As usual, the first two weeks of January have been full of New Year's resolutions and bold claims that 2016 is going to be the best year yet. Like every year, the conversation is dominated by references to giving up or cutting back on something: usually food, drink or a habit that is not particularly good for us, but we enjoy it.
Development of skills, of whatever nature, require the right environment and the right resources. For this reason, it is important that we utilise public spaces for this purpose, so that those that are motivated can achieve, regardless of their means, or their location - those in rural economies must not be left behind of course.
Of course we want young people to make the most of their lives through a well-rounded education, but under Corbyn's plan I worry this will not be the case. Instead, if a National Education Service is implemented, the reality is society will be going at the speed of the slowest, and this is in nobody's interest.
It's not just about qualifications. It's not just about education or background. How do I know? Because I didn't excel in either of these areas - instead, I actually put my own success down to something called soft skills - the vital skills such as communication, teamwork and time management which everyone needs to succeed at work and beyond.
The latest NEET figures show that one in eight young people are still not in education, employment or training. While there are many reasons for this, often, it can be simple things during the job application process that hold young people back. LifeSkills created with Barclays is a programme that aims to help young people build their employability skills and help them when they are applying for jobs. Below are some of the most common job hunting mistakes we see and tips on how to avoid them:
The Women's Engineering Society organised a conference on National Women in Engineering Day to explore the issue, entitled "Engineering Women: Are they returning to work?" The statistics and stories from the women present illustrated the extent of the waste of talent and imagination when fully trained women leave the professions.
I am often asked whether leaders are born or trained and personally, I believe that a healthy dose of both is what truly defines our best leaders... My thirty years in business has taught me that as employers it's up to us to identify employees with potential and develop them to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Paige.
"Improving the productivity of our country is the route to raising standards of living for everyone in this country... Our future prosperity depends on it." That was Chancellor George Osborne speaking just days after the election at the CBI's 50th Anniversary Annual Dinner. He's also promised his Budget next month will have "a laser-like focus" on living standards.