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We can't all be academics; Letters.

IT is heartening to read that the Department for Education is finally taking note of the value of apprenticeships for the majority of our young people whereby they can "earn while they learn".

A good careers teacher should know whether a pupil is best suited to follow an apprenticeship or is sufficiently academic to undertake a university career. If the standard of careers advice had been better over the years, this situation would never have arisen.

The drop-out rate at university is too high and reflects the impossibility of fitting square pegs into round holes. As the saying goes, "there are horses for courses".

The consequences of placing unsuitable candidates into university was summed up by a comment made to me by a former pupil. Apparently a frustrated lecturer turned to one student and asked: "What are you doing in a place like this?" I can sympathise with the lecturer - 47% of 18-year-olds go to university, which is unrealistic.

In my experience only about 12% of the population can be deemed academic. It would appear that the government has for too long been interested in quantity as distinct from quality.

Incidentally, I have never considered attendance at university in any way "snobbish". It is the reward for many years of hard work.

JACK FLETCHER, Chopwell

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2016
Words:215
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