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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

Joelsnan
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. www.gov.uk/find-traineeship/ 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.

Grandad1943 Fri 11-May-18 11:10:57

Certainly higher education in Britain does need thorough review in my opinion as the present structure is failing Britain's commercial requirements. Within the UK economy a skill shortage exists which I believe threatens Britain's economic future if not met from within our education system in the post Brexit era.

As has already been stated in this thread much emphasis is placed on young persons attaining a university place and then a degree in our present structure. However, where I find myself at odds with that thinking is the type of attainment achieved on graduation.

Britain is heavily deficient in graduates with science, engineering or even equipped for careers in many of the professions when leaving our universities or other higher education establishments. In the past that deficiency has been somewhat made up by migrant high skills workers coming to Britain. However, with the Brexit vote that flow has dramatically reduced compounding an already poor situation.

Therefore, I believe that incentives have to be brought forward that will encourage people to enter higher education to study and train in the skills that the UK requires for the long term maintenance of its economic future. The foregoing, I feel could be brought about by the abolishment of tuition fees for subjects in higher education that are seen as highly beneficial to the overall UK economy.

In the above, degrees in such subjects as the sciences, engineering, health and law could become free of tuition fees and therefore more attractive to those entering university education. Along with the foregoing, "real apprenticeships" must also be returned by high skills employers with such needs.

There is also one other area which i feel very strongly could fulfil many of Britain's skill requirements, but has however been almost entirely neglected in recent years. That area is life long learning, and In that I was able in past years to attain qualifications that enabled me to progress in my mid life change of career to industrial safety.

Having left school without any qualifications whatsoever, freely available adult education through various channels completely changed my life and the lives of many others in previous decades. The foregoing, I believe must be restored, as within our already working population there is a wealth of undeveloped skills that Britain badly requires.

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 11:14:39

trisher we understand student nurses are on the wards, but only in blocks with no continuity, plus they extra numerous and do not get paid.
In my last job I was Head of HR for a Government Education org. Overseas. A cv came across my desk for a Dr of Nursing. Apart from her initial training and the mandatory period of required hands on nursing to retain registration this person had never worked in a hospital or healthcare environment for any extended period of time. Her doctorate was purely academic and she was considered ideal to teach nurses. She was employed but only lasted six months.

Gma29 Fri 11-May-18 11:15:15

I got a nursing degree when I was in my 40’s and qualified in 2000. We spent weeks on the wards, in fact we did 4 shifts every week (and our degree ran 48 weeks a year). Our learning was very closely monitored & assessed by ward staff. A lot of nursing time is spent doing paperwork, there are reams of it to be completed, and much of it Government driven. Unfortunately, as time goes on, the number of qualified nurses on each ward seems to get lower, and with much of the paperwork having to be done by the qualified staff, it’s a nightmare. Once you factor in the time that has to be spent with social workers, liaising about home care etc, I found that much of the shift was “spoken for”. Far from ideal, but I was never just sat down!

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 11:19:36

Agree Grandad1943
Trouble is how do you get potiticians and academia to acknowledge this need and adapt. It's like trying to change the course of an iceberg.

ajanela Fri 11-May-18 11:26:01

I think the bursaries for training nurses should be reinstated. Nurses need to be highly trained as they are taking on many of the role of doctors. Also they have to spend 300+ hours a year working with trained nurses, very much as we did in the 60's. Much of the work we did then is now done by Health Care workers, who can also go through different levels of training and are very good carers.

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 11:29:30

Gma29
I am currently undergoing chemo for BC and chat with the nurses giving me the chemo.
I am shocked how the profession is being downgraded with many degree route nurses basically being administrators and health care assistants undertaking examinations and procedures that amazed me having trained in the late 60s early 70s.
These HCAs are obviously being paid much less for the work that would previously only be the domain of the SRN.
I wonder if this is why bursaries have been removed to encourage more prospective nurses away from uni and become HCAs

annodomini Fri 11-May-18 11:33:24

Adult and continuing education has been treated as a poor relation by successive governments and the parlous state of the Open University must be causing Harold Wilson to rotate in his grave.It has been a lifeline for several generations of mature students, creating opportunities and satisfaction in life and in employment. Now the OU is being starved of finance and courses are astronomically expensive unless the student is being sponsored by an employer or has somehow managed to get a grant.

