Divert funding from vanity University degrees to apprenticeships says Jonathan Arnott MEP

 – UKIP MEP gives examples of degrees at Newcastle University where funding should be scrapped

 – States that funds should be used to boost apprenticeships for ‘real world experience’

Funding for vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into apprenticeships in the region to cut a ‘chronic skills shortage’, claims UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

It comes after business leaders across the North East have hit out at plans by the government to divert funds away from training providers, giving businesses control of funding their own apprenticeship schemes.

Earlier this week, findings revealed by global recruitment firm Manpower showed that UK-based businesses were hiring Portuguese bricklayers on £1,000 a week wages because of a skills shortage in Britain.

Arnott, Newcastle’s local Euro MP, said “We have a chronic skills shortage in our region and far more needs to be done to help develop valuable skills for our young people. Newcastle University are currently offering £27,000 degrees in ‘Folk and Traditional Music’ and ‘Countryside Management’, quite frankly, funding for these vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into even more apprenticeships in our region”.

Mr Arnott also highlighted the £27,000 classroom-based ‘Rural Studies’ degree, which Newcastle University states is ‘ideal if you enjoy the outdoors’, calling the qualification a ‘complete madness’: “The inside of a city classroom is hardly the best place to learn about rural areas”.

“By making this change it is likely that the cost of a university degree would decrease, as fewer would be funded by the taxpayer. We currently have an education system based on wealth and not on ability. No enough is being done to ensure that the brightest brains from the poorest backgrounds have exactly the same opportunity to succeed as the richest in society” added Arnott.

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