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Pupils branded ‘too clever’ for apprenticeships


Richard Garner
Wednesday 05 February 2014 01:12 GMT
A trainee on an apprenticeship program
A trainee on an apprenticeship program (Getty Images)

Thousands of pupils have been told they are “too clever” for apprenticeships or vocational education and study academic subjects that do not suit them, a report claims.

The report also reveals that those who pursue vocational careers are as happy as their peers in academia. Their lifetime earnings can be comparable – a construction apprentice could earn a total of £1,504,000 compared with £1, 612,000 for a graduate.

The study, commissioned by the Edge Foundation, says only one in four parents (27 per cent) believes vocational education to be worthwhile.

“The stigma attached to vocational learning is old-fashioned and unjust,” says Jan Hodges of the Edge Foundation. “A skilled workforce is essential to the UK economy and high quality vocational routes need to be available and encouraged.”

The study of 2,000 18- to 35-year-olds showed that 36 per cent of those taking vocational subjects had been told they would be “more successful” if they studied academic subjects, while 22 per cent were told they were “too clever” for vocational study.

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