Blinko Fri 11-May-18 11:35:19

One of the unforeseen consequences of the current 'university for everyone' approach is surely the kerfuffle over student loans. When only 5% of the population went to university, tuition and even grants were affordable from the exchequer. When 50% of school leavers attend uni. then clearly affordability becomes an issue.

Let's have an expansion in the provision of good quality apprenticeships across all sectors of industry. This would meet the needs of the country for trained and skilled employees and also the aspirations of that 80% of the population who aren't necessarily academically inclined and/or who are looking for good quality paid employment.

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 11:38:26

We seem to have lost the true ideal that the best countries are the well educated ones. Education like many other social initiatives has to be income generating and as such loses its core intent.
Lifelong learning and Adult learning certainly guided me through my working life and career changes.

Grandad1943 Fri 11-May-18 12:15:53

Quote Joelsnan [ AgreeGrandad1943. Trouble is how do you get potiticians and academia to acknowledge this need and adapt. It's like trying to change the course of an iceberg.] End Quote

That Joelsnan is the very big question. However, I very strongly feel that the course of the "education iceberg" has to be brought about if this country is to have any real economic future.

I believe that the abolition of tuition fees for degree subjects that are seen as "beneficial to the overall UK economy" would be affordable to the treasury.

Real apprenticeships, could be once again brought about under new legislation. Many companies would undoubtedly try to resist such legislation, but if those organisations require high skills to maintain their business into the future, then they must I believe pay that cost of training and not rely on overseas recruitment.

Restoring Lifelong learning is a very big must I feel. The trade unions at present do carry out that role free of cost to existing members and in that run some great educational courses. Employers could be encouraged to assist employees in that learning by way of tax relief provided that proof is forthcoming that employees are given access to "quality education and training".

Let's have an end to training and education meaning that some apprenticeships are no more than someone learning to pour and serve a cup of coffee.

If there has to be a small rise in taxation to pay for all the above, then for me and I am sure many others that would be a small price to pay for the increased security of the long term UK economy.

Perhaps that would be the true cost of Brexit also

gillybob Fri 11-May-18 12:20:50

Real apprenticeships, could be once again brought about under new legislation. Many companies would undoubtedly try to resist such legislation

I would be interested to learn what a “real” apprentiship would entail Grandad1943 and what this “new legislation” would be that we employers would try to resist?

varian Fri 11-May-18 12:21:28

Under controversial new proposals, £50 million is to be pumped into creating more places at selective state schools in a move that ministers said will give parents more choice. But school leaders criticised the decision, saying they were "disappointed" that the Government was spending "scarce funding" on expanding grammars.

Grammars that want to take on more pupils will have to submit plans setting out what action they will take to boost the numbers of disadvantaged pupils they admit - similar to the access agreements signed by universities that want to charge £9,250 tuition fees.

Schools - which select pupils based on academic ability - will also have to show proof of a need for extra places in their area. There are 163 grammar schools in England and, if all were given an equal share of the £50 million pot (which will be available in the 2018/19 academic year), they would receive just over £300,000 each.

www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/grammar-schools-given-50m-to-expand-under-controversial-new-government-plans-a3836171.html

How will this help to increase the number of apprenticeships and train the skilled workforce Britain needs?

Gerispringer Fri 11-May-18 12:27:31

Trouble is we haven’t valued technical education and successive governments haven’t invested in it. It’s cheaper to teach a class of kids business studies than it it to teach engineering or craft subjects. Schools are now cutting these very subjects as they aren’t being funded. Instead this government is putting money into free schools and grammar schools. Maybe when the supply of builders and plumbers from places like Poland dries up the government might wake up and invest in British youngsters.

Ilovecheese Fri 11-May-18 13:15:31

We also need to remember that jobs are going to change over time as artificial intelligence is used more and more. I don't think training should be solely focused on one particular industry, as that industry could well not exist in a decade or two. Young people should be taught to be flexible, so that their skills can be transferred.

One advantage of a university education is that it teaches the students to think, and problem solve. These are the skills that are going to be needed in the future.

Just think of some of the jobs that have disappeared: skilled printers, television repair, electrical goods repair. How much longer are we going to have shop assistants? With self service tills becoming more and more prevalent.

Maybe not all children are academic, but they all have talents which can be put to more than one use.

