Following the publishing of our Editor’s Viewpoint (which you can read here), discussing the shortage of skills across the UK, regular reader Mick Mannion has responded with his thoughts. Here’s what he had to say:
I read with interest your article covering the practical skill shortage expected in the next 10 years (PMM July/Aug). I’m not sure if Vince Cable’s phrase of students being forced into gaining university degrees is apt. I believe that these young people are being coerced into believing that if they don’t have a degree in something then they are lesser mortals.
It seems to me that universities – with the Government’s green light – dream up degree courses, which they know in their hearts will not give the majority of students a living – but nobody bothers to tell the students!
I totally agree that the way forward is the apprenticeship. As for the assumption that the garage trade is only for the ‘no-hopers’ and the non-academics – what a load of rubbish!
I have often used the analogy of a doctor and a fully qualified technician both having to diagnose problems through Q&A, and learning how to interpret the information given out from the highly sophisticated diagnostic equipment. You might say ‘yes, but the doctor is dealing with life and death’ – but I would counter that is the technician not on a similar path? If he/she gets it wrong then we could be giving these doctors even more work – and we know how overworked they are already!
Using a similar analogy, the human body has the same bits in it (and on it) as it came with when Adam and Eve were created, whereas look at how the automobile has changed since its inception, and continues to do so. Does a doctor have the same pressure to ‘keep up’?
I do think that the automotive industry is taking up the reigns in training and qualifying of mature technicians, particularly through the ATA (of which I’m proud to have been involved). The brilliant thing about that scheme is that it is on-going, so the technicians are given the opportunity to keep up with every change.
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