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Mining Review 19/3: People Who Matter - The Apprentice (1965)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Malcolm Beach of Yorkshire is the second person to join the National Coal Board's mechanical apprenticeship scheme. He explains that he thought it was the most attractive of the various career plans on offer.

His mother says that he had long wanted the job, and had been down mines at school - and he's from a mining family on both sides. His father says that he's successfully completed the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, so should be capable of tackling anything. However, he was initially opposed to Malcolm's decision, because he wasn't aware that the training was much more comprehensive.

Malcolm explains the syllabus: general mining training, safety in the pit, first aid, haulage. His father feels that there are still some omissions and unnecessary attention paid to irrelevant details. His parents muse about how technology is making the job easier and safer.

His mother is pleased that he will be earning a wage, but also that it won't be too much, as that encourages greed. His father praises his care with money, and his generosity towards his little sister. His mother talks about his love of football and sports in general: swimming, fishing, tennis and cycling, though he doesn't go out late at night and has yet to get involved with girls - though his father predicts that will happen soon.