As more and more jobs can be done by robots and drones, maybe the best education we can give our young people is how to use their spare time productively.

I know that we still need builders and plumbers, but we are going to need less, think how many fewer builders are needed to build a house now that machines are doing the heavy lifting and so many components arrive on site already put together.

We have to be training our young people to cope in the future.

mabon1 Fri 11-May-18 13:21:21

couldn't agree more

DotMH1901 Fri 11-May-18 13:25:49

JoelsNan - agree completely with you - I have long argued that we need a return to learning based nursing rather than University led nursing. Not everyone who would love a career as a nurse is academically minded, and we read all the time about patients being neglected and mistreated whilst in hospital - having the SEN role back will go a long way to removing this. We should value our nurses and make sure they get paid a decent salary.

Juggernaut Fri 11-May-18 13:26:21

varian
The vast majority of Grammar School students are destined for Acadaemia, so how this cash will 'help to increase the number of apprenticeships and train the skilled workforce Britain needs' is not really a question for consideration.
Putting it bluntly, most apprenticeships are not taken by Grammar School students.
My DS went to a Grammar School, then spent six years qualifying as a Solicitor, involving a Law Degree (three years), a Legal Practice Certificate (one year), and a Training Contract (two years). Then he started at the bottom of the ladder, and only now, at the age of thirty one, is he reaping the benefits of all his hard work and study.
I agree that more money should be put into apprenticeships for those young people for whom that would be beneficial, but apprenticeships have their place alongside the more academic subjects.

Gma29 Fri 11-May-18 13:31:35

@Joelsnan I have a friend who has nursed all her life, and she said that the HCA’s on her ward can now do so many extra training days/courses, there are loads of things they do now that were once the preserve of the qualified staff. Of course, they are cheaper to employ. She says that if she were considering entering the profession now, she doubts she would bother to train with all the debt etc she would accrue. One thing that annoyed and concerned us both, is the trend for the HCA to carry out the task, and the qualified nurse has to sign it off and be responsible. I was sorry to hear you are unwell, and hope all goes well for you.

varian Fri 11-May-18 13:32:04

Exactly - the last thing we need is more grammar school places to cream off the local comprehensives.

I am glad your son did so well at grammar school but I think you will find that many ex-comprehensive school pupils also achieve first class academic results and professional careers.

varian Fri 11-May-18 13:33:02

That was in response to *Juggernaut"

railman Fri 11-May-18 13:41:11

The Government's £50 million for "extra grammar school places" is just a cover to open new school premises - thus reviving their manifesto commitment. Any extension to existing schools can be made up to 10 miles away, which in turn will cause an increase in house prices, and develop ever more divisions in society.

The less said about 'free schools' and 'religious schools' the better.

Day6 Fri 11-May-18 13:47:09

In answer to the question above, no, I don't think it does. But I don't think our education system is guiding young peaople well either, especially in terms of career advice and 'staying on at school." Bums on seats mean more money for schools so the least academic are flattered to be asked to stay on.

Post 16 education is woefully lacking. Not all kids are academic but they are forced through hoops to study for examinations they are likely to fail.It would be a much better use of their time to sort kids according to ability at 14. I know people scream that would be segregation, (a la secondary modern schools of old) but do we want the best for all children or a system that fails many but satisfies the politically correct who favour 'mainstream' a system with more holes in it than a colander? Sadly there is not much diversity with 'mainstream' one size fits all - but who cares as long as it's right-on and all are equal, even when they patently are NOT?

If I had power I'd ensure there were many more well funded, well organised, prestigious vocational courses open to students from an early age. Kids need practical skills too. We also need a well funded and rigorous apprenticeship programme for 16 year olds. Most go on to pointless further education in school because there are so few options for them at 16, especially if they have very few decent GCSEs. Keeping them off the streets and in post 16 education and ensuring numbers are up in schools (because headcounts matter and are lucrative) seems to be the name of the game.

So many students feel that University is a right too, and just like schools, Unis offer foundation courses galore to allow entry for the less academic or those who've failed in school. Bums on seats again. Money is at the root of it all. So many cannot use their degrees after graduation. The country is swamped with inexperienced and (unfortunately) not too bright graduates. A degree doesn't have the same status any longer or open doors or guarantee a well paid career because they are now common place. Employers are aware of this.

