The likely future NUS President speaks out

If elected, he will campaign for the creation of an education system that \”no longer has an academic, vocational divide\”. He said: \”It\’s actually a class divide that starts at school, is reinforced at college and reinforced again at university. I want middle-class families to be OK with their young people coming home and saying, I want to do an apprenticeship.\”

Getting the middle classes to be happy about an apprenticeship rather than a degree should be easy enough. After all, traditionally, that\’s exactly what the middle classes did do: apprenticeships. Articles to become an accountant or solicitor for example (I think non graduate entry is still possible into both professions) and what is pupillage but an apprenticeship?

However, saying that you\’d like apprenticeships to be more acceptable while insisting that there should be no vocational/academic divide is simply nonsensical. But then he\’s a student politician so there\’s nothing new there, is there?

8 thoughts on “The likely future NUS President speaks out”

  1. I would be delighted if my lad decided he wanted to do an apprenticeship. Far better learning a trade and a skill than pissing it up at uni for 3 – 4 years and then deciding that his chosen course isn’t for him and end up either a teacher or worse, in politics.

  2. are not apprenticeships in real jobs less vulnerable to political meddling as well. Especially the ‘hands on’ stuff.

  3. That utterly vacuous cunt Clegg, or one of his LibDem zombie acolytes is wombling on about making it illegal to offer unpaid internships, which are essentially apprenticeships for posh thick kids. I wish these fucking people could make their minds up.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    Of course, for a while the “apprenticeship” for the upper middle and higher classes – the blokes at least (girlies supposedly partying genteelly until they found a suitable chinless wonder to marry) – was a brief commission in the family regiment, probably being followed with a stint as ADC to one of the relatives.

  5. The divide is interesting – I’m an engineer, which I understand in Germany would be a professional title (I do like the idea of being called “Herr Engineer”). I did it as a bachelor degree at a uni which had a very academic, research oriented focus. So I had a lot to learn when I got out. I’ve worked with lots of people who went the trades and night school path though. At least in my field – no one gives a shit. You can either do the job or you can’t. I never even collected my degrees. The only reason for me to do so would be if I was in a position requiring sign-off by people in the guild, which I’m not.

  6. Ltw – I also did engineering as a bachelor degree at uni, and there were quite a few people there doing it after they’d done their practical trades path (in NZ at the time it was called the NZCE). They were very popular when it came to labs, but also seemed to regard the academic training as important. One of my friends who already had his NZCE said the difference was that in the past he’d been just given a formula and told when to use it, at engineering school they showed us where the formula came from.

  7. I do value my academic training Tracy. It was just a shock to get out and start dealing with contracts, project management, all sorts of things that they never told us about.

    My opinion is pretty much that no engineer is can be left unsupervised until they have 5 years experience at least – effectively their apprenticeship. Which I suppose is why we have multiple levels of review and signoff.

  8. Ltw-
    Interesting observation as to “5 years experiance”. That’s the point in time post-graduation where, in the USA at least, a graduate engineer can sit for their PE exam. Also, many, if not most, of the engineering colleges in the large USA universities are now including course work in PM and “Engineering Economics” as required courses.

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