Job satisfaction all in day’s work

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KILLING two birds with one stone is all in a day’s work for a group of Sheffield youngsters who are learning new skills while helping to clean up the city’s housing estates at the same time.

All of those taking part in the Community Landscape Management Programme are from disadvantaged areas and are not currently in education, employment or training.

The scheme gives them a chance to ‘earn while they learn’ as well as to pick up some much-needed work experience at the same time.

And the icing on the cake is that while they spend four days a week with a supervisor carrying out work on open spaces, including tree and shrub maintenance, footpath clearance and litter picking, they are giving our housing estates a much-needed spring clean.

On the fifth day of each week they are involved in some formal lessons in English, maths, IT and attending mock interviews to build their confidence for when they go job-seeking.

This is a terrific idea and you can tell from the reaction of youngsters that they have also learned to appreciate job satisfaction and picked up no small dose of community spirit along the way.

This change should simplify business

AT face value it sounds rather dry, but the Legal Services Act will have far reaching consequences for all of us.

Dubbed ‘Tesco Law’, it allows banks, insurance companies and larger retail brands to provide legal services.

It’s already having an impact on the legal profession as companies launch websites offering online will-writing and probate services.

The more nimble footed law firms are reacting. Take Atteys, which has appointed Charles Glover as chief executive. He is not a lawyer, but has more than 20 years experience of owning and running businesses.

Marketing now becomes a factor for law firms, as will the question of what services to offer over the internet and those which need direct contact.

Let us hope changes benefit customers by simplifying what can often seem a daunting and expensive business.

Jewel in city crown

CONGRATULATIONS to Sheffield-based jewellers HL Brown, which is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The group’s founder has a fascinating background, as detailed in today’s Business supplement. The values he promoted are still at the heart of this family firm. Brown’s philosophy was rooted in the pursuit of quality and beauty – not the transience of modern fashion. His legacy has lasted 150 years, which suggests he knew what he was talking about. No wonder HL Brown has become a jewel in the city’s commercial crown.