IAN HART Worthing College and apprentices

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THE proposed plans for the new Worthing College at The Warren are gathering momentum and, frankly, it cannot come soon enough.

Peter Corrigan’s plans for the college will give our local campus university facilities and surely every resident of Worthing should welcome that.

I’ve made no secret of the fact I have supported the plans right from the outset.

Like many others, I firmly believe that if we invest in our youngsters in this town it will make it an even better place in the future.

But there is now another reason for my continued support and it concerns Harty junior.

He attends the college, and according to government statistics, like the majority of our 16-18 year olds, he is in full-time education, which makes the unemployment figures seem a bit more palatable. But the crux is, he’s not.

For his BTEC sports course, his college week consists of an 8.30am start with a 1.10pm finish on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays, which when I went to school is a three-day week.

His course is a popular one. Napoleon once described us as a nation of shopkeepers. With the advent of this course, will we end up a nation of PE teachers?).

If Peter Corrigan is allowed to pursue his ambitious and very forward-thinking plans with the proposed new facilities, then a full five-day week at college for students will be an option.

On the subject of youngsters, a sad story perhaps indicative of our society today.

A friend of mine is a builder and wanted to take on an apprentice, which would have entailed the apprentice working four days a week with him and then one day a week at college.

Initially, the wages were £100 a week, but would have risen in time, and after three years working and the time at college, the youngster would have ended up with a trade.

My friend interviewed one youngster who seemed fairly keen. He was also told that when college wasn’t going on and he worked the fifth day, he would be paid for that on top of his weekly wage.

Apparently, the interview seemed to go well and my friend offered him the job on the spot and he went away to think about it.

My friend received a call from the lad’s mother to say he wouldn’t be taking the job because it was “slave labour” and he could earn more money working at Tesco.

Maybe I’m biased, but I know that my friend would have been a good boss and helped this lad get a trade, something which he could take all around the world. But what hope has the lad got with such a blinkered attitude in his home life?