The Telegraph is reporting warnings from education and business professionals that young people have been “mis-sold” the route to success, with record numbers heading to university rather than considering vocational alternatives .
They said parents and teachers should be educated about vocational pathways open to teenagers, in order to rubbish the “impression” that higher education is the only route to a successful career.
Speaking at a round-table debate, Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star, said teachers were the “root cause” of young people choosing university over vocational and technical qualifications.
“There has been lots of soundbites, lots of commitment, lots of great words, lots of great things that parents want to hear,” he said, “but actually when it comes to a joined-up delivery model, it’s about cutting back and transferring the burden on to somebody else.”
David Harborne, acting CEO of education charity the Edge Foundation, added his voice to concerns that results driven performance tables meant schools were reluctant to encourage students towards apprenticeships.
“We have created an education system that is led by top down targets and those [targets] do not support the paths we are talking about,” he warned. “We need to get back to a system where schools have the confidence to teach the subjects that will engage the interest of their students.”
The calls for a nationwide campaign come as the Government consults over plans to issue a new levy to large businesses to increase the number of apprenticeships to three million during this parliament…
Do you accept the criticism made by Theo Paphitis that teachers are perhaps too keen to push young people into higher education rather than vocational alternatives and apprenticeships?
Is the whole system set up to focus on getting people into university at the moment?
And what do you think business can or should offer to help redress the balance?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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