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Damian Hinds speech: AoC responds

20 May 2019

The Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds said this morning that Britain must drop its snobbish attitude towards technical and vocational education. In response, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Industry have been crying out for skilled workers across most sectors and our continued side-lining of technical education has only made it worse. “A recent survey of SMEs showed that more than half fear that the country will get left behind if the government does not address the skills gap – with six in ten reporting that it’s more difficult to find employees with the right skills than it was five years ago. “To address skills gaps, to boost industry, and to build our economy, the government needs to stop ignoring the people who do not take the traditional university degree route. “The Secretary of State is correct; educational snobbery exists throughout all strands of society - especially amongst decision-makers and opinion formers – and it has led to educational ignorance around non-academic routes to work. “This renewed focus on higher technical education, and the push for greater awareness and respect, can only be good for industry, good for the economy and good for the country. “Having campaigned for years on this, we will continue to work with government to make this work, as well as helping them to shape their T level offer.”