Last week's National Apprenticeship Week was full of discussion. We heard about the productivity gains of hiring apprentices, and concerns around the gender divide. We celebrated the amazing things apprentices have achieved, and heard from business leaders who are pledging to create more apprenticeships.
Deny it all you want, but at some point in your life you've been forced to clear your browsing history because of some questionable content you found yourself viewing at nearly midnight on a Friday after a stressful week. Sometimes the temptation is just too much to avoid surfing to the wrong side of the tracks and what follows is a swift re-writing of history where we pretend that we were on the phone or had dropped off for a moment instead.
Both in life and government we're often so busy 'doing', we sometimes do not take sufficient time to pause and reflect. This can be less of an issue in life, when a failure to reflect might mean you still buy paper copies of a newspaper when, in fact, you mainly read it on your phone. However, in government, a failure to reflect can have widespread ramifications across many lives.
It seems that politicians are wedded to imposing conditions in return for benefits and that sanctions will remain part of that regime. However, employment support providers know that you achieve most with jobseekers when the relationship is positive, providers are trusted and jobseekers want to work.
Leaving aside how horribly low UK benefit payments are, when people can have their income removed and be thrown into penury for missing a single meeting (regardless of the reason), for applying for 34 jobs in a week rather than 35, not to mention the fraudulent activities of some jobcentre staff, the value basis of the system has been subverted and justifies its abolition.
When countries set out their cases for energy independence, the main reason is generally cited as the need to ease reliance on oil and gas from unfriendly places. President Barack Obama's 'All of the Above' energy strategy for example, a plan that has seen this US administration extract more fossil fuels than any other, is very much predicated on the need to lessen oil imports from Iran and Saudi Arabia.
WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW The European Union has moved to impose sanctions on Ukraine following an escalation in the violence between riot...