RTD1 wrote:Anytime a business organization says "there is a shortage of skilled xyz workers in the market..."
You should automatically append "...willing to work for peanuts" in your head."
Very well put.
Yeah, this. Companies that habitually moan about a perceived lack of skills in school-leavers are possibly the very same companies that don't invest a red cent in training, R&D and plant, etc. I should know - I've spent half my life working for idiots like that...
A lot of this "woe, woe and thrice woe" stuff is anecdotal anyway - and being an anecdotal kind of chap I have to say that children of friends and relatives seem to be pretty smart and motivated when compared to me and my slacker mates when we was facing our GCEs in 1983.
Perhaps some of it has do do with aspiration. Why would any "normal" teen aspire to be an engineer or technician? It's not exactly sexy, or something that's particularly worth boasting about (unless you spend your off-duty time in the company of other nerds). This is nothing new - almost thirty years ago my metallurgy tutor was bemoaning the lack of kudos that engineers received in the UK and observed that they were just regarded as figures of fun in greasy overalls and certainly were not people to be taken seriously. Far better to be a spivvy barrow-boy, like Alan Sugar - make a good pitch and the quality of your creation is irrelevant. I wouldn't be surprised if Brunel and Babbage were barely tolerated by the"polite" society of their time. I doubt if they'd have made the Victorian version of "Hello" magazine.
Perhaps it's up to us to make science and engineering look a bit more appealing, because for the most part it's even more naff (naffer?) than it was in the 80's. There's a huge disconnect between the (mostly terribly mundane) technology we use every day and the select few that create it and I think that us geeks are guilty of concentrating on the nuts and bolts of it all rather than focussing on the why
. Technology is driven by need - if it just sort of happened
according to the beardy dreamers we'd all have lightsabres, flying cars and be living in cities in the clouds. Technology - just like music, TV, fashion, random trends and all of the other stuff that folks younger than us relate to is about people
So make it relevant and stop arguing whether BASIC is better than Python.
Edit: as if by magic, this story has just appeared on the BBC news webite:
English and maths studied to 18
Although I've never got the feeling that Michael Gove has ever really understood that the mind is a fire to be lighted, rather than just a vessel to be filled...
Maybe if we just taught our kids to be better at cheating:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ating.html
And Gove could "fast track" the highest achievers into government...