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Does our education system meet the needs the workplace

(83 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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. .

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.

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 .

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

Power to the pedants smile

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.

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.

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.