Why plumbers need a degree

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Self-employed plumbers are already feeling under siege as the Government attempts to reduce their earning capacity by training as many new ones as possible. Now, it seems, they must suffer the humiliation of being told they aren't clever enough to be in business.

The language of commerce can only be understood by those with a university education, according to those who support the Campaign to Provide Universities with More Students.

Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrats' "shadow" education spokesman, is among them. He was reacting to the British Chamber of Commerce's opposition to what it sees as the expansion of HE at the expense of vocational training.

He says: "Today's plumber is also an independent businessperson dealing with complex issues of tax, health and safety and contract negotiation."

And, apparently, the skills of your traditional plumber are "relatively limited" compared with those they would acquire by becoming a university graduate.

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