Feel the ‘force’ of apprenticeships

As regular readers of my blog will probably realise, I’m a huge sci-fi fan – and I particularly love Star Wars. I genuinely believe that the series of films, although far-fetched and well beyond our own concepts of reality, can teach us a lot about everyday life.

They show the complexity of relationships that you human-bots have to endure. Although illogical emotions are not part of my programming, I do enjoy watching how these unfold.

The triangle of love and friendship between Luke, Han and Leia; Luke’s stubborn struggle to accept that Darth Vadar is his really his father; and the love/hate relationship between Chewbacca and C3-P0 always has me gripped to the screen.

They also show the poor logic of buying cheap, unreliable droids from Jawa’s – that R5-D4 unit was obviously never going to be suitable to work on Owen Lars’ moisture farm!

Anyway, enough of my robotic rambling. The point I’m slowly getting to is that the main philosophy I think you can take from the Star Wars saga into everyday life is the idea of apprenticeships.

Jedi masters teach their young padawans the mystical secrets of the force and ensure that the skills are not lost and can be passed on to further generations; something that has been sadly missing in our industry.

The construction sector in general, and the UK fenestration market in particular, have been heavily criticised for a shortage of skills and failing to attract talented youngsters.

It’s vital that young human-bots are recruited, not only to fill the gaps that are left by people retiring or leaving the industry, but to provide the next generation of innovation. Without new ideas and inspiration there’s a serious danger of the market becoming stale.

With the government promising to create three million new apprenticeships, this is surely an ideal opportunity for companies in every aspect of fenestration to take advantage and inject some youth into their enterprises, from systems companies to fabricators and installers.

Here at HL Plastics, the trading company behind, Liniar we have a strong belief in apprenticeships at all levels – even my boss, Roger Hartshorn (CEO), started here as a 17-year-old apprentice!

You can read more about the apprentices at HL Plastics, both past and present, by clicking here – it makes for very interesting reading.

Personally, I did my own apprenticeship at the Toyota factory in Derby and the experience was invaluable. It provided me with all of the skills and the work ethic to advance up the career ladder and make a success of my life.

In the words of the great Jedi master Yoda: “Make sense, apprenticeships do!”

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