Productivity. It's a word that strikes boredom into the heart of the majority of people. And I'll grant you, it's hard to get excited about a measure of input versus output value per worker, per hour. But it is a vital measure of how we're doing as a country. And since the economic crash, productivity in the UK, and many Western economies, has been absolutely dire and shows little sign of sustainable growth in the future.
If we could turn the page, start afresh and work together; commit ourselves to financial and enterprise education across the curriculum at all stages and do whatever it takes to really engage young people, perhaps will we see a new generation free from this crippling fear of debt and unemployment. Surely we have to try?
Sheep dipping is no longer a legal requirement, but for many farmers it remains a vital twice yearly event that protects their flock from diseases. The benefits outweigh the costs because sheep dipping works. For sheep, that is.
Last week saw the publication of the annual Ofsted report which looked at the outcomes of schools' inspections in 2013-14. The report's headline-grabber was that progress in secondary schools in the UK 'has stalled', with 29% of state secondary schools now rated as less than good.
This year I attended both the Conservative and Labour Party conferences in my capacity as Chief Executive of the charity Young Enterprise. It's now a couple of weeks since the conferences and I've had time to digest and reflect not only on what was achieved there but also where it was achieved...
We need to get beyond party politics and create a firm sustainable foundation for our society. That means taking a balanced and inclusive approach to education; it means taking a structured approach to education; it means taking the long-term view.
Depending on who you choose to believe, the news that Britain's 15 year-olds are outside the international top 20 for maths, reading and science is either a reason to lament our children's prospects in the oft-quoted 'global race'; to condemn teachers as underqualified, or overpaid; or to take aim at either this government or its predecessor on the verities of its education reform agenda.
Youth unemployment, the rent crisis and all of the other consequences of the UK's current economic difficulties are complex problems that no one measure can solve. However, good work is being done across the UK to give young people the skills and knowledge they need to cope and to prosper in life.