The April 2016 meeting

Steve Butler
Chairman, Ilkley Business Forum
18 April 2016

Three of our speakers turned up – Richard Stringer from Leeds Beckett Uni, Sarah Haworth from Craven College and Lester Hurst from Hunters Estate Agency (Ilkley & Otley.) Our fourth speaker was from Leeds but was not able to attend this time. However, the Leeds Chamber of Trade will certainly be a possible source of future speakers. We were lucky though because Chris Stott from Keighley College was able to stand in at short notice. All the speakers gave interesting and informative presentations.

There is funding for apprenticeships in the Leeds area but this is capped and should be applied for quickly – first come, first served. Contact Sarah Howarth at 01756 693686 or or Chris Stott at 0113 216 2252 or Keighley colleges for more information.

On the other hand university graduates may be more mature and there are ways and means of getting them for even short term projects at no cost in many cases. Contact Richard for more information at or on 0113 812 5664.

I rounded off the evening by reminding members that in the 1950s, 1960s and even the early 1970s, it was normal for lawyers and architects and accountants to qualify through experience without the need for a degree. I cited Sir Robney Brooke and Vincent Dobson as prime examples of successful Ilkley residents who had done just that. In those days the apprenticeships were called Articles. It has occured to em since that in the good old days it was often necessary to pay people to give you Articles, and that the price was often high. Even in Articles the pay received was minimal, if not parsimonious.

I was lucky when I started as an articled clerk in 1975. My principal, Roy Oddy, was a slightly mad left wing lawyer. He paid me £3,000 a year which was incredibly generous. Many other articled clerks in Bradford, even in the large firms such as A V Hammonds & Co (now part of international law firm Squire Sanders) were paid only £’00s, not £’000s, as many other now quite well -respected Ilkley residents will confirm, if asked.

So don’t look down on apprenticeships. We all have to start somewhere and with the right attitude on both sides, and proper supervision and training, an apprentice can be a great asset to a firm.