At 11 years old, I failed the entrance exam for grammar school, and at 13 passed the examination to my local technical school of building. Now I am 67, and I have never regretted the way things turned out. I have been building ever since, and reached the dizzy heights of fellow of the Institute of Builders. I have never been involved in any landmark projects, but the ones I have been involved with still give me a thrill when I pass by.
Not everybody is university material. I was not, but then in 1953, a university place was not something we aspired to.
The present secondary school system cannot provide the sort of induction to building or engineering that the old technical schools did; they just do not have the facilities. Technology classes usually consist of making a few bookends for Granny and little else.
Bring back technical schools and colleges for building and engineering. There are plenty of routes through this system to cater for the skills required in the industry today.
Jeff Popham, Bradford-on-Avon, via email.