Monday involves, for me, a plough through a barrage of colourful emails aimed at grabbing the attention of a local paper.
Some with deftly crafted subject lines tempting you to open them first, others bereft of the remotest detail, but all linked in vying for a space on the pages, for your attention.
I am in the privileged position that this allows a glimpse into the breadth of initiatives, events, etc. that are going on throughout the country at any one time.
Some amusing and trivial - BAD DIY A ‘SAW POINT’ FOR BRITS AS OVER HALF ADMIT TO BOTCHING JOBS, others baffling - help celebrate ‘National Scampi Day’? Many are of great interest but are better suited to national outlets - 21 years in jail for possession of firearm (Media statement from the Kwazulu Natal Media centre, South Africa).
We do our best to feature the most locally relevant issues that appeal to all the different people that read the paper.
I enjoy and loathe the task in equal measure as often the constraints on both time and space bring out the worst of my indifference. I feel myself becoming cold to certain pleas as they are repeated on a weekly basis and we must strive to keep the interests of the masses.
However, this week I will happily champion Barnardo’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week. Too often I feel society focuses young people’s attention on academic education as the sole path to future employment and little is done to promote the benefits of learning in more practical environments.
I do not begrudge the four years I got to ‘find myself’, meet new people from different places and learn the ideology of Karl Marx et al. Neither do I think I used four years of my ‘yoof’ in the most productive way possible and it took a year of unsupported ‘apprenticeship’ to end up where I am now. A roundabout route I am sure you’ll agree.
Had I known and appreciated that there were other channels to explore to get me working quicker, I would perhaps have benefitted personally as well as adding to the Scottish economy pot faster.
I hope from initiatives such as Scottish Apprenticeship week and others like it, we are on the cusp of change in the way we think and the way we support young people as they move from secondary education into the next stage of their lives.
My advice however to the more immediate matter of email subject writing - ‘1’ is not a subject; misspellings are catastrophic and CAPITAL LETTERS DO NOT MAKE IT MORE NOTICEABLE JUST HARDER TO READ.