Damian Hinds MP: 'I see no reason why Britain should be second to anybody'

Damian Hinds

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has told Julia Hartley-Brewer that Britain's education system should not "be second to anybody".

The MP is currently undertaking a tour of German schools to find out how they equip their young people with practical skills to support the economy. He will also visit Holland later this week.

"It's true that Germany have kept that focus on technical education and it is at the heart of the industrial success that they've had there over many decades, and productivity which is higher than ours," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. 

"We're going through a very ambition programme of reform in our technical education in this country and I want to learn from how it's done elsewhere in the world. I think it's universally acknowledged that Germany has one of the best systems in technical education if not the best.

"I see no reason why Britain should be second to anybody in this regard or any other regard, so I think it's a useful thing to come and talk to the business here, talk to the colleges, talk to families, talk to students, and hear about the essence of the system and what makes it work so well."

Pressing the politican on whether adopting Holland's system of focussing on vocation at an early age was the right move, Hartley-Brewer said: "As young as 12-years-old, Dutch children are being asked 'what career path do you want to take?' Do you worry that that's too early or is it something we need to start focussing our youngsters minds on earlier?"

"Talking at quite a young age about what you might want to do is really important, and actually even younger than 12," Mr Hinds said. "There are some schools, some parts of the country in Britain, who are experimenting by having careers fairs even in junior school to just gets kids thinking 'if I kept doing my maths and my science where might that lead me in life?' and that can be very exciting and motivating.

"You're not making final decisions at these very early ages."