Prince promotes apprenticeships

The Duke of York has called for vocational courses to be taken more seriously and warned that many university graduates are not prepared for work.

Prince Andrew has been promoting vocational education since he gave up his role as the UK’s trade ambassador, the Daily Mail reports. He did not go to university and chose an apprenticeship as a Navy pilot instead.

The Duke of York said he wants university to be viewed as the ‘icing on the cake’ for people entering the jobs market, rather than an automatic route into a job. He claimed that many graduates are unprepared for the world of work: “Coming out of university there’s a tendency to believe that you are trained as well as educated, which is not actually true,” he said.

He emphasised that the expansion of UTCs will give students an advantage over teenagers who do A-levels and then go to university: “Choosing an apprenticeship path and doing a foundation degree and then going on to university, you will always have the advantage over many of your university colleagues because you have earned your spurs in the business world before going to university.”

Last month the first Duke of York Awards for Technical Education were given out at Buckingham Palace, recognising the success of pupils taking vocational qualifications in the first two UTCs: the Black Country UTC in Walsall and the JCB Academy in Rocester, Staffordshire.

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