Well funded apprenticeships or vocational courses (in depth ones with status at completion) are the way forward imo.

Nanabilly Fri 11-May-18 13:49:36

Not read all the posts yet but just wanted to say something to hildajenni.
I know a lady who has sons who have special needs ,all of them really struggled with school , more so they could not deal with the social side of it at all .So she home schooled them and then she supported them through college and then through university and now all of them hold really good jobs and one is married and a father. So don't despair

railman Fri 11-May-18 13:50:27

ILovecheese - I liked your suggestion that:

One advantage of a university education is that it teaches the students to think, and problem solve.

Having had the opportunity to work with and train graduates, and some undergraduates, I'm not sure I believe that the university experience teaches student to think. Problem solving skills are much more likely to be gained in a traditional apprenticeship background.

It may be what the university and the rest of us public tend to think happens, but many thousands of traditional engineering apprentices are equally able to "do problem solving", and have real world experience of its application.

Our society needs a broad education system - covering both academic and practical applications of topics being studied.

railman Fri 11-May-18 13:54:55

Day6 - I agree with many of your points.

Not so sure about the 'bums on seats' brining in more revenue - though it clearly helps to avoid the 'NEETS' statistics provided by the ONS looking worse.

My grandson's experience in some aspects of his 16 to 18 teaching left a lot to be desired, although he, thankfully has been successful in spite of, rather than as a result of post-16 education curriculum.

twiglet77 Fri 11-May-18 14:00:15

For a student to spend three years gaining a second-class degree from a third rate university is the most insane waste of time, they'd be so much better off growing up and learning how to earn a living by going into work-based training. Apprenticeships are, sadly, often used purely as an excuse for the employer to pay a pocket-money wage and though they may be worthwhile for someone learning what could be a very lucrative trade (eg plumbing) I fail to see how nurseries can justify paying around half minimum wage to teach an apprenticeship in childcare!

Juggernaut Fri 11-May-18 14:04:33

* varian*
I'm well aware that many students from Comprehensive schools go on to achieve first class academic results and professional careers, in fact I didn't mention Comprehensive education at all!
Where we live, we have a choice of Grammar or Secondary Modern, we are a non Comprehensive area.
Our local Secondary Modern actually states in their syllabus that they aim to get their students to attain C grades at GCSE, and D grades if they stay to do A levels, which very few do.
Using my DS as a case in point, D grades at A level would not have been sufficient for him to get a place on any Law 101 degree in this country. Therefore his chance was only ever going to be through the Grammar school. We could have sent him to a Private school I suppose, but financially that was an impossibility.
Our Grammar school needs extra places, as it is massively oversubscribed, and therefore having to turn down children who really deserve a place. Some of these children would, no doubt, be fine at a good Comprehensive school, but we don't have one, so they are forced to either go to the Sec Mod, or travel out of the Borough entirely to the closest Comprehensives, which also operate an admissions policy, based on home/school proximity as so many children from our area wish to go there.
Our Education Authority here is an absolute disgrace and I wouldn't wish it on anyone!
If Comprehensive schools are run properly, with streaming that works, teachers who are committed, and enough funds, I agree that they offer a wonderful education, but far too many of them fail their more academic pupils, and those who are struggling.
It's horses for courses surely?

Day6 Fri 11-May-18 14:10:02

For a student to spend three years gaining a second-class degree from a third rate university is the most insane waste of time, they'd be so much better off growing up and learning how to earn a living by going into work-based training

I am in full agreement twiglet77
Many teenagers are going with the flow, because they have so few options.
Work based training, although not a way to get rich quick, is likely to serve a young person much better than going to University, just because.

My son commented that at 22 many of his school friends who went to work at 16 had skills, experience, a track record of employment and money in their pockets. He had a piece of paper, rode a bicycle everywhere and thousands of pounds worth of debt.

Which is the best course of action? He is doing OK now, but started off earning much less at 22 than his friends who had been in work based training since the age of 16. He had debt, they had skills, cars and aspired to a mortgage.

Grandad1943 Fri 11-May-18 14:33:22

Quote gillybob [I would be interested to learn what a “real” apprentiship would entailGrandad1943and what this “new legislation” would be that we employers would try to resist?] End quote.

