I was somewhat amused that one of your industry spokespeople said that the government had been listening to industry over the issue of apprenticeships and the voucher scheme because obviously not everybody in the opposition benches had been listening if the statement by Ed Miliband is anything to go by.
He stated that if a Labour government was elected, everybody gaining the required qualifications of two A levels would be offered an apprenticeship. Had this have been the case when the last Labour government was in power, I know several people who are now considered to be industry leaders would not have been eligible for an apprenticeship.
When are those in power going to get it into their heads that academic achievement is not, and never has been, an accurate measure of the potential of a person to succeed in a vocational occupation. While the levels of technology have advanced significantly, and not always to the good of the industry I might add, the requirement of a good connection between the brain and the hands as a prerequisite to becoming a good tradesman/woman has in no way diminished. For some, the very opposite is true and yet society still maintains this totally wrong perception that a person’s potential worth in industry is still somehow indicated by their academic ability.
Unfortunately, it is this attitude that has prevented many people with high levels of natural skill but limited academic ability from entering the industry of their choice. Somehow I think the time has come for academia to be seen for what it is – the ability to learn, and the importance of the ability to do is also recognised as an important attribute. If the world stopped spinning tomorrow by the time the academics had pondered and arrived at a solution the doers would already have saved them by getting it started again.
A.G.Brunton IEng. MIPlantE. MSOE. LCGI. FCIPHE.RP. Master Plumber.