We need more apprentices and fewer graduates, says Worcestershire councillor

Evesham Journal: Councillor Ken Pollock Councillor Ken Pollock

TOO many young people think university is "the only route to success" and end up with an "over-inflated view of their worth" after graduating, according to a Worcestershire politician.

Councillor Ken Pollock said the idea "every other person should go to university is foolish", and blames society for creating disillusioned "unemployed graduates" employers do not need.

The Conservative, who recently led a major review into apprenticeships, also says he is worried many students end up with "huge debt and a feeling the world owes them a living".

Cllr Pollock, who represents Tenbury, was tasked with coming up with pointers as to how Worcestershire County Council can help make apprenticeships more attractive to students.

As your Worcester News revealed on Saturday, all of his recommendations have been taken on board by the leadership.

Cllr Pollock, speaking during a cabinet meeting, said a serious culture change is needed if things are to change significantly.

"Schools reflect society and society is oriented towards academic success," he said.

"University is not the only route to success and making a valuable contribution to society.

"The idea that every other person should go to university is foolish, misleading and brings about disillusionment to unemployed graduates, with an over-inflated view of their worth.

"They can find themselves saddled with a huge debt and a feeling that the world owes them a living, working in their chosen field, without reference to the needs of society - no wonder they feel resentment.

"Society is not organised to need every other person to have a degree.

"If they want to get one, fine, but they have to recognise they may end up working in something wholly unrelated to their subject, and maybe at a more lowly level of responsibility and reward than they had anticipated."

He said the council, schools in Worcestershire and society in general all have a responsibility to "accept" many non-academic jobs are "worthy of respect".

"Just as an example our society could exist without brain surgeons," he said.

"With no brain surgeons a few people would die prematurely - by contrast society could not exist without lorry drivers.

"Does society honour such jobs and a thousand others that might be reached through an apprenticeship? Not adequately.

"Apprenticeships are just such a route to success and valuable jobs, and they should be regarded as such by society in general."

His full report has been endorsed by the council, and as a result all schools in Worcestershire have been contacted in a bid to improve careers advice so apprenticeships get similar billing to university.

* What do you think of Cllr Pollock's comments? Email te@worcesternews.co.uk or call 01905 742248.

Comments (34)

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4:53pm Fri 13 Jun 14

CJH says...

"over-inflated view of their worth" Well, our councillors are experts on that...
"over-inflated view of their worth" Well, our councillors are experts on that... CJH
  • Score: 6

6:04pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Andy_R says...

We need fewer councillors says worcestershire graduate.
We need fewer councillors says worcestershire graduate. Andy_R
  • Score: 18

8:10pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

Perhaps if he'd had a better education he may have been able to work out which part of his body he's talking out of.
Perhaps if he'd had a better education he may have been able to work out which part of his body he's talking out of. Tony Pingree
  • Score: -4

1:04am Sat 14 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

The huge political propaganda over Apprentiships currently can be seen as a "Told You So" by some moderate Trade Unions and workers from as long back as the late 1960's, and since then BOTH Governments have presided over a famine in apprentiships, and Blairs Labour demands that all students should be able to go to University.
What such a mad-Cap scheme overlooked was where were all the important workers who were in the Services Industires, Drove Busses, Swept the Streets, and many more very important jobs which didn't need useless Degrees, but Work Experience. And yet again the Politicians have failed. You don't need a degree to realise that Politicians are far removed from reality, who really must come from a different world to ours, since their mistakes are frequently obvious to the person in the street long before they become mistakes.
However when Blair ignored the Nolan Report, which reccomended means tested Student Fees but also said NOT to cut Student living allowances. But Blair did introduce Student Fees and took away Student Living Allowances.
So we have thousands of students with £30,000 and more Student Loan Debts, which Gordon Brown discussed selling to private debt agencies and would attract high rates of interest. But some students will never pay off these loans and they will always be registered as a Debt aginst their credit rating. And they cannot go Bankrupt to remove this Debt, the Labour government made sure of that.
The huge political propaganda over Apprentiships currently can be seen as a "Told You So" by some moderate Trade Unions and workers from as long back as the late 1960's, and since then BOTH Governments have presided over a famine in apprentiships, and Blairs Labour demands that all students should be able to go to University. What such a mad-Cap scheme overlooked was where were all the important workers who were in the Services Industires, Drove Busses, Swept the Streets, and many more very important jobs which didn't need useless Degrees, but Work Experience. And yet again the Politicians have failed. You don't need a degree to realise that Politicians are far removed from reality, who really must come from a different world to ours, since their mistakes are frequently obvious to the person in the street long before they become mistakes. However when Blair ignored the Nolan Report, which reccomended means tested Student Fees but also said NOT to cut Student living allowances. But Blair did introduce Student Fees and took away Student Living Allowances. So we have thousands of students with £30,000 and more Student Loan Debts, which Gordon Brown discussed selling to private debt agencies and would attract high rates of interest. But some students will never pay off these loans and they will always be registered as a Debt aginst their credit rating. And they cannot go Bankrupt to remove this Debt, the Labour government made sure of that. Jabbadad
  • Score: -2

5:34am Sat 14 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Cnr Pollock may well be preparing future employees with lowered expectations, as there's likely to be many unemployed graduates in local government with the current lack of money. Perhaps he needs to ask himself first why its acceptable in a first world country to not have a minimum wage, then people might not be cynical about his motives. Graduates know at least that they will have an acceptable salary, if they get a job. Conversely, many young graduates are told at university that they're the elite, and it takes a while before they realise they're not. Many don't have the resilience to do a physically hard job, but many don't want to end up doing the soul destroying, slave labour they saw their parents do.
Cnr Pollock may well be preparing future employees with lowered expectations, as there's likely to be many unemployed graduates in local government with the current lack of money. Perhaps he needs to ask himself first why its acceptable in a first world country to not have a minimum wage, then people might not be cynical about his motives. Graduates know at least that they will have an acceptable salary, if they get a job. Conversely, many young graduates are told at university that they're the elite, and it takes a while before they realise they're not. Many don't have the resilience to do a physically hard job, but many don't want to end up doing the soul destroying, slave labour they saw their parents do. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 14 Jun 14

liketoknow says...

I think what he's trying to say is education doesn't necessarily equate to intelligence.
I think what he's trying to say is education doesn't necessarily equate to intelligence. liketoknow
  • Score: 12

10:33am Sat 14 Jun 14

Landy44 says...

