It’s nice to be able to welcome France’s support for apprenticeship as a means for assisting youngsters into the workforce, even if the Constitutional Court had to stop the Government from doing a bit of gerrymandering by distributing its largesse mostly to friendly regions. The failure of other nations to copy Germany in its devotion to the concept of apprenticeship is nearly inexplicable. Actually, I can see where it’s coming from: if you are a fan of equality, opportunity for all and the rest, then you want to give less bright children and those from poorer backgrounds the opportunity to shine at senior school, and go to University (to get a useless degree in media studies). Unfortunately, the result is to deprive the “old” industries of skilled workers, and to inflate the pool of unemployed and unemployable youth. This effect has been particularly marked in the UK, where “trade” was always frowned on, and class has been a barrier to advancement. Parents, rightly wanting their children to be better educated than they were themselves, fell hook, line and sinker for the egalitarian heresy, and subscribed to the Government’s “comprehensive education” propaganda, resulting in a generation of young people who can neither spell nor add up, let alone use a wrench. It’s hardly surprising that no-one wants to employ them.