Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Unions brand Business Secretary 'crass and insulting' over remarks
Vince Cable has been accused of being “crass” and “insulting” to teachers after he said they are to blame for the lack of quality careers advice in Britain’s schools, claiming they “know absolutely nothing about the world of work”.
The Business Secretary was speaking to a room of 600 representatives from the manufacturing industry, and said that Government schemes to get students interested in their sector were being undermined by an “underlying problem” – the teachers themselves.
The Lib Dem MP said: “There has been an argument in Government about how to get the right careers advice in schools and successive governments have frankly messed this up.
“But the underlying problem is of course that most teachers, particularly in the secondary sector, are graduates.
“They know how universities work, they know what you have to do to get an A-level, they know about UCAS forms – but they know absolutely nothing about the world of work.”
Mr Cable’s comments were met with laughter and even applause among members of the audience, leading union bosses to accuse him of “finding scapegoats and playing to the gallery”.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “This is a crass remark, which is insulting to teachers who are workers in their own right.
“As the Government’s own survey shows, teachers work an extraordinary number of hours and show real dedication to ‘the world of work’. Indeed, the teaching profession mirrors society and many of our teachers come from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences. They are a resource to the young people they teach, not a hindrance.”
Mr Cable insisted schools were in a “bad place” in terms of careers advice, but said he had hopes standards will improve in the light of the statutory guidance announced last week by “my colleague Nick Clegg”.
Last month a cross-party panel of experts called on Mr Cable to act urgently to plug the “completely inadequate” number of apprentices going into the construction industry, and the Government has been criticised in recent months for not doing enough to promote the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “The Business Secretary was echoing concerns from industry about the need to improve the quality of careers advice in schools. He was making the point that teachers have an important role in making sure their pupils are aware of all options available to them to help them build a career. For some this may be via a graduate route but for others a vocational skill or qualification is more appropriate.”
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...