BA = B**** All

In the 1970's a job was advertised in the local press for a Librarian in Dolgellau Technical Collage. Applicants had to have a minimum of two O levels (GCSEs in new money). The successful applicant had 6 O levels and 1 A level, so he was heavily over qualified. The current holder of the same post, I am told, has a Masters Degree and a Post Graduate Certificate in Librarianship qualification.

I am a Registered Nurse. The minimum qualification needed to apply for nurse training when I did so was one O level. I had 5 O levels and 2 A levels when I applied, I was over qualified for the course. Today, one needs to gain a degree in order to become a registered nurse, and one needs a sackful of stared GCSE's and, at least, three A levels to get into a nursing course. Yet first year qualified nurses in these days are much less competent than they were thirty years ago!

When I was in the sixth form (year 13) those who failed to get two A levels could go to Teacher's Training Collages to train as Primary School Teachers. Today you need a degree and a postgraduate certificate in teaching in order to become a primary school teacher.

Listening to Assembly Members (and bloggers) argue about the costs of Higher Education, leaves me in a state of despair, because they don't ask the most basic questions:
Why do we need so many bloody graduates?

Why does a job that needed two O Levels 30 years ago need three degrees now?

If I have been a competent nurse for the past 30 years, without a degree, why does my son need a degree to follow in my footsteps?

Harold Wilson's government raised school leaving age to sixteen years old and lowered the age of majority to 18 years, which left the unqualified school leaver just two years to learn a trade before attaining adulthood. Before Wilson, those who chose the apprenticeship or the graduate route to employment would both qualify at the age of 21, when they became adults.

The answer to the funding of higher education problem is simple! Go back to the situation where two O levels are good enough for a simple clerical job. Allow 14 year olds to become 7 year apprentices for skill orientated jobs; and use the universities to educate just the top percentile of our national intelligentsia, where an university education is absolutely necessary, rather than forcing all and sundry to gain an unneeded university education for the sake of being politically correct!


  1. Whilst I agree with everything you have written, how would society turn back the clocks?

    As a stonemason the problem I face with young tradesmen is the majority of training has been at the hands of educators, little with craftsmen, generally it means they are ill prepared for work.

  2. You make my point!

    As a craftsman I'm sure that you could do more with a boy or girl who is genuinely interested in learning the Stonemason's craft at 14, than you could do with a 23 year old BA MA PhD who is forced on you through a "scheme" in order to avoid his benefits being cut!

  3. By the time I became an apprentice you had to be 16, from there on you were with your employer 4 days a week, 1 day was spent at college, you were also expected to attend college during 2 evenings.

    There was a commitment between employee, employer, college and the employees parents. There was an input from the employer into the college to structure the formal training to the needs of the industry, noticeable was the absence of politicians.

  4. You are a registered nurse?

  5. That explains why there are some many foreign people in our local hospital!!!

    I didn't realise the qualification criteria had changed!

  6. I think you're on to something here.

    I suspect there are political motives for the expansion of education dependency.

    I just came from The Half-Blood Welshman blog, who is another unemployed graduate. I think the education system has mislead many and betrayed them.

  7. Alwyn

    I realised tonight that you censor a blogs appearance in your "MY BLOG LIST".

    Will you stop including my posts in your list.

    Regards John Tyler.

  8. Why do we need so many bloody graduates?

    Why does a job that needed two O Levels 30 years ago need three degrees now?


  9. Stonemason, the only thing I censor on this blog are my own comments and very rare spam posts. I don't know how to censor the "My blog lists" posts and if I did know how to do it I wouldn't use that knowledge.

    Sometimes blog posts don't appear in the list because Google (the blog list provider) doesn't pick them up - that is Google's problem not mine.

    Sometimes Google picks up a post that is then deleted and clicking on the link will give a "not found" message - again this is Google's problem not mine.

    I link to you, Scottish Tory Boy and A Pint Unionist Lite etc because I believe that any serious discussion about independence / the future of the Union needs views from both sides of the argument. Because I don't believe in censoring opposing views. Because I believe that an argument can only be won when all opinions are considered.

    No! I won't delete your blog from my list. My list contains every Welsh poliblog that I am aware of, because that is my editorial choice. It is my blog so I decide who is and who isn't linked, not you or anybody else!

  10. Well, in the U. S. of A. colleges/universities have become interlaced with the corporate welfare system which exists so the rich will get richer.
    Heck, THEY want a degree for dish washers.

  11. A good point! I am a primary school teacher and see the other end of the learning experience. Those who have no ambition, no positive role models at home. The parents are often on benefits, claiming for everything often telling lies in order to receive more money. The children have no respect for the schools, and often the girls are pregnant at 14 or 15...then the whole process starts again. They lack parenting skills and they in turn will produce large families, will not work and claim benefits. What a depressing yet true and accurate cycle!