He's partly correct. The whole archaic education system in this country is overly costly and under delivering. It is currently failing our young people at all levels.

I tend to agree far too many of our young people are duped into spending time and money on degrees, many of which are in subjects where a degree is not suitable, and where the content dos not prepare them for jobs in the relevant industry. Equally, some students are not suited to the university environment and there are insufficient learning options outside of what has become the convention.

Apprenticeships alone are not the answer. In the current century it seems lazy to continue to operate an education system that dates from the 1800's, is run along the same principles as our prisons, and takes little account of the individual's it is charged with teaching. In a time when the average person has a phone with more processing power than it took to land man on the moon, and the power of information dissemination that the Internet can deliver, we need many more options and we need to encourage lifelong learning.

I'be recruited lots of graduates inmmy time and whilst many are good, many also exhibit the characteristics in the article above. It's not their fault - it's the way they have been taught and conditioned.

Education is one of the main tools we have to get this country and it's people thriving again, but it will take a long time and lots of effort. Not the obsolete education system we currently have.
He's partly correct. The whole archaic education system in this country is overly costly and under delivering. It is currently failing our young people at all levels. I tend to agree far too many of our young people are duped into spending time and money on degrees, many of which are in subjects where a degree is not suitable, and where the content dos not prepare them for jobs in the relevant industry. Equally, some students are not suited to the university environment and there are insufficient learning options outside of what has become the convention. Apprenticeships alone are not the answer. In the current century it seems lazy to continue to operate an education system that dates from the 1800's, is run along the same principles as our prisons, and takes little account of the individual's it is charged with teaching. In a time when the average person has a phone with more processing power than it took to land man on the moon, and the power of information dissemination that the Internet can deliver, we need many more options and we need to encourage lifelong learning. I'be recruited lots of graduates inmmy time and whilst many are good, many also exhibit the characteristics in the article above. It's not their fault - it's the way they have been taught and conditioned. Education is one of the main tools we have to get this country and it's people thriving again, but it will take a long time and lots of effort. Not the obsolete education system we currently have. Landy44
  • Score: 10

10:52am Sat 14 Jun 14

green49 says...

I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.
I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country. green49
  • Score: 21

8:16pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Cllr Pollock is correct.

For too many years the political elite have been saying we need more graduates to fill an anticipated growth in demand for higher skilled jobs.

The reality is that the new computer revolution has actually enabled more jobs to be de-skilled and internationalised. This in turn has put a downward pressure on salaries for the majority.

Meanwhile the political elite and education system has perpetuated the myth that more graduates are needed and to some extent 'dummed' down some of the degrees so that more can qualify.

Increasingly more students will be sucked into taking a degree, taking on debt and with reduced prospects of a getting a job and not unexpectedly thinking they are above taking a lower paid jobs. The very jobs that are now being filled by overseas workers.

If done correctly and employers can be encouraged to taken on more young people, apprenticeships can be a better way to help school leavers into gainful employment whilst also better meeting employer skill needs.

An added benefit is that more young people will seek jobs locally and with all the benefits this can have for closer knit local communities.

The problem is that there are too many vested interests in perpetuating the current myths and system.
Cllr Pollock is correct. For too many years the political elite have been saying we need more graduates to fill an anticipated growth in demand for higher skilled jobs. The reality is that the new computer revolution has actually enabled more jobs to be de-skilled and internationalised. This in turn has put a downward pressure on salaries for the majority. Meanwhile the political elite and education system has perpetuated the myth that more graduates are needed and to some extent 'dummed' down some of the degrees so that more can qualify. Increasingly more students will be sucked into taking a degree, taking on debt and with reduced prospects of a getting a job and not unexpectedly thinking they are above taking a lower paid jobs. The very jobs that are now being filled by overseas workers. If done correctly and employers can be encouraged to taken on more young people, apprenticeships can be a better way to help school leavers into gainful employment whilst also better meeting employer skill needs. An added benefit is that more young people will seek jobs locally and with all the benefits this can have for closer knit local communities. The problem is that there are too many vested interests in perpetuating the current myths and system. 3thinker
  • Score: 12

9:39pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

There is another eliment in being graduates since many do apply for lesser qualified jobs just to generate some sort of income, to be told NO Thanks that they are over qualified.
There is another eliment in being graduates since many do apply for lesser qualified jobs just to generate some sort of income, to be told NO Thanks that they are over qualified. Jabbadad
  • Score: 6

9:44pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Jabbadad wrote:
There is another eliment in being graduates since many do apply for lesser qualified jobs just to generate some sort of income, to be told NO Thanks that they are over qualified.
Good point Jabbadad.

I've experienced this myself. That and the problem of competing for jobs with others that have a longer work record as a result of not spending (and in some cases wasting) three years at University.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: There is another eliment in being graduates since many do apply for lesser qualified jobs just to generate some sort of income, to be told NO Thanks that they are over qualified.[/p][/quote]Good point Jabbadad. I've experienced this myself. That and the problem of competing for jobs with others that have a longer work record as a result of not spending (and in some cases wasting) three years at University. 3thinker
  • Score: 7

10:21pm Sat 14 Jun 14

liketoknow says...

green49 wrote:
I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.
Iagree, and even then the ''qualified'' people make a pig's ear of it most of the time . There's a lot to be said for working class savvy , when I started work management came up through the ranks . now they're shipped in straight from college . most of them haven't got a clue. how much time is lost covering mistakes from ;''upstairs''?
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.[/p][/quote]Iagree, and even then the ''qualified'' people make a pig's ear of it most of the time . There's a lot to be said for working class savvy , when I started work management came up through the ranks . now they're shipped in straight from college . most of them haven't got a clue. how much time is lost covering mistakes from ;''upstairs''? liketoknow
  • Score: 10

10:28pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

liketoknow wrote:
green49 wrote:
I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.
Iagree, and even then the ''qualified'' people make a pig's ear of it most of the time . There's a lot to be said for working class savvy , when I started work management came up through the ranks . now they're shipped in straight from college . most of them haven't got a clue. how much time is lost covering mistakes from ;''upstairs''?
Its the same in politics. All too many are career politicians with Oxbridge backgrounds and without any real experience of the real world of work or what life is really like for their constituents.
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.[/p][/quote]Iagree, and even then the ''qualified'' people make a pig's ear of it most of the time . There's a lot to be said for working class savvy , when I started work management came up through the ranks . now they're shipped in straight from college . most of them haven't got a clue. how much time is lost covering mistakes from ;''upstairs''?[/p][/quote]Its the same in politics. All too many are career politicians with Oxbridge backgrounds and without any real experience of the real world of work or what life is really like for their constituents. 3thinker
  • Score: 10

