Why do we need fish and chip shop apprentices?

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

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I noticed in last week’s Nelson Leader you had a full page advertisement for “Apprenticeship Open Events” which I looked at with some interest thinking that, at last, we had got something right in this wonderful country of ours and we are beginning to realise we need to get to the grassroots of our decline in the world of industry.

Now, is it me? A dictionary definition of apprentice is “a person legally bound through indenture to a master craftsman in order to learn a skilled trade”, ie engineering, plumbing, electrical, printing, etc. In my case I was apprenticed for six years as a compositor on this very paper when it was indeed printed and produced in Nelson. Why do you need an apprenticeship to work in what is basically a fish and chip shop, or a pub? It seems to me what we used to call YTS is now being classed as an apprenticeship, or am I wrong?

Glancing through the current advertised “Vacancies” page, nowhere do I see anything which can be classed as a production industry job, rather than a service industry job, which is where the problem lies.

It’s good there are firms wanting to give employment to young people – don’t get me wrong, but if the Government wants to really get this country great again it needs get our production capabilities sorted out at the ground level and get more skilled people back into heavy industry rather than service, in order to get our Trade Deficit down and get the country back on its feet.

Malcolm S. Firth