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Blimey, I agree with Boris...

(121 Posts)
Blinko Wed 30-Sep-20 20:13:24

The PM has called for parity between academic qualifications and vocational qualifications. I couldn't agree more. I think it's the first time I've heard him say anything remotely sensible. He sounded quite sincere.

Let's end this class distinction where academia is hallowed and the shop floor is somehow of lesser value. Who built this country, FGS?

Calendargirl Wed 30-Sep-20 20:17:59

I agree, but can’t help wondering in 20 or so years time, will Boris and Carrie want Wilfred to be doing a law degree say, or training to be a plumber or bricklayer?

All very essential jobs, but sadly, I think I know the answer to my own question.

Kamiso Wed 30-Sep-20 20:20:28

Missed it but definitely agree. Never understood why manual work is considered inferior somehow. We’d miss the plumbers and similar trades far more than most others workers. If we had no one to repair our vehicles or kitchen white goods life would become very stressful.

growstuff Wed 30-Sep-20 21:19:36

The Blair government tried the same thing, but the message has never got through. It's one of the reasons so many former polytechnics and colleges and higher education were awarded university status and some people now mock them. T levels, which are supposed to be an alternative to A levels, haven't really taken off either.

The important thing will be a change in public perception, in addition to ensuring that these kind of courses are genuinely high quality and what that quality entails. The British government could do well to look at the German system of higher education.

I agree with Calendargirl. If the choice for Wilfred is doing PPE at Oxford and a degree in plumbing, I wonder what he'll choose. hmm

GrannyGravy13 Wed 30-Sep-20 21:20:09

Having just watched the repair shop and having a conversation with my Mr where we both agreed that craftsmen should be valued as much as lawyers, accountants, doctors etc. It’s about time all professions were valued.

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 21:20:53

I agree Blinko.

Those with vocational qualifications are essential to society.

NotTooOld Wed 30-Sep-20 21:44:20

I too was pleased to hear Boris say that. I think the government is doing well to consider how people who lose their jobs due to Covid will need to retrain for good job opportunities in the future. The FE colleges do a magnificent job in training people in the various trades. What's more, they are ready set up to do so. But make it happen before next April as many will be out of work at the end of October when furlough ends. What are they supposed to do in the intervening 6 months?

Chewbacca Wed 30-Sep-20 21:46:41

If he carries this through, it will be the one good thing he has done. I'm all for it.

LadyBella Wed 30-Sep-20 21:57:19

Blinko I absolutely agree. GrannyGravy we too watch The Repair Shop. Those people are brilliant. Where we live we often watch Master Thatchers at work. Their skill is amazing. Both new and old skills need to be learned. Yes, for once Boris has made an excellent suggestion.

M0nica Wed 30-Sep-20 22:03:04

...and what happens to those who for any reason are not held in awe because they have vocational training or a degree.

No matter how we restructure society, sooner or later you need to address what we do to respect and help those who cannot manage to jump through any hoops. Many people with disabilities are pushed into this group, but it does not include only those who have an 'excuse' for not getting through the hoops.

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 22:08:19

People without qualifications are also essential for society to run well.

growstuff Wed 30-Sep-20 22:10:48

Chewbacca

If he carries this through, it will be the one good thing he has done. I'm all for it.

If is the operative word. Various groups have been calling for it ever since I started in education. Over the last 40 years, we've seen the reverse. It's going to take a massive financial investment, commitment and some good strategic brains to make it work.

growstuff Wed 30-Sep-20 22:11:34

Callistemon

People without qualifications are also essential for society to run well.

True, but that's not this is about.

GrandmaKT Wed 30-Sep-20 22:15:28

I think it's a long-overdue move.
We are desperately in need of more craft/trade people and I do wish that vocational qualifications were seen as equivalent to academic ones. Germany seems to have got it right.
I do wonder where the tutors are going to come from for these vocational qualifications though, I don't think it's something that can be achieved overnight. But, good luck to him - a definite move in the right direction!

