Matthew Hancock, the skills minister, will call for more young people to go straight from A-levels into traditional City professions that have been “dominated” by graduates.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock says “university is not for everyone”. High quality apprenticeships should be as “prestigious” as a degree.
An increasing number of school leavers are choosing to work rather than spend three years at university, as students and parents avoid taking on debts of as much as £60,000 to cover fees and living costs.
The number of 18-year-olds heading to university fell by 57,000 this autumn. This trend is likely to continue as apprenticeships become a cheaper alternative to a degree.
In his article, Mr Hancock says everyone, not just graduates, should have the chance to get “valuable jobs” in law, financial services and advanced engineering.
He says that for too long there has been an “artificial and counterproductive division between practical and academic learning”.
“We are offering apprenticeships instead of university, as a route into the professions, including insurance, accounting and law,” he says.
College isn’t all its cracked up to be. Plus, as I said before, recent graduates in professional fields need at least a year of on the job training before they are effective.