Stigma attached to vocational education is unjust - NFB

Posted On: 
7th December 2018

Vocational education needs to be seen as fulfilling as getting a degree 

UK too 'snobbish' about benefits of vocational studies, says Education Secretary

Education Secretary Damian Hinds will tell an audience of business and education leaders that many young people are told that vocational courses such as apprenticeships are “second class” and the only way to get a good job is to get a degree.

Hinds disagrees, arguing instead that he wants “to break down some of the false barriers we’ve erected between academic and technical routes.”

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) backs the education secretary’s ambition and often stresses the need for schools to give pupils and parents a better understanding of the amazing career and life opportunities vocational and technical education offers.

Students graduating from university do so with more than £30,000 of debt and no guaranteed job. A young person who has completed a bricklayer’s apprenticeship could see their course paid for by the employer and earn an average salary of £40,000.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Britain has become a nation of ‘technical education snobs’ with politicians, schools and parents preoccupied with university. Vocational courses offer learners an equally fantastic alternative to university that brings more immediate rewards.

“We need schools across the country to look at vocational education, such as construction, as the engine of the UK, not the graveyard of ambition. Young people need impartial advice so they can choose their own career path and that means placing vocational education on an equal footing as university, making sure vocational education is seen as fulfilling as getting a degree.”