8:40am Sun 15 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

green49 wrote:
I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.
Graduate-envy I suspect, and a generalisation. Obviously you weren't asking them to write an economic Issues paper, analyse a Profit and Loss statement, or prepare a Business Case. You may have been 'under-employing' the graduates, and they were in it for the money only. So for some jobs a good graduate who has been educated specifically for that work is necessary. Lets not fool ourselves. Since many of production industry jobs have moved, or will be moving offshore to China, India, Korea, and Indonesia, some apprenticeships will not be viable in the future. Korea, and the Nordic countries have the highest literacy rates. And since these countries are spending lots on their education systems to get a 'smart' workforce, because they know that only a 'smart' country will be able to compete in a high technology future. So apprenticeships are still important, especially in high tech economies of the future. So how much money is he Government putting into apprenticeships that will help Britain compete technologically in the next 20 years?
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: I had 2 guys come work for me they had degrees, they werent worth paying in washers, they had big egos and no common sense knowledge, sure they had some paper to prove they had ability to learn but didnt show the effort, i had 2 school leavers who wanted the job and to learn, they been with me 8 years now and they are great, its attitude and effort put in that will get people jobs, change our stupid benefit system that pays perfectly fit people to do nothing so that they have to do something for the money, you dont need a degree to cut cabbages etc, that way we would also cut down on too many outsiders coming to the country that is bursting at the seems, we only need fully qualified people in a job that will benefit the whole country.[/p][/quote]Graduate-envy I suspect, and a generalisation. Obviously you weren't asking them to write an economic Issues paper, analyse a Profit and Loss statement, or prepare a Business Case. You may have been 'under-employing' the graduates, and they were in it for the money only. So for some jobs a good graduate who has been educated specifically for that work is necessary. Lets not fool ourselves. Since many of production industry jobs have moved, or will be moving offshore to China, India, Korea, and Indonesia, some apprenticeships will not be viable in the future. Korea, and the Nordic countries have the highest literacy rates. And since these countries are spending lots on their education systems to get a 'smart' workforce, because they know that only a 'smart' country will be able to compete in a high technology future. So apprenticeships are still important, especially in high tech economies of the future. So how much money is he Government putting into apprenticeships that will help Britain compete technologically in the next 20 years? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -6

11:17am Sun 15 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

Perhaps where degrees have lost a lot of credability is where universities in order to respond / find for such an influx of Blairs Students some subject to fit into, literally created degrees many of which still have no place whatsoever in the workplace and success of this Country. With apprenticeships they are the whole package with further education, Hands on Training and coming out with a worthwhile result. My son, with our blessing and support went to University to study computer programming. After 2 years he decided that there was a very limited employment prospect in this field. And when back home and applying for jobs he was told more than once that the companies interveiwing would have sooner he had gone to them straight from 6th Form College and they would have Home Grown Him.,( or what we oldies call an apprenticeship.) Some 15 years on, he is very happy, is doing very well and still paying his Studet Loan off.
But we need both Apprenticeships and Degrees.
And as to China and India we have to recall that our Captains of Industry in the Uk were / Are responsible for exporting our techinical training, factories , Jobs and funding to these and other countries for nothing less than CHEAP LABOUR (means higher profits) and we are seeing many products that were produced for 10 a penny are now back in this country to be made again with the better technology. Plus the workforces in India and China will no longer work for pittance wages.
Perhaps where degrees have lost a lot of credability is where universities in order to respond / find for such an influx of Blairs Students some subject to fit into, literally created degrees many of which still have no place whatsoever in the workplace and success of this Country. With apprenticeships they are the whole package with further education, Hands on Training and coming out with a worthwhile result. My son, with our blessing and support went to University to study computer programming. After 2 years he decided that there was a very limited employment prospect in this field. And when back home and applying for jobs he was told more than once that the companies interveiwing would have sooner he had gone to them straight from 6th Form College and they would have Home Grown Him.,( or what we oldies call an apprenticeship.) Some 15 years on, he is very happy, is doing very well and still paying his Studet Loan off. But we need both Apprenticeships and Degrees. And as to China and India we have to recall that our Captains of Industry in the Uk were / Are responsible for exporting our techinical training, factories , Jobs and funding to these and other countries for nothing less than CHEAP LABOUR (means higher profits) and we are seeing many products that were produced for 10 a penny are now back in this country to be made again with the better technology. Plus the workforces in India and China will no longer work for pittance wages. Jabbadad
  • Score: 3

5:25pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

This is an interesting topic.

I have employed both educated and non educated people in the past with varying degrees of successes. I’ve often found that drive and usefulness are not always linked to the degree of education a person has.

What I have found though is that higher educated people often know more and are more inquisitive about the world around them, including politicians. (though this is not an absolute)

So...

While reading these varied, interesting and insightful posts on this subject a thought crossed my mind.

Why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society?

Even though his argument is work related, this is what he is suggesting.

Are we being led somewhere without us realising.
This is an interesting topic. I have employed both educated and non educated people in the past with varying degrees of successes. I’ve often found that drive and usefulness are not always linked to the degree of education a person has. What I have found though is that higher educated people often know more and are more inquisitive about the world around them, including politicians. (though this is not an absolute) So... While reading these varied, interesting and insightful posts on this subject a thought crossed my mind. Why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society? Even though his argument is work related, this is what he is suggesting. Are we being led somewhere without us realising. Tony Pingree
  • Score: -2

5:33pm Sun 15 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Tony Pingree wrote:
This is an interesting topic.

I have employed both educated and non educated people in the past with varying degrees of successes. I’ve often found that drive and usefulness are not always linked to the degree of education a person has.

What I have found though is that higher educated people often know more and are more inquisitive about the world around them, including politicians. (though this is not an absolute)

So...

While reading these varied, interesting and insightful posts on this subject a thought crossed my mind.

Why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society?

Even though his argument is work related, this is what he is suggesting.

Are we being led somewhere without us realising.
Your analysis assumes a University degree means that someone is 'better' educated.

This poses two key questions.

Better educated for what?

