University graduates are immature, irresponsible and cannot communicate effectively when the enter the workplace, the skills minister has suggested as she urged more people to do apprenticeships instead.
Anne Milton MP, a former nurse, said that many employers have been reducing their graduate programmes, and in some cases axing them completely.
She told how business leaders are “always moaning about people who came out of university”, saying that their degree was not relevant to the workplace and so it can take 18 months to two years to get them “up to speed”.
“Businesses have said for a long time, ‘it’s all very well you churning out these graduates but we need skills’ – a degree isn’t necessarily transferable into the workplace.”
Meanwhile, she said that 18-year-olds who enrol on “degree apprenticeship” programmes can study while gaining workplace experience at the same time.
“What you gain in your first year of employment [as an apprentice] is maturity, communication skills, you grow up a lot – not least because you are mixing with a huge age range of people in the workplace,” Ms Milton told the Daily Telegraph.
“Even in the first year, they have matured, they are more responsible, they have taken on a completely different attitude to life than they would have done if they went to university. In a way going to university puts all that off for three years.”