Children who misbehave and disrupt school should get a job and ‘earn a few bob’ according to Lord Digby Jones. He was the former trade minister in the UK and head of the Confederation of British Industry. He stated that those students who are constantly in trouble at school would be “better off getting jobs and starting apprenticeships than staying in an academic life for which they may not be suited.” He went so far as to say this could stimulate the economy and help the country re-establish its manufacturing base.
‘We’ve got to appreciate that the world has changed and there are loads of kids in school today who at 14 are more mature, and so many of them are disruptive,’ he said.
‘This isn’t about saying “school’s out, away you go kids”; this is about going to a technical college, doing a couple of days a week on a vocational course and going into a business or indeed a public sector employer and getting the link in their mind, in their DNA, that if you get better skilled, you make more money.’
Others, like Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, disagreed with Lord Jones. ‘Allowing children to leave school at that age, without good levels of literacy and numeracy, would trap them in low-paid jobs for the rest of their lives.’ The unemployment rate for ages 16-24 is 20% in Britain, so where would these hooligans find jobs?
It isn’t so far fetched to encourage teens to apprentice and learn a trade. Rather than wasting high school years just getting by and hating school, they could be preparing for their vocation. The UK offers apprenticeships for young people finishing school. Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes stated that: ‘Apprenticeships are at the heart of our skills strategy because they are valued by employers and sought after by learners. By enshrining these characteristics in statute we send a clear message to employers and learners that every apprenticeship is a high quality investment in the skills they need for the future.’
Would you allow your teen to quit school and enter a vocational apprenticeship or technical school?