Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another betrayal

It was Labour under Tony Blair who crowed that they wanted 50 per cent of those aged up to 30 to be engaged in higher education by 2010. Despite the fact that major dumbing down in education under labour went ahead and these courses only brought them up to what was considered A Level standards in my day, plus they got charged for the privilege too. So our young were encouraged into a university life and to take a host of courses that few employers wanted or needed, such as degrees in the Beatles or indeed flower arranging, useful I'm sure for Music magazines or florists but of limited other use in the real world as the current figures for joblessness in graduates prove.

The number of university graduates out of work is at its highest level for more than 10 years.
A fifth of new graduates are now unemployed – double the 10.6 per cent without a job before the recession.
Official figures show that graduate unemployment has increased faster than for the UK as a whole.
By the end of the recession, the jobless rate for college leavers was 2.3 times higher than the rest of the UK in the third quarter of 2009. Student union leaders said the statistics were further bad news for young people.
Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, said: “Graduates are encountering an exceptionally hostile jobs market and the Government persists with policies that put the burden of the country’s debt on the young.” He said the NUS was calling for renewed targeted investment in education and the reinstatement of the Future Jobs Fund to support graduates into employment.
Sally Hunt, secretary of the University and College Union said: “Those who do make it through university are going to face a difficult job market without support, but saddled with record levels of debt.”
The data was taken from the Labour Force Survey by the Office for National Statistics.
Yes it's bad news and yes it's pretty bad that students start off in life owing huge amounts of debt, but that sadly for Aaron Porter is not the fault of the current government despite his lefty bleating on the subject. Students have paid top up fees since the Dearing Report into the future funding of higher education on 23 July 1997 by the then Education Secretary David Blunkett who announced the introduction of means-tested tuition fees to begin in September 1998 with students being required to pay up to £1000 a year for tuition, thus opening the floodgates to universities and banks to charge through the nose for silly courses of no use to anyone but their treasuries.Porter should really learn some history, but as head of the Students Union and arch socialist, probably struggles to learn anything of value about real life and the real world.
Today you don't get much for nothing, life changes and the idiocy of labour for allowing this situation to develop still hasn't been resolved, nor does it look too likely that the coagulation will do anything to reduce places and actually get kids taught anything useful for life. The old system worked fairly well, grammar for the brightest, secondary modern for the skilled, university only for the top 10% of our brightest and best, but plenty of opportunity via technical colleges and polytechnics for our skilled workforce to move up a notch, often by paid day release by their employers, or nightschool if they weren't. Yes there were times it wasn't fair and some got left behind, but it worked by and large. Labours class ignorance by bringing in comprehensive dumbing down and Thatchers moving us away from a manufacturing based economy to a service economy didn't help, but it was still a good base for education. Sadly there's no going back and we've ended up producing a generation of unemployables unless they get lucky with an understanding employer. Students graduating today have been betrayed by Labour, but the rot goes back a lot further a whole generation of kids dating back to the end of the 70's have been denied the skills to really make a difference in their lives, we need skilled craftsmen not Beatles degrees, engineers, plumbers, electricians, not flower arrangers, people who make things, not shuffle paperwork. If we had those we wouldn't need the constant stream of immigrants with those skills nor those sadly without them.
Frankly I don't know what if anything can be done to repair the damage, it's not as if the kids are any less bright, just simply betrayed, by both government at home, socialist education methods and the EU abroad. There will come a reckoning though and I hope I live to see it when the architects of this betrayal are paid back in full and bitterly regret their hand in this mess.

2 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

My son-in-law works for a major company in the entertainment industry. He recently interviewed 25 graduates for a post, which the advertisement had made clear was definitely a back-room job. More than 20 of the candidates had qualified in Media Studies and most really wanted to get in front of the camera. They also had no real knowledge of the media industry that would not be picked up in a few weeks on the job, so much for their degrees. None had any knowledge of business, planning, finance, costing or any of the other numerous behind the scenes activities. In the end, he employed a female geography graduate because (I hope he was joking) she was the only one who recognised the names of a number of major cities abroad where they had clients!
What are the teaching at some "Universities"? If these people want to get in front of the camera, they should go to drama school, if they are going to work behind the scenes, they need business knowledge, not only in media, but virtually everywhere else.
I feel sorry for all those who have been persuaded to go to University and have ended up with nothing of value, and huge debts.

David Gillies said...

Roughly 7% or one in fourteen young adults has the cognitive capacity to undertake an honours degree in an academically rigorous subject. This is an immutable fact. If one has an IQ less than, say, 130, then one should not entertain thoughts of a university education. To pretend otherwise is not merely misguided, but actively cruel. The crisis in higher education is the result of a wilful delusion. And that the puerile, self-entitled oafs are rioting in the street on seeing the threat of their sinecures being withdrawn is nothing more than the rage of Caliban on seeing himself in the mirror.