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Comment: This obsession of sending all children to college must stop

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An apprenticeship is a combination of paid work experience and college-based learning, generally over a four-year period. Stock image

An apprenticeship is a combination of paid work experience and college-based learning, generally over a four-year period. Stock image

An apprenticeship is a combination of paid work experience and college-based learning, generally over a four-year period. Stock image

Over the years we have all wondered at the German economic miracle and how it continues to be miraculous. There is no magic involved, but there are a number of key elements to the German system, not least among them a strong system of vocational training and apprenticeship.

The traditional trades along with other occupations and skills are valued and supported by a structured system of vocational education that delivers. Meanwhile, in this country, we have been scrambling around the woolly heights of academia looking for ways to upskill our young population.

We are a nation of educational snobs. The problem with snobbery is that it is one directional, it is only interested in vertical movement and is obsessed with ladders, lifts and hot air balloons. Snobbery blinds us to what is around us.