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National Apprenticeship Week in UK – Vocational education as equal to academic qualifications

Capture d’écran 2014-03-04 à 08.16.21 National Apprenticeship Week is a time to commend the achievements of apprentices and politicians have led the way with warm words about the work that apprentices do.

One theme already this week has been the need to ensure that vocational education is seen as equal to, rather than second fiddle to, academic qualifications.

The University and College Union (UCU) agrees wholeheartedly with that, but we believe that real equality between the two paths will only come if we stop trying to do apprenticeships on the cheap.

Therefore, while we welcome any moves to increase the publicity and uptake of apprenticeships, we believe that this week is a time to consider radical proposals that would really bridge the divide between vocational and academic education.

This is the divide, of course, that Michael Gove said yesterday has “helped to generate – and perpetuate –class divisions. It has, in societies like our own, encouraged people to think in terms of intellectual castes – thinkers or makers, artists or designers – those happiest in the realm of the conceptual and those who prefer the hard and practical.”

Under our proposals, apprentices will receive a more rounded education and be fairly remunerated for their work.

We believe that this is the only basis for a real skills revolution.

Apprenticeship education must not just be about learning the skills and theory necessary in a chosen field, but also cover employability skills, citizenship education, rights and responsibilities at work.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at ‘We must stop doing apprenticeships on the cheap’ – Education – TES News.

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