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Does our education system meet the needs the workplace

(82 Posts)
Joelsnan Thu 10-May-18 19:51:37

During the 1980s or so when youth unemployment was soaring the government encouraged universities to offer courses and and encouraged students to attend university rather than become another unemployed number.
Many students leave university with degrees that do not offer the financial rewards for their efforts or the skills for the workplace and hugh debt.
Wouldn't it be better if ineffective university courses were abolished and good workplace based apprenticeships championed.
Industry would get the skills they need, apprentices would be paid while they learned, no student debt as a liability to the student or government if unpaid and any lack of EU employees repatriating would be taken up by skilled and solvent youngsters.
Nursing would most definitely benefit from o a return to hospital based training in respect to bodies on the wards and the development of a more holistic caring nurse. Nursing is a vocational profession not academic, plus current student nurses get no oayment for their times working in hospitals.

Blinko Thu 10-May-18 20:10:46

Couldn't agree more, Joelsnan. Well said, spot on!

Ilovecheese Thu 10-May-18 20:28:31

I think degrees and apprenticeships should be geared towards those jobs that are not going to be replaced by robots in the near future.
More arts based subjects as they are the ones that can not be easily replicated by a machine. the arts are really important in this country and bring in a lot of income and tourism.
More concentration on caring jobs, robots have no empathy.

The trouble would be in deciding which degrees are "ineffective".
The subject often held up to ridicule is Media Studies. this is in no way ineffective as the media is a huge industry in this country so that industry gets the skills that it needs.

There is huge snobbery about degrees that are media or sports related and yet they are really useful.

As for nursing, a lot of the university educated nurses now do the jobs that used to be done by doctors, so are saving doctors time (and salary) that way.
Nursing can be both academic and vocational, no need to ditch the nursing degrees, but yes, have an alternative that can be learned, and paid, on the job.

Joelsnan Thu 10-May-18 21:33:31

But I wonder if we should stop encouraging so many of our young to go to university Basically to massage unemployment figures which also encourages profit driven company's to import trained staff from poorer countries that have actually invested in their youth these companies save on training and also pay lower wages. With Brexit looming shouldn't the government be putting some muscle behind apprentiships or have universities become such large money machines that they darent be touched?

Gerispringer Fri 11-May-18 07:12:11

Meanwhile our government proposes to expand grammar schools whilst starving non selective schools of funds... A very good comp in our area has recently cut the vocational engineering and technical courses it offered in the sixth form since it can’t afford the staff or equipment needed.

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 08:39:58

I think the entire apprenticeship scheme needs a big shake up. We were persuaded to take a young lad who had been working for us as a labourer on as an engineering apprentice. Big mistake on our behalf for not looking further into it before my DH signed on the dotted line so to speak.

Firstly no one explained the true cost to us which has been massive. Being a small company we are not allowed to administer his training (we do the training but aren’t allowed to tick the boxes) so we were charged £2000 per year for a big fat man in a flash car from the, “training” company (who don’t provide training) to attend the workplace twice a year for 10 minutes and tick the boxes.

Secondly no one bothered to explain that as an older apprentice we had to pay him the full living wage when it came in.

Thirdly we were told that we would qualify for zero employers NI for apprentices. Another lie, again only younger apprentices qualify.

Thirdly we were forced to enrol him into the workplace pension and pay contributions for him.

Fourthly he has been a huge disappointment and we feel sad that we could have had a bright young lad who would have thrived and given him a really good apprenticeship which was wasted on this lad.

All in all I blame ourselves for not looking into the apprenticeship scheme more closely before agreeing and signing up but the whole thing has left a rather bitter taste and I doubt we would do it again.

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 08:50:04

On the Brexit thread Allygran makes a very good point about apprenticeships saying that the age group should be extended.

Now that we are all going to have to work into our late 60’s why could someone not be an apprentice at 30 or even 40 or beyond.

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 08:51:11

The whole secondary education system has gone mad, where the heck are they getting their ideas from, how does opening free schools to become 100% religion based deal with inclusivity. How does increasing Grammar schools deal with what will be an evident skill shortage in the workplace.
We have had too many go through an academic route into teaching and lecturing with no workplace experience who are developing academic dogma based in impractical and unworkable ideologies.
Politics highlights this issue. Now Students all instilled with the same dogma at uni. Go to work as researchers in Westminster when they leave uni. Get offered a constuency and elected as MPs. The difference between these and politicians who enter parliament having undertaken long employment before being elected is very evident.

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 08:58:21

Totally agree with you Joelsnan I would add that there are young people who know from an early age that they are not academic and yet they are forced into studying for GCSE’s that will serve them little purpose in later life. Why not encourage those children down more practical routes? What happened to woodwork, metal work etc. And why not push that even further to include maybe plumbing , electrical and manufacturing practices, nursing, cooking etc.

hildajenniJ Fri 11-May-18 09:19:59

My DGC have little hope of achieving academically. The boys have additional needs and are being home educated as they cannot deal with school, and school has failed to teach them. Apprenticeships are what my DD is hoping for, when they are of an age to enter the workplace. They are all intelligent boys, but will need support in dealing with anxiety and social situations that arise in the workplace. I hope that they will be able to lead happy, independent lives, but I worry for them.

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 09:27:18

I think I would be very worried too HildajenniJ .

