FOR years now we have shared the concerns of the region’s manufacturing industries that traditional skills are being lost as the sector contracts and the number of people working with their hands diminishes.
Almost inevitably, it now seems that this situation is about to turn into a crisis with the sector’s skills council warning of a retirement timebomb with one in six of existing workers due to retire within 10 years – at the same time as the number of young people in the industry has halved since the start of the recession.
Taken together these two factors add up to a dire situation which could easily spell the death of manufacturing industry in our region, if not within the UK.
Over the years, the importance of this sector has dwindled, partly as a consequence of government attention being diverted to concentrate on softer skills and their attendant industries.
But the fact remains that manufacturing industry could still have a part to play in our economic recovery – if only the Government would realise that it has a role to play in the revival, before the retirement timebomb explodes.
Help dampen the arsonists’ work
THE blight of arson continues to darken our county – and this time a group of animals have paid with their life after the stable block where they were sheltering went up in flames.
Five chickens and a dog died when flames spread through the building on the outskirts of Barnsley after it was deliberately set alight.
The first was one of a number of arson incidents which have plagued firefighters in South Yorkshire throughout the summer.
We would once more appeal to people to keep an eye open for those responsible and make sure the authorities get the information needed to bring them to justice.
While firefighters are busy dealing with blazes which were deliberately started they are not available for other emergencies.
This is not only a senseless waste of public expertise and money, it is also claiming lives. And the next time they may be the lives of people.
WELL done to Wendy Bolton, the Sheffield youth worker who has helping teenagers in her area to learn not only the value of hard work but also the sense of reward which comes of seeing a job well done.
She has begun a programme where pensioners who need help with their gardens can call on Wendy’s team of teenage helpers who she has equipped with gardening gear.
This is a great example of a small amount of money going a long way.