"Work skills? They're best learnt on the job" ( THES, August 29). What a surprise. This has been known since 1920 when the national certificate/diploma system started.
The first scheme was supervised by a joint committee of the then board of education and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. The students were employed by engineering firms where they learnt work skills and went on "day release" to technical colleges. The diploma schemes were usually sandwich courses.
Perhaps universities should send students on day release to the real world.