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Tomorrow belongs to them

Obviously there's no point whatsoever in having teenagers unless you can blame them for the ills of society. They are responsible for the deterioration of the English language, yob culture and, most worryingly of all, the decline of warm brown beer as pubs are transformed into dens of alcopop consumption in order to separate them from their not so hard-earned cash.

Just when you thought the youth of Britain couldn't be more of a menace, it transpires that it is now also being held responsible for the decline of British industry.

According to the Engineering Technology Board, not enough of them are doing engineering courses in colleges.

Sound familiar?

The refrain from employers used to be that too many teenagers were doing media studies courses. A quick survey of FErret's circle of former teenagers reveals that all of those who did media courses are now actually working in the media - despite the fact that they were, according to British employers, wasting their time.

For British industrialists to blame FE - or its students - for manufacturing decline seems a little strong. Surely the decline of British industry has something to do with the people running it?

Take Jaguar cars, for example. When the firm was under the care of British industrialists, a Jaguar was little more than somewhere comfortable to sit while awaiting the arrival of the RAC. Now, with the company owned by Americans, you can actually drive them along the road with a realistic expectation of reaching your destination.

Nothing wrong with the British labour force - which still builds the cars and is trained, in many cases, by FE colleges.

The trick was replacing British industrialists with people who think the engine should start when you turn the key in the ignition.

So teenagers would do well to cover their ears (or turn up their iPods) when they hear such bleating because they - unlike our captains of British industry - are the future.

Thank goodness.

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