Tristram Hunt and ‘Two Nation’ Labour.

Education, Economy and Society

Tristram Hunt Tristram Hunt

untitled1Vocational education is supposed to improve work and employment skills, but many of the vocational courses developed in schools and colleges after the collapse of industrial apprenticeships in the 1970s have not offered real opportunities for young people in the labour market. Instead, a succession of vocational courses and qualifications were introduced, lasted a few years and were then discarded in favour of new ones.

Some of these were high profile youth training schemes with new qualifications, such as the General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) that claimed parity of esteem with A-levels. Some were expensive white elephants like the specialist diplomas championed by New Labour. The most durable were the BTEC awards. They all aimed to provide new types of ‘soft skills’ needed across the growing service sector.

Even though vocational qualifications offered at Advanced level provided opportunities to enter higher education, academic qualifications continued to represent ‘powerful…

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About gwenelope

English and Media Studies teacher in the wilds of Coventry, about to start my tenth year, which in itself is frankly terrifying. In the small pockets of free time I have have been known to do things like Tough Guy, circuit classes and swim often, very often. It is what keeps sanity near and insanity at bay.
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