Apprenticeships should bring back the medieval terminology of “master craftsman” to boost their status, the Social Market Foundation has said. The Telegraph reports.
Using different titles for the varying types of apprenticeships would help to boost the prestige of the higher levels qualifications, according to a new report by the think-tank.
“When apprenticeships were first introduced in England in the middle ages, apprentices trained to become a Journeyman under the supervision of a Master Craftsman,” the report said.
“Many European countries have successfully incorporated more gradation into the terminology of their apprenticeship structure to distinguish the most accomplished apprentices from entry-level apprentices.”
James Kirkup, director of the SMF, said: “We need to give more prestige to non-academic paths. The average person you meet on the bus would say ‘what’s a Level 7 apprenticeship?’ But this is quite impressive. These are challenging qualifications, they deserve more recognition and higher status.”
Apprenticeships range from Level 2, which is equivalent to GCSEs, to Level 7 which is equivalent to a BA or MA and takes between three and five years to complete.
“The skill level is much greater, the wage premium will be much greater. You wouldn’t just call all qualifications from universities ‘degrees’ with no distinction between a BA, MA and a PHD.”
“A more clearly labelled progression system would be easier to understand, and it could motivate prospective apprentices to undertake apprenticeships in their chosen occupation at a higher level,” the report added.
Damian Hinds, the education secretary, has previously said that Britain has become a nation of “snobs” who think university is the only way to get a good job.
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