Apprentices boom in city

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IT has rarely been more difficult for young people to get on the jobs ladder and take the first steps to a promising career. And that is why Sheffield City Council is to be congratulated over its apprenticeship scheme which has just passed the landmark occasion of recruiting its 100th candidate.

Sixteen-year-old Ezra Wells is now working at architectural metalwork company Dearneside Fabrications, which is based in Neepsend.

During his time there, Ezra will learn to be a draughtsman and we wish him all the best in the career ahead of him.

With youth unemployment at worrying levels, it is easy to believe that today’s young people are condemned to become a lost generation, with no jobs and little hope.

But this scheme, which works with city businesses to create opportunities for young people, shows that not to be the full picture. And there can be few more worthy reasons to direct public money and effort than to guide young people – our future generation – in the right direction.

Olympic torches beyond value

WE admire the Olympic torch bearers in Sheffield who have told us they will be keeping their torch as a memento of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This is in stark contrast to a handful of people around the country who have been chosen to carry the torch – and then offer it up for sale on the internet.

This money-making practice seems to be sadly against the spirit of the event which is designed to acknowledge and thank ordinary people for the roles they play in their communities.

These are people such as marathon fundraiser John Burkhill who will carry the torch through Chapeltown in recognition of his work with Macmillan Cancer Support – and who condemned the sales as ‘disgraceful’. He’s right. The torches are beyond value.

A difficult job

ANYONE who has been stung with a speeding fine or any other victim-less motoring offence, where the law offers no compromise and immediately punishes offenders, will wonder why ‘real’ criminals get away with a caution.

Prompting this is news that the police use cautions against people who have committed serious offences, such as burglary, sex offences and violence against others.

But we should accept that the police have a difficult job to do and they must be given some leeway to deal with certain offenders as their experience dictates is most appropriate.