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Fools' guild?

Apart from the adult skills minister and minister for further and higher education, who are both non-graduates, there are many others who did perfectly well without having their minds dulled by three years of tedium.

A notable graduate from the University of Life is John Caudwell, worth pound;1.2 billion, thanks to mobile phones. City amp; Guilds puts him top of its inspirational "vocational rich list" of non-graduates.

That's reassuring, until you see DfES figures that show graduates earn, on average, 50 per cent more than non-graduates.

Of course, you can't blame City amp; Guilds for the fact that employers shun its vocational students in favour of graduates. But it may be unhappy to know that one of these elitist employers is, er, model non-graduate John Caudwell.

Yes, The Caudwell Group has a graduate recruitment programme. The Big Choice graduate careers website, explaining its scheme, says: "You will need to have (or predicted to have) a minimum of a 2.1 degree in a disciplined subject."

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