Gillybob, perhaps in answering your question it may be helpful to you and other forum members to briefly give my working background. As I have stated on leaving school in 1960 at the age of fifteen with no qualifications I went through a number of occupations. At the age of nineteen, I joined the road haulage industry as a driver (HGV at the age of twenty one) and loved that occupation for many years

In the early 1980s, I was elected as the employee distribution centre safety rep and sent on a what turned out to be a full-time one month long industrial safety course. That course and education completely changed my life. Following that, I became a safety officer for management eventually holding responsibility for safety in eight distribution centres across the country.

During that period with the assistance of that wonderful employer I achieved through Lifetime learning higher IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) Accreditation and at the same time improved my English, maths etc. In 2003 the section of that business I was employed in was sold to a multi-national company and my services to them was soon "no longer required".

I then set up my own industrial safety business and received work from my original employer, got lucky in getting other client work and soon became an employer myself. My wife and I ran that company until 2013 when we sold it to four senior long standing employees who had been with us since the start up of the business to retire.

We bought back a 25% share in business again when one of those four had a road traffic accident, which means he will never work again, and in that I am still there.

Therefore Gillybob, all I wish to see for those who are starting out in higher education or are looking to improve their employment position would be for the help, training, lifelong learning and assistance I received throughout a large part of my working life to be available once again to them.

I realize that high level training of employees does not come at low cost as we have on several occasions trained out existing staff to the standards required in the profession these days. However, many positions require science and engineering qualifications on commencement of employment with us and we as a company train them on from there.

Therefore, I feel those opportunities of good quality training could and should become available once again through incentives to employers, change of legislation, a rethink on university degree funding and the comprehensive reintroduction of lifelong learning.

Ilovecheese Fri 11-May-18 14:39:10

railman I absolutely agree that engineering apprentices are also able to do problem solving, but not everyone can be an engineer. Some young people are academic, and they need to be catered for as well as more practical people.
An academic education should teach people to think, if it is run properly.

Day6 It's very likely that your son will earn more over his lifetime than his friends who started to earn sooner.

Ilovecheese Fri 11-May-18 14:43:19

But, Day6 I don't agree with streaming by ability at age 14, it is too young, we know more about brain science now, and that IQ and ability is not fixed at such a young age.

varian Fri 11-May-18 14:52:39

juggernaut Nobody could possibly blame you for sending your son to a grammar school in the area you live where the choice was between a grammar school and a secondary modern. The best thing in an area like yours would be comprehensive reorganisation as happened in most areas many years ago, not increasing the number of grammar school places. Areas of England which are ful;ly comprehensive get overall results which are just as good and the children do not suffer the divisive effects of the 11+

dogsmother Fri 11-May-18 14:55:43

I believe students are encouraged to go on to do degrees when they are unnecessary.
My very wise youngest decided not to take up her uni place, nor defer. As she said she knew instinctively she would never use it .... she went on to find a job is now qualified in her chosen career and friends of hers are qualified with degrees but starting at the bottom of the career ladder and are 3/4 years below in the same profession.

Fennel Fri 11-May-18 14:56:22

I'm out of touch with the current curricula of secondary schools. So can't comment, except to mention a project which I was marginally involved in when working - sponsored by Rank-Hovis and aimed at 13-14 yr old truants from one of the local comprehensives.
There were course options from a range of practical subjects eg photography, hairdressing etc. Taught by professionals.
It certainly got the children back into school, not sure about the long term results.

Pat609 Fri 11-May-18 15:35:20

I'm with you 100% on this, there are so many people with degrees that they have become worthless. As others have said, many people (I'm staying away from accusing just youngsters) don't want to get their hands dirty these days. Many people who go on to university do not even have a basic knowledge of the English language. I know someone with a degree in politics who can't even differentiate between there, their and they're, which really is my particular bugbear.

Joelsnan Fri 11-May-18 16:09:08

Pat609
Power to the pedants smile

paddyann Fri 11-May-18 16:50:06

Nursing students in Scotland still get bursaries,nurses get (slightly) higher rates of pay than in the rest of the UK and the cap was lifted at the last budget giving them a 3% rise this year .
There has been a campaign to attract midwives and there has been a good uptake on the places .We think the Scottish government is looking to the future of the SNHS,though sadlyw e will lose a lot of talented people because of Brexit.We will lose a lot of workers in a lot of different areas due to Brexit...something we didn't vote for .This will greatly harm our economy in the next 2 decades or more .

