‘Going to University has become an expected rite of passage for at least half the population, and apprenticeships have often been seen as the lesser alternative. Parents worry about the stigma of their child not going to university.
There is a British educational caste system and it has to be challenged. You have to be able to do an apprenticeship and have the recognition that comes with doing a university degree.
Our system has been wary of vocational education for far too long. This gulf between university tuition and industry-led training is harming our economy and minimising the number of real routes to success available to young people.
There are exceptions, of course. Architecture and medicine have always included significant vocational elements, with the latest techniques learned in a real-life setting crucial to gaining access to the profession.
This is not a route for those who can't hack a traditional academic education.
It is true that we train many apprentices who would not have considered university, mainly for reasons of background and cost. But we have found that most want to progress to as high a level of training as possible. So we have now built a route that some will take to PhD level'. - Sir Keith Burnett in Telegraph