Are there not other ways in which people can and do learn and develop useful personal and work skills rather than spending three years building up debts doing a degree?
[quote][p][bold]Tony Pingree[/bold] wrote: This is an interesting topic. I have employed both educated and non educated people in the past with varying degrees of successes. I’ve often found that drive and usefulness are not always linked to the degree of education a person has. What I have found though is that higher educated people often know more and are more inquisitive about the world around them, including politicians. (though this is not an absolute) So... While reading these varied, interesting and insightful posts on this subject a thought crossed my mind. Why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society? Even though his argument is work related, this is what he is suggesting. Are we being led somewhere without us realising.[/p][/quote]Your analysis assumes a University degree means that someone is 'better' educated. This poses two key questions. Better educated for what? Are there not other ways in which people can and do learn and develop useful personal and work skills rather than spending three years building up debts doing a degree? 3thinker
  • Score: 7

7:59pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

Hi 3thinker,

You pose more questions without answering my questions. (are you a politician?)

Is a person with a degree better educated than someone without?

In their subject, generally yes.

Better educated for what?

What ever they want to use it for.

Education often gives you the choice between what you want to do and what you have to do. It also tends to make you a little more inquisitive.

My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society?

Any ideas?
Hi 3thinker, You pose more questions without answering my questions. (are you a politician?) Is a person with a degree better educated than someone without? In their subject, generally yes. Better educated for what? What ever they want to use it for. Education often gives you the choice between what you want to do and what you have to do. It also tends to make you a little more inquisitive. My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society? Any ideas? Tony Pingree
  • Score: -5

11:42am Mon 16 Jun 14

liketoknow says...

I think we're missing the point here. I think we all agree the ability to absorb information is what probably leads to a qualification, but does that necessarily mean that the person has the practical aptitude to be a success?
I think we're missing the point here. I think we all agree the ability to absorb information is what probably leads to a qualification, but does that necessarily mean that the person has the practical aptitude to be a success? liketoknow
  • Score: 5

1:25pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Ken Pollock says...

It is very interesting to read these comments, many of which are very helpful. Tony Pingree writes: My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society?
My reason for claiming that we should not seek to have every other person with a degree is precisely because it gives them a sense of entitlement to a well paid job in the field they have chosen to study and they may then end up in debt and disappointed. It is horses for courses, not a perverted wish to keep down some people who should not be allowed to go to university.
As I said, if they want to do a degree, that's fine by me, as long as they know what may happen afterwards.
Re the abilities of some graduates, I had students who gained first class degrees at the engineering department where I taught who were pretty useless in practical industrial settings. A comment on the degree course to some extent, no doubt, but others were brilliant. One lad went from being one of our lab technicians to getting a good degree and taking up a hghly responsbile job in the oil industry.
There are many routes to success. Our scrutiny report was seeking to show how important it is that good careers advice should help students find the right route for them.
Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Economy scrutiny panel chairman
It is very interesting to read these comments, many of which are very helpful. Tony Pingree writes: My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society? My reason for claiming that we should not seek to have every other person with a degree is precisely because it gives them a sense of entitlement to a well paid job in the field they have chosen to study and they may then end up in debt and disappointed. It is horses for courses, not a perverted wish to keep down some people who should not be allowed to go to university. As I said, if they want to do a degree, that's fine by me, as long as they know what may happen afterwards. Re the abilities of some graduates, I had students who gained first class degrees at the engineering department where I taught who were pretty useless in practical industrial settings. A comment on the degree course to some extent, no doubt, but others were brilliant. One lad went from being one of our lab technicians to getting a good degree and taking up a hghly responsbile job in the oil industry. There are many routes to success. Our scrutiny report was seeking to show how important it is that good careers advice should help students find the right route for them. Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Economy scrutiny panel chairman Ken Pollock
  • Score: 6

2:33pm Mon 16 Jun 14

green49 says...

Rita Jelfs Graduate-envy I suspect, and a generalisation. Obviously you weren't asking them to write an economic Issues paper, analyse a Profit and Loss statement, or prepare a Business Case. in reply to you if i wanted this i can quite eaasily do it myself, but if you read it properly i was quoting from my personnel experience, , it was not a generalisation or envy,,,, i have degrees but when i employ someone i want interested people who WANT the job, not overqualified timewasters,( they wanted the job) which in the instances i pointed out was what i got at the time, i do not employ cheap labour either, you dont need people in a straight forward job who have an attitude that they are better than you just because they have a bit of paper that says they might be clever, pity we dont give degrees in effort and hard work and also common sense. Why do people get degrees in subjects that are useless to the jobs they want to do, i think its just a way to say i got a degree.
Rita Jelfs Graduate-envy I suspect, and a generalisation. Obviously you weren't asking them to write an economic Issues paper, analyse a Profit and Loss statement, or prepare a Business Case. in reply to you if i wanted this i can quite eaasily do it myself, but if you read it properly i was quoting from my personnel experience, , it was not a generalisation or envy,,,, i have degrees but when i employ someone i want interested people who WANT the job, not overqualified timewasters,( they wanted the job) which in the instances i pointed out was what i got at the time, i do not employ cheap labour either, you dont need people in a straight forward job who have an attitude that they are better than you just because they have a bit of paper that says they might be clever, pity we dont give degrees in effort and hard work and also common sense. Why do people get degrees in subjects that are useless to the jobs they want to do, i think its just a way to say i got a degree. green49
  • Score: 5

3:02pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

liketoknow wrote:
I think we're missing the point here. I think we all agree the ability to absorb information is what probably leads to a qualification, but does that necessarily mean that the person has the practical aptitude to be a success?
A tricky question.

I have found that nothing is certain when it comes to levels of education and practical aptitude or success.

The problem is, how can you tell.

Levels of education can give a basic assessment on what you are getting when you employ someone. The exam system is set up in such a way that course work is taken into consideration as well as the your ability to perform on the day.

An employer is basically making his best guess with the information he has got.

Councillor Pollock says that university gives people an over-inflated view of their worth, is foolish if too many people go and creates disillusioned unemployed.

I say, so what?

You don’t need to have a degree to feel like that.

It may be more useful to look at education from a slightly different angle.

If you were in the same job for ten years and during that time you took a degree via the Open University.

Would it be reasonable to for your employer to sack you because of Councillor Pollocks concerns?

