A place for apprenticeships

November 24, 2011

David Blanchflower's comments that extra university places should be created to address youth unemployment are short-sighted and naive ("No jobs, so get them on courses", 3 November).

He fails to take into account that university is not the only route to employment, and that academia is not the only form of learning. His is an outdated, blinkered view that needs to change. We should not just encourage young people to go to university to "wait out the recession" and reduce competition for jobs; we should be highlighting the benefits of alternative progression routes that lead more directly into employment - namely vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

Employers value the skills that apprenticeships and vocational training can provide - in a recent City & Guilds survey of 1,200 employers, 90 per cent said that they viewed vocationally trained staff as vital to the success of their business.

Vocational education can help to improve the lives of talented individuals by helping them fulfil their potential so they have the skills and confidence they need for a lifelong career.

Chris Jones, Chief executive and director general, City & Guilds

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