‘People are scared of debt!’ Russell Kane passionately defends apprenticeships in GMB row
GMB: Russell Kane discusses university debt
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Comedian Russell told hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard the language being used around education needs to change as many students are put off doing an apprenticeship. He called for leaders of trade associations to come forward to explain why they are a good option for youngsters, who are worried about getting into debt at university. He added to the Good Morning Britain hosts, the way in which student loans are spoken about needs to be addressed as many aren’t aware of how big their debt could be.
“We have to be careful with the language we’re using,” Russell began. “It sort of tries to contain working class people, ’Oh it’s okay, just go and do a trade.’
“Trades are fantastic so let’s go and get carpenters, plumbers and leaders of those associations showing us why apprenticeships are fantastic.”
“Well you’re absolutely right,” Kate exclaimed. “Very often it perpetuates, for example, a BTEC which I sat at an induction day that Darcey was about to go to.
“The secondary school told us how amazing the BTEC was and all youngsters should considering doing it. Now they’re scrapping them.
“I think it’s part of the problem isn’t it? Youngsters feel like universities have always been there, they’ve seen people who have been successful in the past have been to university.
“It can be very patronising to say go a different route.”
“The money as well, people underestimate it,” Russell explained.
“What annoys me when you hear this debate, there’s this massive debt and the first thing someone says is, ‘Yes but it’s a loan and you don’t pay it back until you’re earning a certain amount.’
“You have to put yourself in the position of someone like me who has grown up terrified of any debt regardless of how it’s paid.
“That’s my dad, ‘You pay it back, you don’t owe anyone anything and you die without a mortgage.’
“That’s how you’re raised from day dot. So you can tell us all day long, ‘Oh it’s only £60,000 of debt, you can pay it off when you earn x amount of pounds a year,’ there’s an in built cultural fear.
“That’s why you are seeing social mobility widening because people are brought up to be scared of debt. That’s the other issue you’ve got.
“People learn in different ways, that’s why this debate will never be resolved.
“People like me who love hiding in a study for six months and then bursting out and showing off with a show off exam, we excel at exams.
“Other people who are gentler souls and don’t like the pressures of a three hour exam, are better being assessed as they go.
“The answer is, as always, an answer in the middle and a combination of the two of which Britain could overall learn from that solution.”
Viewers were quick to take to Twitter to share their thoughts on the debate with many posting about their own experiences.
“My school just pushed every student to to to university so they could advertise that 90-something% of leavers went on to Uni whether it was appropriate or not,” one viewer posted.
“An apprenticeship would have suited me far better but back in ‘the day’ they were all aimed at working class boys.”
Another added: “Russell talks so much sense. Trouble is everybody involved in education policy decision making are so far removed from education reality and therefore nothing changes!”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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