At a time when A Level results came out, I am very concerned about the Education Secretary Damian Hinds’ misleading advice to young people and their parents not to ‘shun alternatives (to degrees) such as apprenticeships’.
This is very outdated and illustrates how out of touch politicians can be with the current scenario.
For several years now, progressive companies such as Dale Power Solutions Ltd in Scarborough have offered school leavers the opportunity to combine studying for a degree while they are earning money and pursuing an apprenticeship.
Apprentices who elect not to follow a degree programme immediately are encouraged to keep an open mind. In the meantime, they work towards a HND (or similar).
It is important that parents are aware of the full range of possibilities open to their children, and also not to fall into the trap of assuming that not securing necessary grades to get into university is going to lead to an ‘inferior’ career.Indeed, many of my students were ‘mature students’, returning to education after a gap from school, and they were well-placed to apply the experience, skills and knowledge they had gained within the world of work to their studies. In addition, many people’s strengths lie within practical application of subject matter rather than a narrow range of academic skills. It is time for us as a country to have more respect for apprenticeships and not to see them as ‘second best’.
Retired University Lecturer,