Training vital to economy

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Education – in its broadest sense – is set to play a major role in Pam Liversidge’s year as Master Cutler.

The Company has been involved in education for centuries, Pam Liversidge points out.

“Back in the early days, you couldn’t become a Freeman unless you taught your apprentices to read and write – and gave them time to learn, through what was an early form of day release,” says the Master Cutler.

“We have a history of encouraging our Freemen to educate and train and that gives us good qualifications to play a part in the education and training agenda in the Sheffield City Region.

“Manufacturing is facing a long term challenge. It is fine for government to say manufacturing is important and we need to rebalance the economy. It is very important that manufacturing’s importance and contribution to the economy is now being recognised. The penny has finally dropped.

“But to deliver a long term strategy, we have to look at training the next generation, because, in the end, we are as good as the people in our businesses.”

Pam Liversidge’s passion for education is shared by her husband, Doug, who has been the Company’s educational adviser for a number of years and will head a new permanent committee of Past Masters and Members who will ensure the Company becomes closely and publicly involved in educational and training initiatives.

Pam Liversidge also wants to build on the work of predecessors who have been seeking to promote the Cutlers’ Company as an organisation that is open for business and for the wider community.

“The challenge is to retain the good things from our tradition and history and to be open minded about the new things,” says the new Master Cutler.

Being married to a Past Master and having been a Mistress Cutler has its advantages, but it is also important to remember that times have moved on.

“It’s a tremendous strength, Doug having been Master, but we have got to be careful. Because something was done this way in 1998, doesn’t necessarily mean that is the way it should be done now” says Pam Liversidge.