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The weather may be cold but the political rhetoric is heating up as parties prepare for May's general election - and one of the hottest topics on social media is further education.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt tweeted about Labour's hope that as many young people will do an apprenticeship "as currently go to university", opening a debate on vocational education.

Some liked Mr Hunt's idea, feeling that vocational training was a useful alternative to university. According to @pdsmith74, "far too many young people now go to university who'd be much better off in apprenticeships.could be better than unnecessary degree, debt and still no job."

@terryfish, meanwhile, stressed the importance of choosing the right option: "Let's not have numbers.as many as it's appropriate for!"

But others were less convinced. @peoplefirst6 pointed out: "Been trying to offer apprenticeships to people and no one seems interested."

@SandraJLloyd accused Mr Hunt of political manipulation, saying: "Translation: We'll put as many young people as possible on #workfare to pretend the unemployment figures are coming down."

@PaulPJB was even more sardonic. "Those shelves won't stack themselves," he quipped.

Alexander Tyndall

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