Also can you think of any civilised society that says that less education is better for its citizens.
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: I think we're missing the point here. I think we all agree the ability to absorb information is what probably leads to a qualification, but does that necessarily mean that the person has the practical aptitude to be a success?[/p][/quote]A tricky question. I have found that nothing is certain when it comes to levels of education and practical aptitude or success. The problem is, how can you tell. Levels of education can give a basic assessment on what you are getting when you employ someone. The exam system is set up in such a way that course work is taken into consideration as well as the your ability to perform on the day. An employer is basically making his best guess with the information he has got. Councillor Pollock says that university gives people an over-inflated view of their worth, is foolish if too many people go and creates disillusioned unemployed. I say, so what? You don’t need to have a degree to feel like that. It may be more useful to look at education from a slightly different angle. If you were in the same job for ten years and during that time you took a degree via the Open University. Would it be reasonable to for your employer to sack you because of Councillor Pollocks concerns? Also can you think of any civilised society that says that less education is better for its citizens. Tony Pingree
  • Score: -2

9:08pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Venus2000 says...

I agree that not everybody needs a degree and that apprenticeships play a vital role in our economy. Indeed I have been very much involved in my working career in promoting both apprenticeships and degrees and both have a lot to offer.

Let's not forget, however, that there are those that are well suited for a degree education and there are those with a degree that have plenty of common sense and logic.

So have the debate without turning to the normal graduate bashing.

As for your ridiculous comment Cllr Pollock regarding brain surgeons..........

My husband was unfortunate enough to sustain a brain injury when we were living in Worcestershire - thank goodness he was taken to the hugely talented brain surgeons in Birmingham who saved his life and have enabled his full recovery. Before you insult those delivering excellent work after many years of training and many years of research Cllr Pollock - you had best hope that your family are not unfortunate to need the skills to save their lives that you have just done away with in your careless and stereotypical comments.

It is easy to say - quote

"with no brain surgeons a few people would die prematurely" - let me hear you say that when it is your wife, child, parent dying due to lack of brain surgeons. Plenty are dying due to lack of resources in this field - not just a few dying and they are dying at all ages from children through to older people every day. Try looking at the Headway or BIRT sites.

Can you not just argue for something on its merits rather than disrespect something else? There is a place for multiple routes to work and each person in work deserves equal respect not a bashing by somebody in a public position.

You continue to talk down highly skilled roles in Worcestershire - and those highly skilled jobs will continue to go to the likes of Birmingham and London where they are not insulted by people like you.
I agree that not everybody needs a degree and that apprenticeships play a vital role in our economy. Indeed I have been very much involved in my working career in promoting both apprenticeships and degrees and both have a lot to offer. Let's not forget, however, that there are those that are well suited for a degree education and there are those with a degree that have plenty of common sense and logic. So have the debate without turning to the normal graduate bashing. As for your ridiculous comment Cllr Pollock regarding brain surgeons.......... My husband was unfortunate enough to sustain a brain injury when we were living in Worcestershire - thank goodness he was taken to the hugely talented brain surgeons in Birmingham who saved his life and have enabled his full recovery. Before you insult those delivering excellent work after many years of training and many years of research Cllr Pollock - you had best hope that your family are not unfortunate to need the skills to save their lives that you have just done away with in your careless and stereotypical comments. It is easy to say - quote "with no brain surgeons a few people would die prematurely" - let me hear you say that when it is your wife, child, parent dying due to lack of brain surgeons. Plenty are dying due to lack of resources in this field - not just a few dying and they are dying at all ages from children through to older people every day. Try looking at the Headway or BIRT sites. Can you not just argue for something on its merits rather than disrespect something else? There is a place for multiple routes to work and each person in work deserves equal respect not a bashing by somebody in a public position. You continue to talk down highly skilled roles in Worcestershire - and those highly skilled jobs will continue to go to the likes of Birmingham and London where they are not insulted by people like you. Venus2000
  • Score: -5

11:16pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Ken Pollock says...

Venus 2000, I am sorry you have taken my provocative statement personally. It was meant to make people think about the relative value of jobs and the way we regard them.
I know that brain surgeons are highly skilled and highly valued. I myself have reason to be thankful for the surgeons that operated to remove my soft tissue sarcoma - a brilliant operation that kept me alive!
The contrast was with lorry drviers and what I said in Cabinet that was not fully expressed in the newspaper was that without lorry drviers we would all starve. The scenario works over a short period, in a fantasy world. Remove all the brain surgeons and some would die. Remove all the lorry drivers overnight and we would find ourselves without food in no time and we would starve. Just a way of getting people to re-evaluate the importance of different contributions to society.
I am very glad your husband was cured, just as I am very glad I survived my cancer.
Venus 2000, I am sorry you have taken my provocative statement personally. It was meant to make people think about the relative value of jobs and the way we regard them. I know that brain surgeons are highly skilled and highly valued. I myself have reason to be thankful for the surgeons that operated to remove my soft tissue sarcoma - a brilliant operation that kept me alive! The contrast was with lorry drviers and what I said in Cabinet that was not fully expressed in the newspaper was that without lorry drviers we would all starve. The scenario works over a short period, in a fantasy world. Remove all the brain surgeons and some would die. Remove all the lorry drivers overnight and we would find ourselves without food in no time and we would starve. Just a way of getting people to re-evaluate the importance of different contributions to society. I am very glad your husband was cured, just as I am very glad I survived my cancer. Ken Pollock
  • Score: 5

7:47am Tue 17 Jun 14

Venus2000 says...

Thank you for responding and I am glad to hear of your recovery too and that what you said may have been misrepresented.

I have worked in the political arena for many decades with MP's, Ministers and Councillors (I have the scars!). What I truly do not get after all these years is why we can't argue for something without dis-respecting other options. Whilst working I was never able to express these views as my role was deemed as A-Political and I served all parties.

I totally agree with you that the balance is wrong - and this I believe started with the confusion of making all Polytechnics into Universities and then in giving Further Education colleges university status. Polytechnics served a valuable Higher Education option which was different to an Academic University and a Further Education College - since then all lines have been blurred and everybody wants to call their qualification a degree. Plus as you say the loss of the original traditional apprenticeship scheme and then the underuse of the modern apprenticeship scheme.

I do believe that everybody involved in advising youngsters, including parents, has a responsibility to understand all of the options and the pro's and the cons and then in helping the youngster make the right choice for them at that time.

I believe that there are those in degree education that potentially pursued the wrong route - but there are significantly more for whom that route was the right one for a variety of reasons. But do any of us learn from others mistakes or just from our own? Most of all we have to allow youngsters to believe in themselves and help them to pursue their full potential with support.

My children are degree educated through to post graduate level. They are hard working and very literate and numerate. We gave them the choice of what to pursue and said that we would support them whichever route they decided on - and we praise them when they succeed and talk to them when they encounter problems. One of them completed their education in the depths of the recession and simply took a job on basic minimum wage to add experience to qualification. Two years later the reward was a graduate level job. The lesson being that the value of the first job was not in the financial remuneration but in the experience and responsibility that was gained.

