When one talks to groups of apprentices, or trainees — or indeed to any group of youngsters in industry — no matter from which firm — and it applies to both the graduates at one end of the scale and the sixteen‐year‐olds at the other — one finds a depressing situation, particularly if the young men are off their guard and speaking honestly. They are, in the main, soldiering through their training period, putting up with a lot of boredom, enduring college periods which frequently seem to have little meaning more than the route to an essential academic hurdle, and feeling in general that the firm hasn't much interest in them, nor they in the firm. The training manager, probably one of the few people who does want to take a proper interest, is looking after far too many lads to cope, and is bogged down keeping the mountain of records required to run the system and satisfy the training board. One finds that the apprentice association has degenerated into a struggling body of dedicated committee members who try to whip up enough enthusiasm to run the odd dance or sporting event — largely ignored by the top managers. Can we not turn this association of young men into something which helps them to help themselves, and which helps the firm at the same time?
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