Author: Cliff Kemp
I’ve long had an issue with the entire education system in this country; a system designed hundreds of years ago with none of the understanding we now possess. Your little bundles of joy are working through a process implemented by men who were okay with a bit of slavery and who thought educated women should be burned as witches.
We now know that kids can only absorb information for short periods of time and at certain times in the day. We also know that every child learns in different ways, but I still see quadruple Maths on a Thursday afternoon on the timetables of the Kemp offspring.
That the next generation of innovators, captains of industry, and leaders are being inspired and mentored by people the government deem fit to earn less than the average plumber or recruitment consultant (both worthy jobs by the way!), is just the tip of the iceberg of all that is wrong with our schools in 2017.
And then we get to degrees. At 17 or 18 years of age, you are handed a pile of prospectuses, and are sent away to flick through the glossy pages and decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. What could possibly go wrong?
If you could chat to 18-year-old you, what would you tell them?
Nobody is telling these kids that if they do a Psychology degree they are competing with hundreds of their peers for one job that probably pays less than the rent on a studio flat in Walsall. My office is full of bright young men and women with degrees (and debt) of absolutely no practical use to them.
I’ll get to the point.
Scrap degrees. Scrap them for jobs where there is a critical shortage of skill. Simply have youngsters take a series of tests that identify aptitude for certain vocations, and intelligence tests to ‘rank’ them and aid selection. These individuals can then go straight into work and be trained ‘on the job’, perhaps in a manner similar to the current day-release programmes.
APC started from day 1. An army of 21-year-old chartered surveyors.
No debt-ridden graduates. A vast capable workforce, experienced and trained before an undergraduate is even in her last year at Uni. Context to their academic studies. Win win win.
No to Pot Noodles and Countdown. Yes to hard cash and a career. Easier to sell to a youngster whose mates are off to Bournemouth to study Football Management.
Believe me, I am not belittling the great work the Universities are doing, the hard work you graduates put in to gain your qualifications or the importance of having that foundation of solid learning but the current system is broken beyond remedial repair work.
I have no doubt there are holes in my plan big enough to drive a JCB through, and some fine tuning to be done, but as my favourite saying goes:
“If things don’t change, they stay the same”.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. Who’s in?