It will come as no surprise to anyone concerned with education and training that the recentGet Up To Speed (GUTS) event at Magna had record numbers of exhibitors and visitors.
Over the past few years GUTS has come to be recognised as one of the most important engineering career events in the North.
Every year it showcases many of the manufacturing and hi-tech industries which have helped keep the Sheffield City Region at the forefront of education and training.
I am not alone in thinking what a great shame it is that the young people who make the headlines are invariably those who are involved in criminal activity.
Anyone who has regular contact with schools and colleges knows that young people are our future and, when given the opportunity, they shine.
At the Cutlers’ Company we have a longstanding commitment to education stretching back over many years. Our Better Learners, Better Workers Ambassador programme is now well- established and the benefits to students on the scheme are evident.
They gain work experience and lifelong learning skills with manufacturing and engineering companies, the healthcare sector, in construction as well as the arts and culture industry.
Less well publicised, perhaps, has been our Joint Education Awards partnership with the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers in the City of London.
The first prize giving event was held in 1924 and is sponsored by both Companies to encourage young people to discover improved production methods and learn about working methods elsewhere, particularly through travel.
This year travel and education awards totalling almost £5,000 were given to undergraduates, apprentices and young managers to enable them to visit sector related industries in India, China, Europe and the US.
The breadth and innovation of their work and the enthusiasm which every applicant displayed was encouraging for the future.
Energy solutions in tyre manufacture, automated inspection processes, eliminating fails in secondary heat exchange burners, and innovative ways of dealing with seal failures were all being tackled by these young engineers.
In these increasingly uncertain times, with all the difficulties we face, hope is essential and this inevitably rests on the next generation.
Having met hundreds of young people at the GUTS event, I have been impressed by them and I do feel optimistic about our future.