Yvonnew1 Sat 12-May-18 08:16:55

Totally agree Joelsnan. DH is not academic and went through the old system of Technical College. He is a gas fitter, has had his own business for 40 years, is extremely well respected in the industry, loves his work and has provided us with a very good lifestyle. If he had come through the current push to send everyone to University he would have been miserable. University is not for everyone and we need to respect non academic skills.
In my role at work, I used to see all the job applications and was shocked that almost everyone had a degree, regardless of the role they were applying for. It felt that a degree wasn’t ‘worth’ as much as it did when I was starting out because everyone had one. I didn’t have a degree, left school at 16 and went to night classes when my children were small to get qualifications. I ended up as a director of a successful company. I don’t think I could do that now as not having a degree would make me fall at the first hurdle
There needs to be a more holistic view of education.

pollyperkins Sat 12-May-18 12:21:25

Juggernaut I agree with you that education is a disaster in the areas which still have 11 plus exams although it is popular with middle class parents. Are you in Kent btw, or Bucks?

As a retired teacher who worked in comprehensive schools I absolutely agree with OP about apprenticeships. Many of the disaffected youngsters in lower sets would thrive if given a more practical hands on syllabus instead of trying to force them into academic exams in my view. Then they could go on to apprenticeships instead of being out of work with no qualifications as a young relative of mine is. .

pollyperkins Sat 12-May-18 12:24:05

I have to say that a practical course with the Prince's Trust was marvellous and gave him a lot of confidence, but that finished and he still failed to get a job.

Davidhs Sat 12-May-18 13:19:14

The education system is a disaster for the workplace.
Far too many are going to university leading to 40% of graduates not doing graduate work.
The vocational training is also useless, apprentiships are nothing of the sort, instead of committing to a 2 or 3 year training programme for a trade it is just work experience, or training a a Barrista or a Fast Food server.
At 16 to 18 youngsters must decide what they want to do to earn a living and stick to it, but the education system is doing the opposite. Employers are not interested unless the apprentice is committed.

M0nica Sat 12-May-18 18:50:07

What most employers want is young people at every level up to graduates to be literate and numerate. Too many of them are unable to write in a grammatical and comprehensible way and cannot spell. They are entirely reliant on spell checkers, which cannot give contextual help where two words mean different things with different spellings (their/there).

They also want young people who turn up for work on time, work hard and be prepared to go the extra mile if needed. That and an acceptance that the world does not owe them a living and a willingness to learn is far more important than any qualification

notanan2 Sat 12-May-18 18:56:59

For a student to spend three years gaining a second-class degree from a third rate university is the most insane waste of time

In the past there was value placed in learning for learnings sake.
A batchellors degree was never origionally meant to be a professional qualification. Thats why it used to be said that you were "reading geography" rather than studying to be a geographer at undergrad level.

Now, people have to eat! So learning for the love of learning, rather than as a route to a job, is unfortunately reseved for the privilidged.

But I would disagree that university is pointless unless it leads to a job.

notanan2 Sat 12-May-18 19:03:45

The problem with apprentiships is that most modern apprentiships are a con!

Jobs that were previously entry level jobs at min wage are now filled by apprentiships at less than £4 an hour, who are replaced by another cheap apprentise at the end of the program.

lots if apprentiships are not in trades or skills. They are for jobs that in my day you could walk into and work your way up. "level 2s" are now expected for jobs you used to be able to walk into from the street.

Its exploitative cheap labour, and it eliminates the "work your way up" route.

"real" apprentiships that teach skills and trades are still great. But apprentiship programs have been rolled out to areas where they shouldnt be IMO!

M0nica Sat 12-May-18 19:16:02

A good degree in any subject shows your capacity to study independently and grasp a subject at a high level. Many employers are very happy to employ people whose first degree is not directly job relevant.

My DD's first degree is in Acting. She never had one professional engagement as an actor because when she graduated she decided instead to go into the technical side of broadcasting; designing and authoring web sites for the BBC. She then retrained as a television subtitler and recently, having nearly completed an OU degree in science and technology, she is moving into technical writing. Her new employer told her what made her ideal for the job was not just her technical degree but her knowledge of writing and presentation that came from her professional life to date. Her first degree in acting has not been of direct use to her in any of her areas of work, but to begin with it was the fact that she was a graduate that got her a job and since then it has been the fact that she is a graduate and her track record that has enabled her to develop her career.