The only time that my children have felt despondent is when the public bashing of the system starts - they have had to listen to how those gaining good GSCEs and degrees in recent years have done so because they are too easy (thank you Mr Gove) - yet they worked their hearts out to achieve their results and it was their own work, not ours. They have to listen to how graduates are a waste of time because they are illiterate and innumerate and should have done something more valuable with their time other than drink and build up debts - yet they worked hard in both academic study and work experience (without pay) to get where they are. But yes they had a fabulous time spending four years away from home in a safe environment and pushing all the boundaries.

My big plea to all politicians is - when you have a good idea, if it is a good idea it will stand on its own merits - so argue for its case. Do not use the opportunity to disrespect other avenues - that is what alienates young people and teachers and other advisors as they are always being told what they get wrong not praised for what they get right. then we are astounded as to why they are demotivated.....when they get good results they do so because it is too easy - how good does that make them feel?

Incidentally - I worked my way up the system, straight from school into a clerical job. I then worked my way to Director level but to do so I had to study for a degree and a work related masters degree in later life whilst raising children, working full time and raising a family. A totally different route to my children but I hope each of us will be equally successful and achieve the ambition that we have.

Thank you again I do appreciate your response and wish you well in pursuing apprenticeships in Worcestershire - a worthy cause in its own right. Worcestershire has so much uncapped potential and loses great people at all levels to other areas.
Thank you for responding and I am glad to hear of your recovery too and that what you said may have been misrepresented. I have worked in the political arena for many decades with MP's, Ministers and Councillors (I have the scars!). What I truly do not get after all these years is why we can't argue for something without dis-respecting other options. Whilst working I was never able to express these views as my role was deemed as A-Political and I served all parties. I totally agree with you that the balance is wrong - and this I believe started with the confusion of making all Polytechnics into Universities and then in giving Further Education colleges university status. Polytechnics served a valuable Higher Education option which was different to an Academic University and a Further Education College - since then all lines have been blurred and everybody wants to call their qualification a degree. Plus as you say the loss of the original traditional apprenticeship scheme and then the underuse of the modern apprenticeship scheme. I do believe that everybody involved in advising youngsters, including parents, has a responsibility to understand all of the options and the pro's and the cons and then in helping the youngster make the right choice for them at that time. I believe that there are those in degree education that potentially pursued the wrong route - but there are significantly more for whom that route was the right one for a variety of reasons. But do any of us learn from others mistakes or just from our own? Most of all we have to allow youngsters to believe in themselves and help them to pursue their full potential with support. My children are degree educated through to post graduate level. They are hard working and very literate and numerate. We gave them the choice of what to pursue and said that we would support them whichever route they decided on - and we praise them when they succeed and talk to them when they encounter problems. One of them completed their education in the depths of the recession and simply took a job on basic minimum wage to add experience to qualification. Two years later the reward was a graduate level job. The lesson being that the value of the first job was not in the financial remuneration but in the experience and responsibility that was gained. The only time that my children have felt despondent is when the public bashing of the system starts - they have had to listen to how those gaining good GSCEs and degrees in recent years have done so because they are too easy (thank you Mr Gove) - yet they worked their hearts out to achieve their results and it was their own work, not ours. They have to listen to how graduates are a waste of time because they are illiterate and innumerate and should have done something more valuable with their time other than drink and build up debts - yet they worked hard in both academic study and work experience (without pay) to get where they are. But yes they had a fabulous time spending four years away from home in a safe environment and pushing all the boundaries. My big plea to all politicians is - when you have a good idea, if it is a good idea it will stand on its own merits - so argue for its case. Do not use the opportunity to disrespect other avenues - that is what alienates young people and teachers and other advisors as they are always being told what they get wrong not praised for what they get right. then we are astounded as to why they are demotivated.....when they get good results they do so because it is too easy - how good does that make them feel? Incidentally - I worked my way up the system, straight from school into a clerical job. I then worked my way to Director level but to do so I had to study for a degree and a work related masters degree in later life whilst raising children, working full time and raising a family. A totally different route to my children but I hope each of us will be equally successful and achieve the ambition that we have. Thank you again I do appreciate your response and wish you well in pursuing apprenticeships in Worcestershire - a worthy cause in its own right. Worcestershire has so much uncapped potential and loses great people at all levels to other areas. Venus2000
  • Score: 3

3:37pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Roger5 says...

If you were paying £9000 per year for 3 years for course fees courtesy of current government policy as well as racking up a student loan, Cllr Pollock, you might well expect that a) you would be taught something worthwhile that can be applied in the workplace and b) that there might be a job for you that would actually use those skills, but unfortunately the government has not succeeded in ensuring either. If you are going to criticise, don't criticise the student but have a look at how your government's policies might actually do something better for our young people. Is it such a crime to expect to better yourself, and earn a decent living, especially when you are paying through the nose for qualifications?! Or, as in the case of many apprenticeships, work for next to nothing for big firms making a fat profit, now *that* is a Tory policy.
If you were paying £9000 per year for 3 years for course fees courtesy of current government policy as well as racking up a student loan, Cllr Pollock, you might well expect that a) you would be taught something worthwhile that can be applied in the workplace and b) that there might be a job for you that would actually use those skills, but unfortunately the government has not succeeded in ensuring either. If you are going to criticise, don't criticise the student but have a look at how your government's policies might actually do something better for our young people. Is it such a crime to expect to better yourself, and earn a decent living, especially when you are paying through the nose for qualifications?! Or, as in the case of many apprenticeships, work for next to nothing for big firms making a fat profit, now *that* is a Tory policy. Roger5
  • Score: -5

4:36pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

Ken Pollock wrote:
It is very interesting to read these comments, many of which are very helpful. Tony Pingree writes: My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society?
My reason for claiming that we should not seek to have every other person with a degree is precisely because it gives them a sense of entitlement to a well paid job in the field they have chosen to study and they may then end up in debt and disappointed. It is horses for courses, not a perverted wish to keep down some people who should not be allowed to go to university.
As I said, if they want to do a degree, that's fine by me, as long as they know what may happen afterwards.
Re the abilities of some graduates, I had students who gained first class degrees at the engineering department where I taught who were pretty useless in practical industrial settings. A comment on the degree course to some extent, no doubt, but others were brilliant. One lad went from being one of our lab technicians to getting a good degree and taking up a hghly responsbile job in the oil industry.
There are many routes to success. Our scrutiny report was seeking to show how important it is that good careers advice should help students find the right route for them.
Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Economy scrutiny panel chairman
Hi Councillor Pollock,

First I’d like to apologise. I missed your post regarding my comment.

