Labour urged to move on from 'obsession' with universities

By Peter Madeley | Sandwell | Education | Published:

Warley MP John Spellar has urged Labour to end its "obsession" with university education as he called for a drive to create high quality apprenticeship schemes.

Warley MP John Spellar

He was responding to comments from Labour peer Lord Adonis, who backed former Prime Minister Tony Blair's 'New Labour' stance from 20 years ago by urging people to "go to uni if you can".

Mr Spellar hailed the benefits of technical apprenticeships, saying they offered "good job prospects" without saddling those who attend with thousands of pounds worth of debt.

The Labour MP urged former Schools Minister Lord Adonis to stop defending Mr Blair's "obsession" with universities, adding: "What the country and hundreds of thousands of youngsters need is good technical and apprenticeship schemes leading to good job prospects and no debt."

When he was PM, Mr Blair pledged to send 50 per cent of all youngsters to university.

The policy was abandoned by Tory Education Secretary Gavin Williamson this year, who said there were "limits to what can be achieved by sending ever more people to university, which is not always what the individual or our nation needs".

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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