It is Got a Trade Week: I don't like weeks, there are far too many weeks, so many weeks. There are more weeks promoting stuff than there are actually weeks.

In fact if memory serves me right the last time I checked there were 74 weeks to fit into 52 in the calendar.

Anyway Got a Trade Week is different because it's relevant, it's important and it's ironic.

Now just to cover myself off, it's not that some of the other weeks aren't a big deal because they are, but I like Got a Trade Week because it highlights just how wrong we've been when it comes to work and it offers real tangible hope in the area of jobs.

I spent my entire school life being told university was it. All you aspired to do at school was get university entrance. You got university entrance to go to university and if you went to university and got some paper- the world was your oyster.

Never once, not once in my entire school life did we talk about trades. No carpentry, no plumbing, no building, no nothing.

The closest we got to work experience was Work Experience Week, which is where those who were loosely called 'dummies' were shipped off to local factories to see how stuff worked.

It was to my great consternation that someone somewhere decided I wasn't suited for that trip, so I stayed at school bored witless hoping like hell to get university accredited.

Now this isn't a bum out university session but what's been the revelation in the past decade is that we've emphasised the wrong thing too much. University is great if you've got a specific direction- If you want to cut brains or fly rockets or study small bugs, university is brilliant.

But university has also turned out a lot of lawyers, some who've exploded with boredom and either quit or never taken the profession up.

And while the universities have been desperate to get bums on seats, the trades have suffered and apprenticeships have vanished and all of a sudden we've woken up to the fact that there is a lot of work that needs doing and not a lot of people to do it.

When I left school and for a good period afterwards getting a job was something to worry about. You hoped for work, the que seemed longer than the opportunities. Increasingly these days It's reversed as good people are hard to find and hard to retain. Where good people are in hot demand with good money and great conditions and never has it been more so than in the trades

This week is about earning while you're learning. This week is about waking people up to the value of the trades. That that condescending thing we used to have, that only people who couldn't get proper work grabbed a wrench or a hammer is well and truly gone thank god.

The trades at last have quite rightly taken their place as good work, solid, reliable, dependable, interesting, challenging and well paid work.

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