8th March 2013 at 00:00

Anyone know the words to God Save the Queen?

Governments everywhere are concerned that vocational education should meet the needs of employers. Fair enough. But what if employers have bizarre ideas about what qualifies you for the job?

Cast an eye over to Uganda, where the vice-president has called for interviewees to be forced to sing the national anthem. "According to what I have overheard being suggested by many employers, the national anthem would be among the many questions during interviews for jobseekers," Edward Ssekandi said.

He was speaking at the opening of the Salama Vocational Education Centre, which does not yet appear to have the national anthem on the curriculum. Perhaps that will change.

FErret notes that its courses are offered at no up-front cost, but students pay once they have finished, in what was perhaps a trailblazer for England's adoption of loans for FE. What ideas will Uganda contribute next to British education? It may be time to start learning those tricky second and third verses of God Save the Queen.

A harsh lesson

We've known for some time that iPhones are often made on Chinese production lines that don't have an overwhelming interest in their workers' welfare. But a new report into conditions at the factories that make Apple gizmos has revealed something even worse: they're made by students.

Human rights violations are one thing, but FErret would prefer that his pricey electronics were not made by people on.work experience. According to a report by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, vocational training institutes are forcing students to work as supplementary labourers, "depriving students' right to a quality education".

The students are only paid $13 (pound;9) a day, about a 20th of the minimum wage, and they still have to pay for tuition.

How awful. It makes you glad to live in Britain, where training providers forced people into unpaid jobs with no educational benefit until the government regulations that underpinned the forced labour programme were finally defeated in the High Court. Land of hope and glory, mother of the free!

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