Lord Baker, a former secretary of state for education who introduced the national curriculum in 1988 and the first academies, has called for an end to the outdated snobbery towards technical education. He asserts that the country’s once-excellent vocational education system was killed off by snobbery in the 1950s and has never quite recovered.
“The curriculum now is narrower than ever; students are trained to pass exams and schools are cutting vocational subjects in order to put more focus on the areas which will win them a higher position in national league tables.”
“A skills revolution is needed to make high-quality technical education a pathway to success just as good as three A levels and university. It is needed now because of the high level of graduate underemployment and unemployment.”
Lord Baker launched Career Colleges in 2013 with the aim of offering a high-quality pathway for young people, from the age of 14, who were interested in a more practical education. He achieved the crucial employer buy-in from organisations such as Amazon, BT and Google.
Now there are eighteen Career Colleges in operation across the country with many 14-19-year-olds successfully progressing on to advanced apprenticeships, higher education and employment.
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