Apprentices set challenge

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THE tragedy of youth unemployment is in danger of blighting a huge number of today’s young job hunters. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

For there is generous help available to businesses willing to take on apprentices and train a new generation to become the workforce of the future.

We understand how many companies in Sheffield and the wider region may be reluctant to expand their workforces at the present moment. The activity levels in commerce are depressingly low and the support from some of the financial institutions is hardly likely to inspire confidence.

Against such a background it is understandable for some business people to be reluctant to take on extra commitments. But to do otherwise could be disastrous for the British economy.

There will come a time when business will have to rise to a fresh challenge to get the economy back into top gear.

To be healthy enough to meet these challenges, the business world needs to be nurturing new talent and fresh energy. The apprenticeship scheme is a win-win way of going about this.

City is given a sporting chance

COMPETITORS from all over the country have been heading for Sheffield in the past year or so. And in the months ahead, this influx will grow in intensity as they perfect their skills and talents ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

In many ways, Sheffield has already struck gold with the increased financial rewards brought as the city is the destination of choice for all these medal hopefuls and their coaches and trainers.

But there is still plenty of opportunity for others to make the most of this great sporting event and its commercial opportunities. And none other than athletics legend Dame Kelly Holmes has been in the city to spread that message.

She told those at a seminar hosted by UK Trade and Investment which was attended by enterprises which hope to be making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime UK-based event.

We look forward to examples of businesses rising to the challenge.

Eye-watering rise

ANOTHER body blow is being dealt to family budgets across our region as local water companies announce eye-watering increases in their rates. For Severn Trent customers, this will be around five per cent while Yorkshire Water customers will pay even more. At a time when wages are being capped and jobs cut, this is a move which ought to have been avoided and we know readers will hope for a reprieve next year.