Politicians aren't known to agree, but they did reach a consensus on one thing last week: how poor careers advice is in the UK. That's probably not surprising to anyone who's recently come through the school system, which is why representatives of the three major political parties are calling for huge improvements.
As the May general election looms, housing remains a key issue over which the different political parties will scrap it out until the polls close. Of course they'll all promise the earth, offering to solve the UK's housing shortage with inflated numbers of how many houses they expect to build, but in reality how many of these much needed new homes will ever get off the ground?
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
When the recession hit, it wiped out livelihoods and decimated entire markets. In the face of a global slump, Britain's housing sector was no exception; buyers couldn't afford to buy and builders couldn't afford to build. Over the course of several years, the pace of the property market dropped from jet stream to tumbleweed and the UK was left with an increasingly problematic housing deficit.
With the UK's construction sector growing at its fastest pace since 2003, the renewed optimism being spoken of is coming to fruition. As an SME operating in the manufacturing sector, it's fair to say that we are seeing a dramatic increase in enquiries and orders from the housing sector in particular, a growth which can be attributed in part to the Government's Help to Buy scheme.
In a design workshop yesterday, I suddenly realised I wasn't trying. I wasn't contributing to the process by suggesting solutions, I wasn't listening. As soon as this struck me, I leaned forward, started thinking and got involved. Afterwards I felt very happy and left the meeting feeling lighter and much more positive about life. I also felt determined not to let that happen again!
The British Grand Prix provided the latest drama to an already touchy subject in 2013...tyres. The exploding tire issues claimed five left-rear tires during the weekend and while Pirelli are keen to get tot he bottom of the issue, speculation as to the cause has ranged from steel belts to serrated curbs and low tire pressure.
I explained to them that I actually understand and agree that many of the people on whose behalf Amnesty work are probably guilty. Guilty of insulting the president, guilty of being gay, guilty of standing up for women's rights. I explained that it's often repressive laws that puts many of the people on whose behalf Amnesty work behind bars.