Korifaeus Magazine

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How to rebuild America – Part 1

Apprenticeship
By Korifaeus

I’m listening to all the plans of the current Presidential Candidates, and though each have a lot to say, enormous amounts of suggestions, what’s missing is a sensible plan with which to rebuild our country.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders wants to establish tuition free colleges; specifically state colleges, while Hillary Clinton believes “something” should be done about student loans. But neither Sanders nor Clinton grab the bull by its horns and look deeper into the issue of our increasingly failing educational system. Sanders uses socialized European countries as example to back up his ideology of free higher education for everyone, but seems to know little about how and why it actually works in European countries; a system that could not possibly work in the United States, for the following reasons. ( aside from that “everyone” in Denmark pays 70% taxes)

In the United States ALL children are encouraged to go to college, with the U.S. being the number one country in the world with college graduates, % to population. The reason is because, though “education” is encouraged in these European countries, as well, college is not being pushed on them, as it’s done here in our country. It’s become an almost unspoken rule for children to attend college in the U.S. But while we have a greater amount of college graduates in this country, we have the least “skilled” workers of the industrialized western world. The reason why is because of the college “push”, as opposed to apprenticeships. which have declined over 90% since the early 20th century.

We have to recognize that college, academic degrees, university, is not for everyone, and that many young people would do much better were they to go through apprenticeships, which would not only serve them, but also the country as a whole.

Let’s take Germany as an example, since their apprenticeships are still the most highly regarded in the world – be it bakers, brick layers, carpenters, house painters, cooks, electricians, mechanics, Nurses, etc. you name it, Germany excels in craftsmanship and trades. The very reason why German workers are the most sought-after “skilled” workers in the world.

Apprenticeships are on-the-job educations where the apprentice gets paid, and though much less than a journeyman or Master craftsman, he gets paid for doing his job; as opposed to vocational classes and college courses which costs tuition money. The educational result is also far better with apprenticeships, because it’s hands on, one gathers on the job experience while being trained for about three years. It’s also fun, because one feels a purpose, feels pride when learning and accomplishing certain new skills; working with people who share a passion for a skill, camaraderie and learning to work “together”. Everyone learns better when having fun. On top of that, one gets paid.

This is why free education in these countries works,for the most part, because not everyone is expected to go to college, thus the funding of schools is far less than it would be in the U.S., even for state colleges, under the current college ” push” system.

The country would benefit from it immensely, as well. The roofer will do a great job, and not end up having to file for bankruptcy because of one too many lawsuits against him, not having done his work correctly. The streets, highways and freeways all over the United States will start looking like central European streets, as opposed to streets in third world countries ( or the former Soviet Union and GDR) with cracks and potholes, having to be reconstructed every other year; ergo: Good craftsmanship and truly skilled workers will save cities and the country a lot of money.

Another thing Bernie Sanders does not seem to be acquainted with, is that a great many Central European University grads can not find jobs in their countries, because of too many academics. This was especially bad in the 60’s and 70’s, with many ending up being Taxi drivers. Many university graduates end up going into an apprenticeship because they can’t find jobs, learning a trade for which more jobs are available.

It’s all about ” quality” versus ” quantity”. We’ve become a society that aims not for quality anymore, rather for quantity. It’s no longer about craftsmanship and “skill”, rather cheap labor; the result of this nearsighted thinking mess can be witnessed all over the United States.

The first thing we need to do is start rebuilding our educational system, and make on the job apprenticeships available to young people, to receive a higher education in specific fields, without young people ending up in debt before their life has even started.

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One comment on “How to rebuild America – Part 1

  1. Simon Barnwell
    May 17, 2016

    I’ve no idea why so many politicians and business leaders fail to support the Apprentice route in to work , it is indeed tried and tested . Apprenticeship schemes are over subscribed , proving that parents and children understand the effectiveness of them .Cheap and cheerful minimum wage low skills employment is very costly to society in socio – economic terms and is favoured by short sighted and greedy industrialists , in the end we are all poorer for it .

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