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Looking forward

Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, nations will unite, not to destroy, but to build;

and the future will belong to those who will have done most for suffering humanity. 

On Monday, I started to write a blog about the election but, after the events of that night, my slightly irreverent piss-take of the various manifestos seemed rather inappropriate.

I don’t need to add my two penn’orth to all the discussions there have been and will continue to be about the appalling act of violence that took place at the Manchester Arena. It feels a bit too close to home. It’s a city I know well; two of my god-daughter’s classmates were at the concert. Luckily, unhurt physically, but shaken, having been shepherded out through the foyer by their mums with their coats over their heads to stop them seeing the worst of the carnage. The slaughter of children, whether in Manchester or the Middle East, righty rocks us to our core.

Enough. Time to look at more positive news. I love the photograph we’ve used on the story about prospective MP – now that Parliament has been dissolved there are no MPs, only ‘candidates’ – Anne-Marie Trevelyan visiting JT Dove.

Why do I love it? Not only does it show some nice, smiley people, it also shows us a company that really gets the idea of training, of development and the benefit of experience.

I can’t remember off the top of my head how many years’ builders’ merchanting experience there is contained in this picture but it’s A LOT. And yet, there’s also one of JT Dove’s newest apprentices, starting out on what could, if this picture shows anything, be a long, rewarding career in this industry.

JT Dove have been taking on apprentices for some years now. MD Steve Robinson really gets the importance of bringing younger people through the company, recognising that, without them, companies have no future.

We’ve talked a lot here and in print about the Apprentice Levy which was introduced last month.  It’s complicated – what system developed by Government was ever truly simple? – but, in essence, employers in England, who have an annual pay bill above £3m, pay the Levy, through Pay as You Earn to HM Revenue and Customs and then use an online digital service account to pay for apprenticeship training for apprentices that work for at least 50% of their time in England.

Any company who has to pay the Levy, but isn’t bothering to offer apprenticeships is, in effect, subsidising the apprenticeships offered by other companies. Other companies that might be competitors or even customers. If you’re already paying for something, you might as well make the most of it, especially if, by doing so, you are ensuring the future of the company and the industry.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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