If your boys are unable to cope with a school environment coping with a workplace environment is going to be very hard for them indeed. I understand why they are being home educated but this in itself will have added to the difficulties they will face when being forced to mix in later life. It’s hard for most young people to get good apprenticeships these days as there are not enough of them to go around and I know many small businesses like ours have had bad experiences and are put off from doing it again. So a young person with additional needs is going to find it extremely difficult. Are your boys perhaps gifted in computers? Maybe self employment/working from home could be the way forward for them. I wish them lots of luck in the future.

GabriellaG Fri 11-May-18 10:22:12

I echo every single word.

knickas63 Fri 11-May-18 10:29:34

There is huge snobery about degrees in general. Parents seem to think their children have failed (or they as parents have failed) if they didn't go to uni. So many of my childrens peers went. For the lifestyle as much as anything. Around 80 plus percent didn't finish their degree or are not 'using' it. The one who are now best of in their late 20's approaching 30 are the ones who trained in the workplace. Many jobs still seem to value degrees over experience, which is very sad!

trisher Fri 11-May-18 10:31:27

Let's start with knocking the nursing myth on the head. Student nurses are to be found in all NHS hospitals they do 12-14 weeks placement whilst studying for their degree. During their placement they are expected to experience and undertake a certain number of medical interventions and this is strictly monitored. Of course they also perform all the other duties of hospital care including personal hygiene for patients. Many of them also take on part time jobs as healthcare assistants to help pay their way.
Apprenticeships are probably desirable for many jobs that would once hve been described as trades. The cost of course is born y the employer and perhaps few employers want to spend the money.
One of the things I find totally unacceptable is the use of the term apprenticeship to describe someone being taught to serve coffee .

GabriellaG Fri 11-May-18 10:32:32

I'd REALLY like to see people leaving education with a sound knowledge of maths and and English.
The number of adults (never mind children) who can't spell, punctuate, no next to nothing about grammar and have difficulty expressing themselves coherently, is increasing and shameful. Maths and finance ought to be mandatory so that people grow up knowing how to manage their money and invest in their future. Too many rely on credit and borrowing from mum and dad.

GabriellaG Fri 11-May-18 10:33:46

Unbelievable! I actually wrote NO instead of KNOW. blush

NotSpaghetti Fri 11-May-18 10:43:28

Gillybob, one of the benefits of home education is learning to have appropriate relationships with people of all ages. HildajenniJ's grandchildren may be ok with adults for example, as they tend not to be so vindictive to young people as a number of schoolchildren are. Perhaps this willhelp them secure apprenticeships if that's what they choose, so all is not lost.
Regarding University, I think it's a pity that it was ever linked to employment at all. It used to be a privilege to study a subject for sheer love of it and ultimately contribute to the wealth of knowledge. To sell a university education as a ticket to employment when so many now have degrees seems wrong to me.

Magrithea Fri 11-May-18 10:44:19

A degree shows that the person can work and study independently, unlike at school.

I agree that the caring professions (nursing, physiotherapy my profession) need to return to a more hands on approach in training - my mum was a nurse and did much of her 'study' on the wards, my physio training was very hands on as we spent half a day inthe classroom and the other half on the wards, treating patients under supervision

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 10:48:51

Thank you for that NotSpaghetti my immediate thoughts were that if these children are unable to cope in s school environment then how would they cope in a workplace environment where there will be less ( if indeed any ) special support for them . I (perhaps very wrongly) assumed that being home schooled would lead to them being even more distanced than they need to be but totally understand the reasons behind doing it .

HootyMcOwlface Fri 11-May-18 10:50:16

I totally agree with the nursing - just because you can write a dissertation or assignment about something doesn't mean you can actually 'do' it (hands on). I think this is where nursing has gone wrong, young nurses seem not to want to get 'their hands dirty' nowadays, they would rather sit at the nursing station filling in their paperwork . A lot of the ones looking after (oh the irony) my mum when she was dying were awful, and the district nurses that come to see my husband are useless!

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 10:54:31

I agree about the basic English and Maths GabriellaG although I don’t think everyone needs to be able to understand and apply all of the very complex rules of English grammar in order to get on in life .

Some children might be brilliant in more practical ways, why should they be looked at as failures?

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 10:56:59

Totally agree with you Hooty. The most basic quality of a good nurse must surely be to have a caring nature and really want to help people .

trisher Fri 11-May-18 11:01:14

Well the nurses who looked after my mum in the last three months of her life were brilliant. Including the student nurse who went down with her when she had an endoscopy and her duodenal ulcer cauterised, holding her hand and reassuring her throughout. And STUDENT NURSES ARE ON THE WARDS it isn't purely accademic training (apologies for shouting but some seem unable to recognise reality)

HootyMcOwlface Fri 11-May-18 11:02:29

Exactly so gillybob people went into nursing to care for others, now they must be academic to get a degree - or just be a low paid healthcare assistant (who, from my experience, are better than a lot of the nurses on the caring side).

peaches50 Fri 11-May-18 11:06:44

Trying to get more young people, but also long term unemployed into building eco friendly off site construction houses (send me a private message for more how us 'oldies' can still be connected to the young) I stumbled across traineeships. Those taking part in these 'tasters' will still receive benefits but seems to me an ideal way to boost confidence in those who may have lost it from being out of the workplace for a long time for various reasons (including stay at home parents). And gain basic maths and English help.I agree it's time we stopped worshipping academia and started valuing technical skills which really power UK plc and keep us competitive in an ever changing international market place. Awful story of the work shy and greedy apprenticeship experience - for a small company must have been devastating and expensive.