I re-read the story and your comments.

I actually agree with a lot of what you say.

My problem is with your comments regarding graduates.

Your comments give the impression that too many people with a good education is a bad thing. You were quoted as saying “the idea that every other person should go to university if foolish”

Why?

If they can do it, then why not.

I also find using “the huge debt threat” a little predictable.

As a councillor commenting on graduate debts you must know that student loans are not the same as a traditional loan from bank.

For a start you only pay it off when you earn over a a specific amount (I think it’s £1,409 per month at the moment) and then you only pay 9% on anything you earn over that threshold.

For example, if you earn £1650 per month, you would pay 9% of £241, or £21 per month.

Also the loan is actually written off if you haven’t paid it back within 25 years.

It’s more like a tax than a loan.

In fact it’s the tax office that deducts the money from your wages.

It’s strange, I’ve heard comments like yours before. “Too many graduates are the problem” It’s like you’re putting people down who want to get on in life via education.

And why just graduates? Why not people with A levels or GCSE’s.

I’ve employed people where I’d though having 5 GCSE’s was over qualified for the job they were doing. But I’d never suggest they shouldn’t have taken them. In fact I’d encourage them to take more.

So… rant over, down to the question.

I know my original question was why would any politician want more less-educated people in our society? but looking back on it I think that was a little unfair. So I’ve decided to make the question easier.

Would our society be better off with more or less university graduates?

I know politicians sometimes have difficulty with answering basic questions so to get you in the mood I’ll give you my answer as an example.

I think having more university graduates would benefit our society.

What do you think?
[quote][p][bold]Ken Pollock[/bold] wrote: It is very interesting to read these comments, many of which are very helpful. Tony Pingree writes: My question was why would any politician want more “less-educated” people in our society? My reason for claiming that we should not seek to have every other person with a degree is precisely because it gives them a sense of entitlement to a well paid job in the field they have chosen to study and they may then end up in debt and disappointed. It is horses for courses, not a perverted wish to keep down some people who should not be allowed to go to university. As I said, if they want to do a degree, that's fine by me, as long as they know what may happen afterwards. Re the abilities of some graduates, I had students who gained first class degrees at the engineering department where I taught who were pretty useless in practical industrial settings. A comment on the degree course to some extent, no doubt, but others were brilliant. One lad went from being one of our lab technicians to getting a good degree and taking up a hghly responsbile job in the oil industry. There are many routes to success. Our scrutiny report was seeking to show how important it is that good careers advice should help students find the right route for them. Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Economy scrutiny panel chairman[/p][/quote]Hi Councillor Pollock, First I’d like to apologise. I missed your post regarding my comment. I re-read the story and your comments. I actually agree with a lot of what you say. My problem is with your comments regarding graduates. Your comments give the impression that too many people with a good education is a bad thing. You were quoted as saying “the idea that every other person should go to university if foolish” Why? If they can do it, then why not. I also find using “the huge debt threat” a little predictable. As a councillor commenting on graduate debts you must know that student loans are not the same as a traditional loan from bank. For a start you only pay it off when you earn over a a specific amount (I think it’s £1,409 per month at the moment) and then you only pay 9% on anything you earn over that threshold. For example, if you earn £1650 per month, you would pay 9% of £241, or £21 per month. Also the loan is actually written off if you haven’t paid it back within 25 years. It’s more like a tax than a loan. In fact it’s the tax office that deducts the money from your wages. It’s strange, I’ve heard comments like yours before. “Too many graduates are the problem” It’s like you’re putting people down who want to get on in life via education. And why just graduates? Why not people with A levels or GCSE’s. I’ve employed people where I’d though having 5 GCSE’s was over qualified for the job they were doing. But I’d never suggest they shouldn’t have taken them. In fact I’d encourage them to take more. So… rant over, down to the question. I know my original question was why would any politician want more less-educated people in our society? but looking back on it I think that was a little unfair. So I’ve decided to make the question easier. Would our society be better off with more or less university graduates? I know politicians sometimes have difficulty with answering basic questions so to get you in the mood I’ll give you my answer as an example. I think having more university graduates would benefit our society. What do you think? Tony Pingree
  • Score: 1

2:57pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Worcestershire Youth Cabinet says...

"over-inflated view of their worth"

Oh no, how dare young people aspire to make something of their lives and think that we are worth something!!

In that comment you are suggesting apprenticeships are second rate, like if we thought less of ourselves we might do an apprenticeship. Maybe that's why we don't do them!

We get what you are trying to say (maybe) but not the most amazing way to go about saying it Cllr Pollock :)
"over-inflated view of their worth" Oh no, how dare young people aspire to make something of their lives and think that we are worth something!! In that comment you are suggesting apprenticeships are second rate, like if we thought less of ourselves we might do an apprenticeship. Maybe that's why we don't do them! We get what you are trying to say (maybe) but not the most amazing way to go about saying it Cllr Pollock :) Worcestershire Youth Cabinet
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Ken Pollock says...

A couple of replies seem necessary.
Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right.
It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well...
Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start.
So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory.
Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree.
I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him.
Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure.
Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters
hire.gov.uk
A couple of replies seem necessary. Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right. It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well... Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start. So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory. Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree. I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him. Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure. Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters hire.gov.uk Ken Pollock
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Perfman says...

Ken Pollock wrote:
A couple of replies seem necessary.
Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right.
It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well...
Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start.
So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory.
Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree.
I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him.
Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure.
Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters

hire.gov.uk
I was constantly reminded during my degree that it was a passport to the job interview only and after that you were on your own. And it was to be fair, it got you into the room and after that you had to stand on your own merrit. And before someone slates the type of degree, mine was highly technical and, at the time, easily translated into a career. BUT it was still only a means to an end and not a RIGHT to a job.
[quote][p][bold]Ken Pollock[/bold] wrote: A couple of replies seem necessary. Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right. It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well... Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start. So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory. Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree. I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him. Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure. Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters hire.gov.uk[/p][/quote]I was constantly reminded during my degree that it was a passport to the job interview only and after that you were on your own. And it was to be fair, it got you into the room and after that you had to stand on your own merrit. And before someone slates the type of degree, mine was highly technical and, at the time, easily translated into a career. BUT it was still only a means to an end and not a RIGHT to a job. Perfman
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Perfman says...

