Travelling back from a 4Networking breakfast meeting in Dereham this morning I was listening to the car radio where there was a discussion on Digby Jones’ latest idea to introduce young people into the workplace at 14 years of age. Once I had got over my initial reaction, which was ‘slave labour…’, I remembered back to my own experiences aged 14.

My mother had come home with some clothes for me that I found completely unsuitable. They were all that she could afford, as I was the eldest of six children and there was not a lot of money to go around. Being an independent lad, I asked my Dad to find me a job in the school holidays so that I could buy my own clothes. My mother never had to buy me another item of clothing and I had money of my own from the age of 14. I guess that wouldn’t be allowed nowadays, but I fail to see why not, as long as young people are protected from unscrupulous employers.

You can read more of this story in my new book, ‘Growing Forward’, which is available here