Fewer people in the profession seem willing to climb career ladders.

We had some decorating work done recently on the office building. I worked out the hourly rate the tradesman charged at about £23 per hour. Not bad. I do not begrudge him what he deserves; he did a good job. Presumably, there are no decorators’ audits which may mean he will have to pay the money back in a few years’ time if I did not sign the right form in the right place.

He also had an apprentice with him. He was probably about 17. He was not allowed to use the ladder so the older man had to. It seemed odd to me that the person who is presumably fit and able was not allowed to climb the ladder but the older man has to.

There seem to be fewer people in the profession willing to climb ladders or even put a foot on a rung. There are fewer work experience students at each level. There are still prospective trainees but they do not want do climb legal aid ladders but prefer the private and commercial world. Those on the ladder do not want to climb to partnership. (Yes I am wringing out every last drop of this metaphor.)

I wonder where the high-street lawyer and especially the legal end of that street will be in years to come. I cannot blame people for not wanting to take risks but there are still careers to be had. But bring your own ladder.

David Pickup is a partner at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott