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Blog - ‘Snobbish’ Britons think university is the only way to get a good job, says Education Secretary

Britain has become a nation of “snobs” who think university is the only way to get a good job, the Education Secretary will say on Thursday.

Parents must understand that a degree is “not the only path to a great job” and school leavers who embark on apprenticeships deserve “as much praise” as their class mates who go on to university, according to Damian Hinds.

Addressing around 100 business and education leaders at Battersea Power Station, he will say: “As a nation I’m afraid we’ve been technical education snobs.

“We’ve revered the academic but treated vocational as second class – when we do it well, law, engineering, medicine – then we don’t even call it vocational.”

He will say that this snobbery has long gone unchallenged because politicians and others in public life have viewed vocational courses as suitable only for “other people’s children”.

Mr Hinds will use his speech to urge young people to consider alternatives to university when they leave school, rather than assuming that a degree is the only way to get a good job.

“We want young people to acquire the higher qualifications that lead to high skilled, more rewarding jobs – whether through a degree, a higher apprenticeship or higher technical qualifications,” he will say.

“I want us to break down some of the false barriers we’ve erected between academic and technical routes.  I don’t see any reason why higher technical training shouldn’t be open to certain A-level students as long as they have the prerequisite knowledge and practical skill.

“Equally, I want T Level students, that want to, to be able to go to university to do relevant technical degrees.”