The pandemic is continuing to leave a huge mark across the nations business community.
Jobs have been lost, businesses mothballed, and spending slashed as worried workers rein in their expenditure amid the ongoing uncertainty of what might happen next.
So it might seem an odd time to be thinking about taking new staff on. But by using the apprenticeship scheme companies can not only give a valuable opportunity to new starters, but also do so in a cost-effective way.
We have a strange relationship with technical and vocational qualifications in this country.
Too often we look down our noses at the sort of schemes which produce the skills, training and knowledge we desperately need to make our economy work.
Take apprenticeships for example. How many parents are happy to see their child take up an apprenticeship if they also have the chance to go to university?
Yet there are considerable advantages to an apprenticeship which should make it an attractive option for any youngster.