Prejudiced parents failing their children

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The head of the leading manufacturing skills agency has accused parents of failing their children when it comes to advising them on the best path to follow after leaving school.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive of Semta, the government’-backed Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, was speaking in the wake of the announcement of this year’s A-Level results.

She accused parents of “pure prejudice” and “ignorance” which was costing the country dear by preventing young people from following a vocational path from education to industry.

“In Britain there are still too many parents who are far too reticent to help their young charges explore the vocational route – they are almost squeamish about it,”she said.

“It stems from the long-held belief that university is the only way to go to get a decent education.”

Sarah Sillars was one of a number of leading figures from the business and skills sector urging more children to choose an apprenticeship instead of university.

Liz Field, chief executive of the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership, said: “For young people in South Yorkshire to realise their future potential, we must embrace apprenticeships, and create more apprenticeship places to meet increased demand, while continuing to focus on the quality of the apprenticeship offered by employers.”