Ken Pollock wrote:
A couple of replies seem necessary.
Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right.
It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well...
Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start.
So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory.
Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree.
I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him.
Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure.
Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters

hire.gov.uk
I was constantly reminded during my degree that it was a passport to the job interview only and after that you were on your own. And it was to be fair, it got you into the room and after that you had to stand on your own merrit. And before someone slates the type of degree, mine was highly technical and, at the time, easily translated into a career. BUT it was still only a means to an end and not a RIGHT to a job.
[quote][p][bold]Ken Pollock[/bold] wrote: A couple of replies seem necessary. Venus2000: thanks for the note and well done for your hard work and career success - and those of your children. That first job comment is absolutely right. It is possible to criticise the level of exams and degree courses without saying students don't work hard and comments about some should not be taken to apply to all. That applies to criticisms of politicians as well... Tony Pingree: making provocative statements is always fraught with potential for misunderstanding - but it gets attention. You will note I had no objection to people taking degrees, only with their aspirations to highly paid and highly responsible jobs afterwards. That is society's error, in giving that impression. Society is not made up of jobs/careers where 50% of them need a degree, so if we let 50% take them, we are under an obligation to let them know that their subsequent jobs might be quite humble and lowly paid. Make sure they know that before they start. So on the simple question of whether we should have more or fewer students going to university, I say no more than now and proably fewer in the long run. We should stop forcing people like nurses and audiology technicians take degrees to follow their careers. Fine if they want to, but not compulsory. Youth Cabinet: we have met and you know that I praised your report on apprenticeships very highly, including at Cabinet where I brandised a copy for all to see (it's on the webcast!) Nothing wrong with aspirations and nothing second rate about apprenticeships. Remember my comments to you about Ron Dennis and Ross Brawn - both multi-millioniaires after taking apprenticeships. It's just being honest about what you can expect to do once you have a degree. I have degrees, but I have earnt less than a younger brother who went straight into a job from school. At the time, he was the one doing the unconventional thing but it worked well for him. Let's get back to the original proposition of promoting "non-academic" routes for those who wish to follow them and give then respect, rather than viewing anyone who does not go to university as some kind of failure. Anyone wanting to comment privately can email me on my WCC address kpollock2@worcesters hire.gov.uk[/p][/quote]I was constantly reminded during my degree that it was a passport to the job interview only and after that you were on your own. And it was to be fair, it got you into the room and after that you had to stand on your own merrit. And before someone slates the type of degree, mine was highly technical and, at the time, easily translated into a career. BUT it was still only a means to an end and not a RIGHT to a job. Perfman
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Worcestershire Youth Cabinet says...

We get what you are meaning to say in the article and totally agree with what we think you mean (what you have said when you met us). We just think that phrases like the one you used make it seem like you think apprentices are less worthy. (if that makes sense) We all know they are as good as degrees in terms of getting a job and learning new skills.

Thanks for taking our report to Cabinet :)
We get what you are meaning to say in the article and totally agree with what we think you mean (what you have said when you met us). We just think that phrases like the one you used make it seem like you think apprentices are less worthy. (if that makes sense) We all know they are as good as degrees in terms of getting a job and learning new skills. Thanks for taking our report to Cabinet :) Worcestershire Youth Cabinet
  • Score: 1

6:41pm Wed 18 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Alan Sugar, Richard Branson etc etc didn't 'do' an apprenticeship or degree. They also didn't do well at school.

Its not just about how you learn its more about what you learn and how you apply it. Yes education is important and certainly can improve you life's chances, but innate skill and attitude and learning by doing and experience are just as valid a way of learning key life and work skills.

He may not have expressed it in this way, but Cllr Pollock has certainly dispelled the myth that getting degree is always a better way forward than taking an apprenticeship or simply learning on the job.
Alan Sugar, Richard Branson etc etc didn't 'do' an apprenticeship or degree. They also didn't do well at school. Its not just about how you learn its more about what you learn and how you apply it. Yes education is important and certainly can improve you life's chances, but innate skill and attitude and learning by doing and experience are just as valid a way of learning key life and work skills. He may not have expressed it in this way, but Cllr Pollock has certainly dispelled the myth that getting degree is always a better way forward than taking an apprenticeship or simply learning on the job. 3thinker
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Sharlz says...

I grew up in Australia where if you went to university chances are you need to know what you want to be when you "grow up" by about 16. This meant that I did a business and finance degree, followed by professional accounting exams and went on to become an accountant. I've had a passion for my profession from my mid teens and have done well for myself. I worked full time as a trainee accountant as soon as I left school whilst studying in my spare time by distance learning at university.

After being in the uk for quite a while now I still struggle when I see a history graduate trying to get into finance and promised the world without any knowledge whatsoever of what being an accountant actually entails and no practical knowledge to see them through. My experience tells me a history graduate would perhaps become a history teacher because that is where their knowledge and passion would be?

I think the whole university system is flawed here, why do we continue to encourage people to study degrees where the job prospects are low at the end and they run up massive debts for the privelige. I have seen many a graduate working in a call centre or on an assembly line because actually their degree is just irrelevant and the job market for them is limited.

On the flip side I have some apprentice accountants who work for me having studied at Worcester tech and I cannot rate them high enough. I only hope that they are not penalised in their later careers because they don't have a degree.
I grew up in Australia where if you went to university chances are you need to know what you want to be when you "grow up" by about 16. This meant that I did a business and finance degree, followed by professional accounting exams and went on to become an accountant. I've had a passion for my profession from my mid teens and have done well for myself. I worked full time as a trainee accountant as soon as I left school whilst studying in my spare time by distance learning at university. After being in the uk for quite a while now I still struggle when I see a history graduate trying to get into finance and promised the world without any knowledge whatsoever of what being an accountant actually entails and no practical knowledge to see them through. My experience tells me a history graduate would perhaps become a history teacher because that is where their knowledge and passion would be? I think the whole university system is flawed here, why do we continue to encourage people to study degrees where the job prospects are low at the end and they run up massive debts for the privelige. I have seen many a graduate working in a call centre or on an assembly line because actually their degree is just irrelevant and the job market for them is limited. On the flip side I have some apprentice accountants who work for me having studied at Worcester tech and I cannot rate them high enough. I only hope that they are not penalised in their later careers because they don't have a degree. Sharlz
  • Score: 3

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