Never too late to train

I can’t stay away from trains at the moment. At the weekend I was delighted to go to a celebration event marking the return of passenger traffic on the Froghall to Caldon Low line in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The work is thanks to volunteers from the Churnet Valley Railway. The line closed to passenger traffic in 1935. It is a wonderful achievement for an entirely voluntary group.

 I was delighted to attend the event but declined the opportunity to take another train journey.

Last week I attended the West Midlands Stars for Skills Awards at the Hippodrome theatre in Birmingham. The awards look at some of the work done on training and retraining that is funded in the region by the European Social Fund.

This is essential work to ensure that we have a skilled workforce that will make our businesses truly competitive – regular blog readers will know how importantly I view this.

The judges were looking for nominees with the best story to tell about their experiences. I was particularly impressed with the examples of people who have retrained later on in their career, typically after reaching the age of 50, and those who have retrained following redundancy. Congratulations to all the nominees.

Finally, I am proud to announce the birth of my second grandchild. Little Noah’s arrival wasn’t exactly straightforward (maybe more or this later), but he is now back home and doing well.

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