Friday, 21 September 2012

Fings don't always get better

Nick Clegg's enthusiastic apology for something around tuition fees did leave me reflecting on my own experience. I never felt that blessed at time but in hindsight...

I left school and got a job as a trainee surveyor with Tarmac. As part of the deal I got day release to go and study at college one day per week. There were no ties in, I did not have to indenture myself to them in return. So in the fullness of time I went an got a better paid job with Roger F Kilby. Kilby too were happy to fund and give day release for me to become qualified.

However I fancied giving the student life a whirl so went and did a degree. With Kilby I got a well paid summer job and my local authority not only paid for my fees but gave me a little grant to live on. This was topped up by some nice gifts from my parents.

Within a couple of months of graduating I had a well paid job, and had paid off my modest college debt. Those debts were not for books and fees but due to my fondness for music and beer.

This was not in some socialist utopia, this was all happening in Thatcher's and Major's Britain.

In a world where people are stacking shelves for free as work experience, and parents trying to bankroll the whole college process, I have to count myself pretty lucky. If I had know how lucky I was back then I might have appreciated it a bit more.