OldMeg Sun 13-May-18 07:46:57

We need a literate population with a diversity of skills.

When need our thinkers and academics, our technicians and innovators, plus our hands-on workers.

We need all these and more and an education system which provides the means for them to thrive.

Iam64 Sun 13-May-18 08:43:17

Exactly OldMeg - not rocket science is it.

It's no wonder we have a shortage of nurses and social workers in all disciplines. Why would anyone want to find themselves in huge student debt in order to qualify in a profession where you never earn a huge amount and end up sitting in front of a lap top filling in forms. The teaching/social work/nursing assistants are paid less, have less stress and don't have huge student debts.

Gerispringer Sun 13-May-18 08:53:07

Plus it’s not just about filling gaps in the workplace. Children should have the opportunity to explore creative subjects such as music, dance, art, drama, sport as those who don’t shine in academic displines may have the chance to shine in other areas. Of course these are the areas that are being sacrificed on the altar of a narrow academic curriculum.

Joelsnan Sun 13-May-18 09:00:35

Is it the academics themselves who have narrowed the curriculum and created content far too complicated and barely relevant to its need. I think of English where spelling and grammar appears to have been sacrificed for technical composition?

Gerispringer Sun 13-May-18 09:02:49

I think it was Michael Gove who insisted on the emphasis on obscure grammar.

gillybob Sun 13-May-18 09:05:12

^The problem with apprentiships is that most modern apprentiships are a con!

Jobs that were previously entry level jobs at min wage are now filled by apprentiships at less than £4 an hour, who are replaced by another cheap apprentise at the end of the program^

There are hundreds of these advertised on local job sites. Many for the local authority too. Basically pen pushing jobs being turned into an apprenticeship for a young person in order to pay them the least amount of money possible (plus zero NI etc). They openly state that they are only open to 16-17 year olds to maximise the length of slave labour.

On the opposite side of things we were conned into taking an older (genuine) apprentice industrial electrician and have been well and truly ripped off by the system.

gillybob Sun 13-May-18 09:07:57

Apologies but the first paragraph was a quote from a previous post by notanan .

GillT57 Sun 13-May-18 13:27:23

Just to remind everyone that it is not only nursing students who work for nothing, DD has just completed a 10 weeks teaching placement, full time, unpaid, and still has to pay £9000 a year for tuition fees.

Nanannotgrandma Sun 13-May-18 20:04:34

As a retired nurse, I have to say that nursing is also academic. Without research, nurses would still be rubbing pressure areas and overmedicating in many areas. Including Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. There needs to be a balance between hands on experience and learning. But, sadly, now Nurse students will have to pay for their training in England and Scotland it is hard to see how nursing will go forward

Iam64 Sun 13-May-18 20:30:52

It was indeed the lovely Michael Gove, he who despises "experts" and thought he knew so much better than those working in education.

Gerispringer is right to point out the benefits children get from creative subjects, I'd add physical exercise to that list.

OldMeg Mon 14-May-18 06:30:53

Yea, the curriculum needs to be a wide as possible to give children the chance to experience a wide range of subjects and activities.

Soon enough to ‘specialise’ when they choose their options.

Hm999 Mon 14-May-18 23:15:42

The post that caught my eye was
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.

It's the govt who decides what subjects and content to teach at what stage, and how OFSTED want to see it taught, not the teacher. The Senior Leadership Team in school also often make sweeping statements as to how the lesson should look, regardless of which subject it is, not the teacher, again to appease OFSTED.
The school leaving age is 18, so pupils have to be in school, college or in an apprenticeship. Pupils who have not reached a certain standard in Maths and English must study those subjects beyond 16.
Universities are driven by money, so a course which doesn't attract enough interest is dropped, even though it may be a subject useful to industry. Similarly A level subjects in school without enough pupil interest will also go. Popular subjects (at either level) are often the ones pupils have not studied before. We live in a supply and demand society.
In olden days most grammar school pupils went to uni or some other form of Higher Education. That was about 18-25% of the population depending on where you lived.
Lastly, who would decide which subjects are useful and which are not? The govt would. Looking at the mess that's been created thus far, probably not.