I met the chairman of school governors today at one of those partnership meetings we local councillors go to.
Before we even sat down he explained "I have a problem. Its largely a male pupil problem. Sorry (smile).. but it is."
He then told me that he was desperate to find hands on training for young men who are dis-enchanted with the classroom and want something to do - "there are no apprenticeships" he explained.
We are a "growth area" thousands of houses are being built. I suggested we approach the developers at the nearby building site and see they can offer a few hours of work experience. Reaction - WOW - AMAZING - YES - WHAT A GREAT IDEA.
Of course then Health and Safety is brought up.
Later I spoke to a Tory Councillor in Birmingham whom I know as fought for similar projects. He has sorted out the following. 1. The local higher education college now run their building skills courses from on site in their regeneration area, 2. their local housing association now take on local apprentices, 3. their council house maintenance company now employ local apprentices.
Next I spoke to a neighbour who is currently paying a bricklayer £200 a day - he's a very good bricklayer. Its not a bad job.
I hope something good will come from today.