It’s my pleasure to be with you all at the LG arena tonight for the skills show welcome dinner. Were here tonight to recognise the very best in training and development from across the UK With the national training awards and the national apprenticeship awards. And what better way to celebrate excellence in training and development than at the skills show, an event that brings excellence in skills right to the fore. The public feel very good about companies that have apprentices, There’s a real business advantage from doing this, but the main thing is that employers come up they have their moment and they are recognised for their achievements and so they should be because they are doing great things helping young people change their lives for the better as well as building success in their companies. Well this is fantastic for young people to get them energized and enthusiastic about acquiring a proper vocational skill, they’ll be a hundred thousand people passing through here in the next couple of days celebrating the skills show, but lying behind it is proper training and we recognise in this country we are short of skilled people young people want skill qualification, some will go to university and that right for them others won’t but their qualifications are just as important. The apprentices that we’ve had and the schemes been running for a long long time, has been very successful and covers a whole range of different skills and skill sets. What it brings to the organisation is younger people, more dynamic and enthusiastic, want to get into work and it actually enhances the organisation they fit into the organisation well, they grow with the organisation. It’s been really interesting because I’ve got a lot more skills from doing the apprenticeship we do college one day a week and work four days a week, it give you a better understanding of the skills needed because you can put what you learning college in to practice for the other four days of the week. It’s very important for a business because all of us are striving to get the right people and the right jobs and you’d be surprised how many vacancy’s there are about there. There’s people unemployed, of course there’s people unemployed but there’s also vacancies. It’s about training the people for the new jobs that are out there that have been created by businesses. I think in terms of competitors, it means that we can quote for jobs and business that’s out there in a period of recession and were using those skills that were bringing on, which are new skills, to develop our business in a way that is not only profitable but will be long lasting and we take massive market share by knowing that we are taking on business that is 3, 4 years hence because their big contracts and we’ve got the people coming through to supply the skills to do that business. I started at 18, my apprenticeship, I’m now 23, I’ve done a lot of growing up, I’ve matured a lot and I’ve really worked out what I wanted to do, I got to do a lot of hands on things I wouldn’t even of put myself doing and worked out if I really liked them worked out things I didn’t like, made mistakes and now I’m in a career, you know, I wouldn’t of even considered after leaving school. Having apprentices gives me incentive to train the people as I was an apprentice myself so many years ago that I always think that you’re getting an apprentice on board, it makes everyone else’s life not easier, its hard at times but then you see what the reward they give you after 2 or 3 years, I’ve got 6 on now and they’ve been on with me now for 15 years, so were like one happy family. Success breeds success, the more employers we can have doing great things with apprentices the more that other employers will look at them and say, I want some of that, I want to be as good as that so that’s what to me it’s about, about setting a bench mark and giving pride in those people who’ve achieved great things plus your challenging the rest to do even better.