M0nica Wed 30-Sep-20 22:19:26

Yes, but many posts fail to consider the effect of this decision on those who have neither vocational qualifications nor a degree and could not obtain them, even if given the opportunity.

MawB2 Wed 30-Sep-20 22:35:53

Calendargirl

I agree, but can’t help wondering in 20 or so years time, will Boris and Carrie want Wilfred to be doing a law degree say, or training to be a plumber or bricklayer?

All very essential jobs, but sadly, I think I know the answer to my own question.

A plumber or brickie in the family or washing machine engineer,or electrician or kitchen fitter isa heck of a lot more use these days!

Jaberwok Wed 30-Sep-20 22:38:33

I would think that Boris and particularly Carrie will be happy enough for Wilfred to pursue a. What he's capable of and b.what makes him happy.

growstuff Wed 30-Sep-20 23:36:09

M0nica

Yes, but many posts fail to consider the effect of this decision on those who have neither vocational qualifications nor a degree and could not obtain them, even if given the opportunity.

I think that's a different issue. It's about valuing all human beings just because they exist and I don't think any educational reforms will ever achieve that.

growstuff Wed 30-Sep-20 23:39:53

GrandmaKT

I think it's a long-overdue move.
We are desperately in need of more craft/trade people and I do wish that vocational qualifications were seen as equivalent to academic ones. Germany seems to have got it right.
I do wonder where the tutors are going to come from for these vocational qualifications though, I don't think it's something that can be achieved overnight. But, good luck to him - a definite move in the right direction!

I agree with you. The first step will be to train the trainers. It's difficult to find tradespeople to work in FE because most are not prepared to take a cut in pay.

In any case I don't think what Johnson mentioned was about mainstream electricians and plumbers. It's about Level 4 (degree level) vocational training.

Elrel Thu 01-Oct-20 00:43:37

GrannyGravy - each Wednesday my son and I have a FaceTime ‘date’ to watch The Repair Shop ‘together’. We are awed at the craftspeople’s skills and calm, patient demeanour. The country seems in urgent need of people who have learned their trade at the side of such thorough and painstaking exponents of their trade. Where are the apprentices?

Doodledog Thu 01-Oct-20 01:27:41

I think he’s saying it to appeal to the ‘red wall’ voters whose support he is losing.

I have heard lots of people say this sort of thing over the years, but when questioned they mean that apprenticeships are a great idea for other people’s children (as ‘we’ need tradespeople that ‘they’ could become), but their own children would be better suited to traditional professions or academic subjects.

Until we stop classifying people based on occupation there will always be a two-tier system. I don’t think that the skills on The Repair Shop are necessarily either graduate skills or the type learned in traditional apprenticeships either. The people on there are more like artists than tradespeople, and anyway I don’t know that a lot of people who go into trades would want to do degrees or equivalent vocational qualifications.

Suggesting that everything can, or should be the same in order to be equal is missing the point. Starting by valuing trades as equal to (or more useful than) many ‘white collar’ jobs might encourage people to take up apprenticeships if they can get them, but I don’t think it will work the other way around.

Doodledog Thu 01-Oct-20 01:37:14

To clarify - by ‘the other way round’, I mean that making trades graduate entry won’t make people want to go into them.

vegansrock Thu 01-Oct-20 06:50:06

Perhaps give FE colleges and their staff more money to start with, they’ve been starved of funds for decades. I think every PM comes out with this as if it’s some new idea , then nothing happens.

Davidhs Thu 01-Oct-20 07:56:28

I look forward to the day when a lawyer rates the same pay scale as a plumber. There are professionals that do deserve their pay, doctors and nurses are a good example, others are simply parasites. There should be a pay review body to determine pay in relation to merit, including CEOs of companies and public bodies.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 01-Oct-20 08:48:17

Davidhs

I look forward to the day when a lawyer rates the same pay scale as a plumber. There are professionals that do deserve their pay, doctors and nurses are a good example, others are simply parasites. There should be a pay review body to determine pay in relation to merit, including CEOs of companies and public bodies.

The last time we used a lawyer (three years ago) they were considerably cheaper than any plumber/electrician here in S E Essex!!!