Have you ever watched a spider spin a web? The skill and precision are a wonder and a joy to behold.
Watching a blacksmith shoe a horse or a cabinet maker constructing a piece of furniture or an IT expert sort out the problem you were having with your computer are also fairly wonderful experiences.
The spider, I suppose, does her work by instinct, but the others don't.
A lot of training goes into developing human skills.
Back in the fifties, my father's plumbers spent years learning their trade as apprentices. When they became master plumbers they had their own apprentices and so the skills were developed and passed on. This was the natural course of events and progression.
The need for training is just as vital today. You wouldn't want an untrained surgeon poking around so why should you accept an untrained builder?
Training and skills are vital. No one recognises this more than small businesses trying to recruit staff.
The problems of recruiting trained staff or recruiting staff and then finding realistic and relevant training for them are acting as a barrier to the growth of many small businesses. Many formal courses are not relevant and there is a growing demand for enhanced funding to businesses who want to provide bespoke, work-based packages for their employees.
On- the- job training is essential for small businesses where the loss of one member of staff on a training course can hold up the whole team.
As a business grows, the need for extra skills grows along with it and the business owners themselves may well be seeking training. For them to embark on a long collegebased course is impossible.
To be able to buy in short, bite-sized training courses that are directed at solving the specific problem and are shaped to their business needs would seem a sensible and realistic solution.
The Federation of Small Businesses believes that Britain must invest in its workforce and that by so doing it will be investing in its communities.
Vocational training should start at school where a pupil's skills can be recognised and developed. So skills, such as teamwork, and leadership can be taught from an early age.
After-school apprenticeships and vocational skills should be demand led with reference to the real needs of employers. Higher and further education should be held in equal esteem.
The FSB also believe there should be a skills passport that recognises all achievements and skills that are not qualification-based to aid both employers and job seekers. This seems to be an eminently sensible and demand led view on where we should be going.
Next time you see a spider's web think very carefully before you destroy it.
There is a lot of skill and precision in its design and development, just the things we are looking for to enable the West Midlands to grow and prosper.
Diane Rayner is the West Midlands policy development officer of the Federation of Small Businesses.