Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Everyone’s a winner baby..

Gave myself dispensation to put my apologies in for full council this week – I’d been asked to sit on the judging panel for the Apse Scotland apprentice awards and undoubtedly one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do when you’ve got a group of highly motivated, bright, impressive young people who’ve been nominated for an award because their council thinks they’re the best in their field – and to listen to their experiences and achievements and then to pick just one. I’m sure I wasn’t as focussed and determined as them when I was their age and although it’s a cliché to say they’re all winners – they really were. At least two of them had turned down a university education to do an apprenticeship which is very interesting, although they both saw themselves getting a degree at some point. I think we have turned a corner in that finally it’s being recognised that a trade is as valuable as an academic qualification. I’ve been boring for Scotland forever on the subject of apprenticeships, it was the subject of my first speech to Labour party conference, and if there’s one thing I can’t ever forgive or forget about the Tory years, it’s the fact that so many young people were denied life chances as the opportunity for meaningful training and apprenticeships declined significantly. If it wasn’t for local councils then trade apprenticeships might have disappeared altogether – private companies won’t train young people when it’s more profitable to hire experienced labour , only in partnership with councils can we make progress on that front.

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February 21, 2008 - Posted by | Apprenticeships

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