Letter to the Editor

Today’s letter to the editor, written in response to another letter, “Give students skills they need” (11/6/14):

As a teacher, I find it disheartening to see how many times available information is ignored. A recent letter to this paper, “Give students skills they need,” is another example.

The letter writer assumes that all students view higher education as training. They do not. Many reasonably expect employers to do their own training as they did in the past.

The writer assumes that there is a “skills shortage,” though that idea is rejected by many economists. The classifieds of this very paper should demonstrate the point.

The writer assumes that Arts courses mean unemployment and STEM courses are the ticket to a career, but that is not so. A university degree in any field usually means significantly higher lifetime earnings.

The writer seems unaware that there are already NBCC programs on both main UNB campuses, working hand-in-glove with university programs.

The writer seems to have forgotten that NB almost lost three university campuses under Shawn Graham’s Liberals. He also seems to have forgotten that the rationale for those proposed closures was to increase job training for an anticipated “energy hub” that never materialized. As it turns out, corporate PR is not a sound basis for educational planning.

If we want to keep our youth in NB, our government needs to invest in people and our corporate culture needs to become more open and genuinely competitive. Otherwise, whatever their training, young people will still  go elsewhere.

Miriam Jones
President, Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers

Telegraph-Journal (June 16 2014): A6.

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