University or Apprenticeships?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by slim, Aug 28, 2015.

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  1. Many years ago only the top students stayed on at school, took GCE "A" levels and if lucky gained entry to a university.
    Those days there were a very limited range of subjects which could be read and most were in useful subjects which were needed for the businesses operating at the time.
    Because degrees were fairly rare things they were respected.
    As a student who never even did GCE "O" subjects and left school with just local qualifications this did not phase me and I found gainful employment as a Trainee manager for a large grocery chain. To do the same today would require that I have a degree.

    For the last 20 years various governments have tried to get ALL youngsters to attend university, of course many of them are fairly thick and so universities have catered for this by introducing courses which are piss easy to pass but result in a degree at the end of three years or so. These degrees are fkn useless but the poor kid who has one doesn't know this and anyway he now has a £10,000 loan to think of paying off.

    Isn't it time for schools to turn out Artisans again, those who may not be academically inclined but can do great things with their hands.
    This country needs more plumbers, sparkies, brickies, joiners and the like.
    All these trades pay well and in some cases the artisans are earning far more than a degree holding ArtyFarty pleb.

    If we reverted to only teaching degrees for subjects which are in demand perhaps we could end student fees and the need for student loans.

    Your thought Please!
  2. There was a time when the cleverer kids went to grammar schools and the remainder went on secondary modern where the hands on trades were taught and less time was given to academic subjects such as the sciences and languages. Although only basic skills were learnt it was sufficient to get a foothold on the trades ladder. But there was a problem as some kids were late developers while others could scrape through an exam but found themselves marooned in a school teaching nothing they were interested in. The 11+ exam was deemed to be the villain of the peace so our ever wise politicians phased it out almost everywhere and replaced it with schools that try to cater for the cleverest while the dummies are held against their will longing for the day they can leave and do something that suits their skill set. The nett result is the best are denied the chance to stretch their ability and the worst have to endure crap(as they see it) much longer than necessary.
    Will we ever have a return to grammars/secondary modern? I doubt it as too many politicians have said they were rubbish and elitist and we can't have them being proved wrong can we?
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  3. Personally, I believe one oft-overlooked part of university is the opportunities that it offers you outside the degree you do. There are many clubs/societies and sports teams to join and for many, it is the first time they are independent. Whilst some degrees are 'mickey mouse' many others, whilst they don't lead directly to a job teach valuable skills. I agree that vocational subjects need to be pushed more but I think it is wrong to say that university is becoming less important.
  4. I realise that it is a great opportunity for the young to break away from home.
    However three years of pissing up and partying to end up with a useless degree and thousands of pounds of debt is one expensive piss up!

    As for degrees, when everyone has one they lose their value.
    Like everyone wearing imitation Rolex watches, the man with the Timex suddenly stands ou from the crowd;)
  5. I think education recognises this more so than before, with the new law to stay on until 18, this includes college if someone wants to to be a mechanic, hairdresser etc. Having gone through school fairly recently there were a lot of options and advice given for different routes in year 11 and again after sixth form. A lot of my friends did what some people say are 'Mickey mouse' degrees, but they all have good jobs. Art for example is often mocked, but every single thing you see has been designed by someone!

    Uni is not becoming less useful, its just that students need to work harder both in and out of lectures to secure the dream job, as there is more competition.
  6. Having done not so well at school left with 2 C's in German and Graphics I joined the RN and currently a SR, I am currently doing my final year of a BEng and predicted a 1st.

    I would say people develop at different speeds. At 16 education wasn't for me and I have benefited from a form of an apprenticeship in the RN. Admittedly it's not like the one of days gone by, but this has given me a leapboard in to higher education that wouldn't have been available to me in civvy street.

    Whilst I agree with the comments about ''Mickey Mouse' degrees, if we all studied the core subjects the world would be a very boring place. You only have to look at the banking sector to see that they aim to recruit more students from "arts" degrees due to the last cnuts who got us into the financial mess were graduates of the more traditional degrees.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
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  7. From my view point of having to review CVs, I believe there is a skill gap. Those of us who weren't looking to do A-Levels headed out to do OND/HND or apprenticeships, I know that recent Governments have repeatedly promoted modern apprenticeships, but I am not seeing the results when reviewing CV's.
    I am in engineering and to look at a basic level the industry was covered like the RN was, Mechanics (a few CSE's) Apprentices ( a few O-levels then college) and Engineers (A-Levels and BSc). Now we seem to have lost the middle ground, I think (and could be wrong) that a lot of the people who previously went for apprenticeships are now being led through the degree route, good for them for sure, but not great for industry.
    As with the adage of the old Tiff, a graduate is great for telling me the cubic route of a jam jar but not opening it, there is still a requirement for the skilled artisan.
    The dilution of the Engineering trades in the RN is fairly similar to what I see on civvy street now, apprentices cost a company a lot of time and money and no one seems willing to pay although they want the skills.
    Answer: NO IDEA unless you force companies to re-start apprenticeships.
  8. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    It seems to me that the reason young folk go to university is simply because they can, and they feel the necessity to become 'one of the crowd'. As has already been said, at what point do you find everyone wanting to be a Chief, leaving no Indians to carry out the work.
    Tomahawk.. The time spent 'networking is, nowadays, a wasted period. As is this 'GAP' year that most seem to think is such a crucial part of their life.
    Finally, the reason for the extension of the school leaving age to 18 owes more to keeping thousands of children off the unemployment register, thereby passing the responsibility to successive governments, than it did for higher education.
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  9. I believe fully that education is valuable in it's own right and whilst accepting we need skilled people in 'hands on roles' I have some concerns that an emphasis on a return to vocational training limits young people by the wealth of their families. Very few independent schools suggest vocational training - that is seen by the more affluent as a good idea but not for their offspring.
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  10. But what about those who genuinely aren't suited for a degree education, at the moment there is a void in the system between the upper and lower levels, the bottom rungs are easily filled and the top rungs seem to have no lack of graduates, but the UK is sorely lacking in the middle ground. As previously stated by digger some of those who start out on the vocational path do go on to achieve greater things, just their development is on a slower path than graduates.
    Having a degree does not make someone the be all and end all, there should be other paths for gifted (not academically) to achieve these higher positions, where their knowledge and experience would be highly valuable to an employer.
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