Today is Budget Day and it is interesting to note
a new emphasis on Apprenticeships.  An old idea
being given new clothes 

The image in this picture represents great distortion
Of what apprenticeship today is really all about
Their TV show antics seem out of all proportion
The normal rules of business they prefer to flout

Of course there is little doubt it brings us entertainment
But do the images they create show us much of business?
Surely apprenticeship involving good work placement
Should let us experience a working life in all its richness

In latter years many young people have shunned apprenticeship
So off they went in droves, hoping to become a graduate
Believing that the University would them for life equip
But in the end wealth and success proved not their future fate

So recently there has been greater realization
That practical training rather than lofty theory
Might better serve the young denizens of our nation
Than book learning of which they become weary

Getting your hands dirty in workshop or in laboratory
Might then prove for many a much wiser bet
Adding steadily to a growing skills inventory
And incidentally avoiding piles of student debt

In the old days apprentices into journey-men became
And now-a-days these trainees can show similar success
The system of advancement is now much less arcane
As in the modern day labour market they smoothly can progress

So to Lord Sugar we must offer due deference
He and his team of two have kept us all amused
But the real life apprenticeship is our own preference
And between the two we are surely not confused

Ken Fisher


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