The Scottish plumber

Scottish students 14 and over who are failing academic classes will be placed in “skills academies” to learn a trade, under a new proposal. First Minister Jack O’Connell hopes prospective drop-outs will “become plumbers, electricians, joiners and other skilled workers,” reports The Scotsman.

McConnell, in an astonishingly blunt outburst, declared there was no point in such youngsters sitting through French lessons when they can’t speak English properly.

Teachers’ union leaders don’t like the idea.

Scotland has high rates of youths “not in education or employment” and a shortage of plumbers. Britain is importing skilled blue-collar workers from Eastern Europe. “The Polish plumber” is in high demand.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I suspect the academic requirements for a trade apprenticeship exceed the usual liberal arts degree requirements.

  2. greeneyeshade says:

    What makes me a little nervous is the implication that trades education is for kids who can’t make it academically. You might check out Matthew B. Crawford’s defense of vocational ed in the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s quarterly, “The New Atlantis” (