Sunday 16 November 2003

Graduates, plumbers and entrepreneurs

Here's yet another call for Scotland to increase its output of graduates. We all know who is going to be pleased by the advice of Richard Florida:
His comments will be welcomed by university chiefs who reject the idea that we are training “too many graduates and not enough plumbers”.
There's nothing at all wrong for more people to go to university as long as they are willing to bear the full economic cost of doing so. Of course in Professor Florida's native America it's normal for students to finance much or all of their own higher education. That's probably why American graduates are associated with economic growth and why so many of them want to work in the private sector. Simply expanding the ranks of taxpayer-financed students encourages the very dependency culture that is at the root of so many of Scotland's problems. What we really need is a few more entrepreneurs and I don't really mind if they are college dropouts like Bill Gates or Michael Dell.