressing across the pond. Russell Brand and Nick Frost, both Essex boys, have starred in hugely successful films, both in the UK and the USA.

If these names don’t promote the hard-work and success previously mentioned from the Scottish and Home counties, I don’t know what does.

Everybody in Essex should embrace their accent and be proud of their Essex origin, as it seems clear, success can come from the county, despite the views held by some companies and journalists.