Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Mike Thompson, a grandson of Islandranny, at No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister and Business Secretary host reception with some of the UK’s top businesses to celebrate employing thousands of apprentices.

The Prime Minister will also announce that a new Apprenticeship Delivery Board will be established, bringing together some of the country’s leading business. With members from top employers including Channel 4, Barclays and Wates Construction, the board will encourage more businesses to develop quality apprenticeships. Members will act as apprenticeship champions within their sector, working with employers of all sizes to increase both the number of apprenticeship places on offer and the supply of talented candidates.

Chaired by the Prime Minister’s apprenticeship advisor Nadhim Zahawi MP and businessman and apprenticeship champion David Meller, the Apprenticeship Delivery Board will include:

David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4
Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays
Alderman Andrew Parmley, City of London
Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd
Melanie Hayes, Resourcing & Development Director at Compass Group
Simon Blagden MBE, Non-Executive Chairman at Fujitsu
James Wates CBE, Chairman, Wates Construction

Where does Islandranny come in? What and where is Islandranny? This one is a clachan or hamlet in the north of the townland of Ballyoglagh, a few miles east-south-east of Bushmills and south of Whitepark Bay on the north Antrim coast. The name may well derive from the Irish Oileán Raithní - 'isle of ferns'.

Mike's late father John Thompson was born on the family farm in Islandranny and studied for the ministry in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He later became professor of historical and systematic theology at Queens University in Belfast and was chosen as moderator of the General Assembly in 1986.

One of my early memories is of his grandfather James Thompson having tea in our farm house. My mother asked him how he liked his boiled egg. "One beside the other, Jeannie", said the man from Islandranny. I wonder if Mike asked Samantha for two in No 10!