Irish News

Friday 1 August 2014

Jackie Lavin stands by ‘Prime Time’ comments after online uproar

Brian O'Reilly

Published 04/06/2014|13:25

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Jackie Lavin
Jackie Lavin Credit: Kip Carroll

BUSINESSWOMAN Jackie Lavin has stood by comments she made on last night’s Prime Time when she claimed some college graduates she’s worked with ‘hadn’t got a clue’.

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The entrepreneur sparked huge online debate after suggesting that third level institutions could achieve the same results in less time, at a cost saving to parents.

It sparked massive debate on Twitter, with the term ‘Jackie Lavin’ becoming the top trend in the country as users debated her comments.

However speaking to Independent.ie today, Ms Lavin says she stands by her argument, and is glad to have started the debate.

“I absolutely stand by everything I said. I just feel that we could see the same results in a shorter space of time. 

“Realistically you could cut a year off most college courses.

“Our academics and colleges need to look at the way they do business – but to an extent that would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.”

One of her remarks which sparked the most reaction online was when she said some graduates she worked with ‘hadn’t got a clue’.

However she stands by the remark – and points to her experience over several years in the boardroom on TV3’s ‘The Apprentice’:

“If you even take some of the candidates on The Apprentice as a snapshot of it, it shows how inept some people are even though they had degrees and masters.

“A lot of graduates haven’t a clue about the business they’re going into, they’ve only approached things from an academic and theory point of view”.

She suggested that if colleges had longer term times, it could free up a year for internships and practical experience before graduating.

She also said that reducing the length of college course would open up third level education to people who currently can’t afford the fees of a three or four year degree course.

“A lot of people in third level are from a certain strata in society, and other strata struggle to afford college fees”, she said.

Despite facing a Prime Time audience largely made up of students, she said it didn’t faze her in making her argument.

“I was pretty blunt. Academics don’t want to open this debate, or look at this debate or have this debate.

“I take the criticism on the chin, I didn’t go there expecting everyone to agree with me - it was a debate, there’ll always be people for and against your view.

“It’s time academics and colleges take a look at the real world and how real businesses work. They want to stick with the old and not look at the new.”

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