Thursday, October 05, 2006

Off to the mines, boy

The future looks bright:

...figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the skills shortage is having a profound effect on the choices of 15- to 19-year-olds in Western Australia, where the school participation rate has fallen from 75.5 per cent in 2000 to 69.7 per cent last year.

Craig Emerson says it's a worry, and that all kids should finish year 12. I agree.

Howard doesn't, but that has nothing to do with lowest common denominator politics and the triumph of anti-intellectualism. It's just that:

Not everybody is suitable for a university education.

Ah. School has no other value, and what's more you can leave school in year 10 and easily make your mind up later as to whether you feel you are suited to a university education.

Or you can die in a mine somewhere, if that's what you were born and bred for.


TimT said...

I agree with Howard. I studied Kindergarten-Year 10 at a public school in the country. There were plenty of kids there who went to the school for no other reason than that it was a form of welfare - there were few jobs available, so school was 'better than nothing'.

Plenty of the usual troublemakers asked repeatedly 'but why should we do this?' when they were given something to do in class. And the answer Emerson seems to have for these kids is, 'Because you HAVE TO.' Not much of an answer!

Guy said...

I think that if school is gradually made more vocational then we should indeed be moving towards a model where all kids do their 12 years +1 of schooling.

Certainly TimT is right - the current school curriculum is much more encouraging of the academically inclined than the hands-on types. The answer methinks is to make sure our schools start getting more appreciative of the hands-on types, rather than encouraging people to get out as soon as possible if they don't like solving differential equations.

TimT said...

The answer methinks is to make sure our schools start getting more appreciative of the hands-on types ...

Perhaps the answer would be to continue to encourage more apprenticeships and traineeships in the community?

Ron said...

Yes, businesses reaping record profits should be forced to train more apprentices and trainees. Then they wouldn't have to go crying to the govt about the shortage of skilled workers.

But then again, then they wouldn't have an excuse to import 'slaves' from developing countries which have a bigger need for their own skilled workers, would they?

My son recently went to an initial selection test for the 2007 intake of apprenticeships for a large NSW govt dept. 2500 applicants for 70 positions! This dept used to take on hundreds of apprentices every year. And we are finding a similar situation with other businesses/govt depts. Telstra have told us they are not taking on any apprentices next year.

A major industry group called on the fed govt last week to put $1B dollars into re-training older workers.These companies have a responsibility to take on apprentices and trainees at *their* expense for their future benefit and the benefit of the community.

phil said...

Privatise the profits and socialise the losses. 'twas ever thus.

But just imagine, if Keating had gone to uni instead of leaving school at 14, he could have become lawyer. Then he would have learnt how to formulate weasel words and bend the truth and know when a lie is not actually a lie that leads to perjury. So he would still be PM!