A nice piece in the Telegraph this week by Matthew Hancock, the new Minister Skills at BIS.

His basic argument is that far too many people are taking years out of their careers to gain University degrees that help them to enter the professions. The solution is vocational courses and apprenticeships for those students. “University is not for everyone” he argues.

Here we go again. I actually think there is something to this argument; but I’m afraid I have always had a small nagging doubt in my mind whenever it emerges. When I read these articles or listen to the eloquent proponents on TV or radio, one thing is always present in their tone and language. They are always talking about other people; not themselves, their brothers or sisters, their own children, but other people for whom University is not for! Usually the argument is dressed up in nice language about empowering people to make the right choice and different people having different skill sets, but it is always other people who do not have what it takes to experience what they have experienced; a University education.

So to those people who make this argument, I always have one simple response. I will believe it when I see you trying to persuade your son or daughter to take an apprenticeship rather than go to University!


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