Degrees of Education and Training
Statistics abound of graduate employment, figures for how many post graduates are flipping burgers six months after leaving university, or serving skinny lattes, with the help of a first in one ology or another.
Similarly, figures for earnings of other post graduates make commendable reading as they enter employment so many rungs higher than their non-degree contemporaries.
There are figures and statistics which suit any angle of appraisal or criticism, but what is most important is that every school leaver has an opportunity to choose their own way forward, in employment, training or education, as they feel suits them.
Apprenticeships should not be compared to specific levels of higher education, they are a path for a different environment and experience completely, than university life.
University life can have a magical type draw to it. The idea of perhaps living away from home and parents may bring a sense of forthcoming adventure, or apprehension, a big step into independence maybe adulthood.
Or is it being cushioned by the arms of academia, buying three, four or more years away from the real world of work and taxes, tangible financial reward and return.
Whatever that future may be perceived to hold, it will not suit every school leaver. Growing levels of student debt have become a major concern to those approaching the age of 15-16, with an eye on going to university.
Some universities are applying to raise fees even higher in 2017, and many prospective school leavers are considering the prospect of having to repay student loans over many years as pretty daunting.
Apprenticeship has historically been seen as an inferior road to take, because nothing was as going to be as good as a university degree.
This is patently no longer so. The proliferation of weak and obscure degree courses have resulted in many graduates not being employed in a graduate job at all, and still carrying debt.
In contrast, modern apprenticeships can now be taken up in modern and meaningful areas, from accounting and aeronautics, to It and engineering.
They are available in almost every commercial sector, and give the opportunity to embark on a learning, working and earning course that is a genuine alternative to university, some private companies offer advice and further education courses, traineeships, apprenticeships and training.
In these times of whopping student debt and plethora of irrelevant degrees, apprenticeships offer a good future as a path to meaningful qualifications and employment opportunities.
For many, the practical side of learning will always be preferable to the academic, and the prospect of earning straight away, for some can be far more enticing than the prospect of “university life”.